Noura Sulaiman beams as she recalls the first dress she ever made. “It was a blush pink, long tail dress made with a special headpiece that I designed using fresh baby roses.” If her design acumen has matured since the dress she made at 12 years old, it still carries airs of purity and joy.
With the support of her family, including interior designer sister Aseel Al-Hamad, who is always spotted in her designs, but particularly her mother (“Her smile could last for days and this gave me so much confidence, allowing me to fully tap into my own creative freedom”), Sulaiman enrolled at the Arts and Skills Institute in Riyadh, earning a degree in fashion design. Over time, Sulaiman developed a fondness for elegant, chic, and timeless designs. Long, regal silhouettes, modest and precise tailoring as seen in abayas, vests, and dresses from the Middle East are her particular forte. Meanwhile, the grace and welcoming nature of Saudi women is always at the forefront of her mind when putting pencil to paper. As she launches her eponymous brand this month, she reveals that each piece has a sustainable aspect.
Contemporary farwas are designed with faux fur and all-natural fabrics are chosen meticulously from Italy and France to reflect the season. The clothing is crafted in Riyadh and Europe. “I believe in creating long-lasting and high-quality pieces,” she says of her brand that will offer seasonal drops and Ramadan capsules and is retailed through e-commerce.
“We are coming to an era when Saudi women are rising and to me, that is very important. I want my designs to empower and bring joy to such women in our region,” she affirms. Not one to rest on her laurels, she’s focused on future goals. “In five years’ time, I hope for my brand to have gained regional and international recognition; for someone to spot a design and say, ‘This is a Noura Sulaiman dress.’”