Naja Saade presented his ‘The Dancing Soul’ collection in a beautiful two-day trunk show at Fifty One East, and the OHLALA team was there to talk to the designer about his label and the essence of his work.
OHLALA – You have a diploma in radiology. How did you shift to fashion? When did you know that you wanted to be a fashion designer?
Naja Saade – I’ve always wanted to be a fashion designer. Ever since I was young, I used to draw and design dresses for my sister’s dolls. I was awarded a diploma in radiology in 2003 only to discover later on that medicine was not the right fit for me. I simply couldn’t but follow my passion for fashion design. Therefore, I decided to get into a fashion school and specialise in fashion design and tailoring. After extensive training in some of the most luxurious fashion houses, I created “Naja Saade” my own fashion house.
OHLALA – Your latest SS2022 Couture collection is called ‘The Dancing Soul’. Can you tell us more about your inspiration and who is the woman that you envision wearing these creations?
Naja – I view dancing as a form of art. In this collection, I had to think like a choreographer. I aimed to create a sense of movement that reflects the woman’s emotions. I also wanted to show the way a woman communicates without even having to talk. There is a unique movement in every dress in this collection and a different story that reflects a distinct personality in every type of embroidery. Who do I envision wearing my dresses? A smart woman who chooses to be exceptional.
OHLALA – With the trunk show at Fifty One East and the Bridal Lounge at Lagoona Mall, you show that you want to cater to and care about your Qatari clientele. Why do Qatari women love your label? Is it because it reflects their sophistication and values?
Naja – Of course, it does! My Qatari clients know exactly what they want when it comes to fashion. They also admire Arab fashion designers, and they seek out the little details. They enjoy handmade craftsmanship too, and that’s why they love my label.
OHLALA – There is a popular saying that believes in the power of togetherness. What makes Naja Saade and Fifty One East such great partners? What aspects of the department store principles align with your label’s goals?
Naja – Working with Fifty One East and the Bridal Lounge is something very different to me. Fifty One East feels like home as they truly believe in the designers they work with, share their values and help them grow. Communication between us has always been smooth since we share the same vision. At Fifty One East, we feature ready-to-wear and couture collections, including bridal and evening.
OHLALA – What are the key ingredients that make your brand unique? How do you describe your style?
Naja – My style is classical but with a modern twist. The details of my pieces have a very Oriental feel. I spend a lot of time searching for new themes for my collections. ‘The Dancing Soul’, my latest collection, is for example, inspired by contemporary dance. Whereas ‘La Vie’, my previous collection, was inspired by the study of DNA. By constantly carrying out research and working on new concepts, I’m able to better connect with my clients. It’s very important for me to reflect uniqueness in terms of colours, cuts, textiles, and embroideries. It’s also essential to constantly keep working towards expanding my brand.
OHLALA – How do you see your brand growing and expanding, mainly in such a refined market as Qatar?
Naja – We showcase beautiful bridal and ready-to-wear collections at Fifty One East. We are currently working on new ready-to-wear collections and we have a promising vision for the near future. There are so many creative things that we would like to see in our next collections, and we’ll always have special and new designs to present to the Qatari clients and the world.