Founded in 2011 by Bunyamin Aydin, creative director, Les Benjamins’s womenswear is lead by the talented Lamia Al Otaishan Aydin.
Born and raised in Riyadh, Aydin studied fashion at ESMOD in Beirut before moving to the the Turkish Capital where she took on her current role.
Coming from a fashion background herself, she’s a keen believer in translating stories from history and cultures into fashion through her pieces.
To delve into her story as a fashion designer, Emirates Woman spoke to her to understand how it all began.
Tell us about your role as the Womenswear Design Director for Les Benjamins.
I’m responsible for overseeing all aspects related to women’s fashion, including ready-to-wear clothing, sunglasses, and jewellery.
The brand launched in 2011, how have the pieces and aesthetic evolved since?
Over the years, the brand has progressed and expanded alongside evolving styles and product categories.
The brand sheds light on cultural diversity and blurs the boundaries as a Turkish brand – how do you shed light through this messaging?
Les Benjamins champions cultural diversity via storytelling, worldwide collaborations, and a strong community.
You have extended several pillars of the brand; can you expand on how these evolved?
This is something we are passionate about and believed it was essential to incorporate into the brand. While it’s ambitious to claim we design for everyone, we recognised over the years that certain categories were missing, this led us to incorporate them into our collection.
“I’ve navigated through Arab womanhood stigma by embracing my culture, being loud and proud, educating others when needed and breaking stereotypes.”
You have worked on female-focused projects with key artists such as Esra Gulmen, Sedef Gali and Dr Azra – tell us more.
Each year, we join forces with a female artist from our region to commemorate International Women’s Day and amplify the bonds of sisterhood.
You’re from Saudi Arabia; how do you incorporate your roots in the brand?
My core identity is deeply rooted in representing Saudi Arabia in everything I do, whether it’s in fashion or my everyday life. I am seeing much more designers in the past few years that are coming from Saudi, it’s a young and fresh energy and that excites me a lot.
How have you navigated through the stigmas attached to identify as an Arab woman?
I’ve navigated through Arab womanhood stigma by embracing my culture, being loud and proud, educating others when needed and breaking stereotypes.
The FW23 collection infuses sci-fi design codes – where did this inspiration originate?
Consider this collection as an embodiment of our true identity, a futuristic oriental realm. It features captivating dark prints that transport you to another dimension. The styles range from bold and robust to elegantly simple, all with that signature Les Benjamins twist.
This is The Fearlessness Issue – how do you overcome your fears?
My mum instilled in me the importance of confidence regardless of the circumstances or the people I encounter. I also have a deep appreciation for the saying “fake it till you make it.”.
October – The Fearlessness Issue with Chaumet – Download Now
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