Founder of homegrown fashion label NOMAD, Nesa Rassouli, talks to Emirates Woman about creating pieces that deliver a vacation vibe all year round.

What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine?

Having a busy schedule means my days are quite fast paced, so I like to have a slow start to my mornings. I always make sure I have enough time in the first 30 minutes of my day to have a coffee, write in my journal, and make a list of what I need to get done throughout the day. This helps me frame my mind and get organised for the day, so I can stay on top of my to-do list.

What inspired you to launch NOMAD?

Starting a clothing brand has been a dream of mine since I was nine years old. After five years of working in the fitness industry, I noticed a huge gap in the market for a locally-made sustainable clothing brand that provided stylish alternatives to fast fashion brands, which is what led me to take the leap into launching NOMAD.

Your timeless pieces are designed to last. Was it challenging to find the right production, and how have you had to adapt as the brand has scaled?

Finding the right production partners for a locally manufactured brand had its challenges. It took a lot of trial and error, but by focusing on our core values, optimising processes, and investing in improvements, we have been able to scale the brand without compromising on quality, which has always been our priority. We are proud of our commitment to supporting local businesses and the positive impact it has on both our brand and the community. We also pride ourselves in repurposing materials that otherwise may be discarded, such as using coconut and mother of pearl shells as buttons on our garments as well as seed paper for our swing tags, so that our customers can plant them to grow sunflower seeds.

What inspired the DNA of the brand?

We sought inspiration from the beauty of nature and the simplicity of a relaxed, laid-back lifestyle. The natural texture and subtle variations in linen fabric perfectly capture the essence of effortless elegance, which became a key element in our linen co-ord sets’ design aesthetic to complement the beach culture and laid-back pool-side culture we
have in Dubai. We found that too often women’s clothing compromises comfort for beauty and elegance, so we ensure that we consider every element from hand feel to the elasticity of a waist band on our products so that our customers feel comfort while wearing our clothing, because that is key to feeling empowered.

How has your love of travel influenced your designs and overall brand aesthetic?

The sense of adventure and discovery that accompanies travel has played a huge role in shaping our brand aesthetic. We strive to capture the spirit of exploration andwanderlust in our designs, infusing them with a sense of freedom, curiosity, and a touch of the unexpected in each collection.

You champion a consumer conscious mindset. Was sustainability a key factor from the outset?

From inception, our aim has been to solve a problem and demystify much of the dilemma of finding conscious brands that care both about people and the environment while coming second to none in quality and style. We also understand that it is a continuous journey. We are always exploring new innovations and advancements in sustainable practices,
seeking ways to improve our operations and reduce our environmental footprint by finding ways to innovate by sourcing locally, extending producer responsibility, and shortening our supply chain through platforms such as The Surpluss, which allow us to adopt a more circular supply chain model.

Do you enjoy both the creative and commercial sides of the business?

I find enjoyment in both the creative and commercial sides of the business, although they come with their respective challenges. The creative aspect allows me to explore my imagination, think outside the box, and bring innovative ideas to life. With experience, I’ve learned that working with both of these aspects hand in hand has allowed us to better serve our customers. By being involved with the commercial aspect, it has allowed me to take all of that feedback into our design process and adapt each collection to respond to our customer’s needs.

This is The Summer Escape Issue – where will you be escaping to this summer?

I would love to visit Togo or somewhere in West Africa. It has been my childhood dream to say I have visited all continents by the time I turn 30, and Africa is next up on the list.


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