Founded by sisters Waad and Sheyma Al Hammadi, Gabi Dubai is the go-to fashion brand combing the traditions of Emirati women with a modern twist.
You started Gabi Dubai in 2014. Why did you want to launch your own fashion label?
The story behind Gabi might be a bit stereotypical but it all started with our mum. Our mum was always our first inspiration. She was a fashion icon, stylist and influencer. What’s more in- spiring is that she used to tailor her own fits and discover different fabrics, colours and patterns. She made us fall in love with the fashion world more day by day. Looking back at her style in the old days was a label for Gabi and the latest trends. As of today, there have been so many highlights and it has been an incredible journey. It’s amazing when we look back and think about what we have managed to achieve over the past two years. Starting Gabi felt like being so close to other human beings. We’ve been attracted to fashion since our youth.
Sheyma Al Hammadi
What was the inspiration behind your label?
Another inspiration we had was from the famous architect Van Der Rohe. In one of his well-known principles, he mentioned that less is more. Gabi runs by the concept of being minimalistic and modest which gives you more value and makes you pop out within the fashion industry.
What does Gabi Dubai represent?
Gabi represents the custom of traditions of Emirati women back in the old days. Regardless of the change, we face in today’s world and in the fashion industry, Gabi holds on tightly to the concept of designing fashionable, modest, oversized and elegant fits for all with a modern twist going back to the idea of keeping our customs and traditions alive.
What sets Gabi apart from other clothing brands?
Gabi’s identity is that all of our designs are oversized and that is what makes us unique and different. In other words, Gabi is finding comfort all the time, designed for all occasions and fits all women from teens to young adults, perfect for maternity wear and so on. One size and fits all.
What excites you about the fashion industry in the UAE and the GCC region?
Speaking of the fashion industry located here in the region, there is a rapid growth in trends, fabrics, designs and more which excites us to brainstorm, become more educated and understand the preferences of the consumers within the GCC region as they have similar customs and traditions in terms of fashion and clothing, This is considered to be an opportunity for Gabi which allows us to gather all new fashion tips and tricks to come up with more sophisticated modern oversized fits.
You’ve worked incredibly hard to get where you are today, where do you get your motivation from?
What drives us the most is the amount of time we took to imagine the future of Gabi up close. We envision Gabi as a woman who portrays an Emirati woman. We knew what Gabi looked like, the way she is dressed, the way she speaks (her dialogue) and her character. We have studied her until she was dug deep down into our brains. It’s the vision that motivates us. We have always envisioned her in the future and to be Gabi we started acting like her from day one.
What advice do you wish you had received at the beginning of your journey to success?
Never be a perfectionist because it delays work. As we started it took us so long to launch as we were trying to be perfect and to learn we needed to make mistakes. That’s the only key to success to learn from our mistakes.
Looking back over your career, what are some challenges you have had to overcome?
We only faced one major hurdle which was people weren’t welcoming the concept of everything being oversized and we struggled by convincing them and educating them about the story behind our concept. Later, we stopped as we realized they weren’t our target audience.
Waad Al Hammadi
When it comes to the future of Gabi, what are you most excited about?
What we are most excited about is showing the world who a Gabi woman is.
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