Maha Abdual Rasheed, the founder of the first vintage boutique Bambah in the United Arab Emirates, is breaking stereotypes behind Islamic fashion. After noticing that her customers gravitated more toward trends of the ‘50s, like exaggerated sleeves and princess-styled skirts, she launched a vintage inspired collection with a modern twist describing it as “timeless glamour.”
Bambah, an Egyptian term translating to “pink,” was used during the 1940’s to describe a “jolly pink life.” In just four years, Bambah has expanded to the e-commerce market and ships pieces worldwide — and the brand has even made its way into Hollywood. Some of Rasheed’s fashion pieces have already been worn by stars like Amal Clooney, Maisie Williams, Regina King, and Emma Roberts.
Actress Priyanka Chopra, for her part, was styled in Bambah fashions on the cover of Femina magazine in August 2016. “She is one of my personal style icons so to see her in one of my designs was such a good feeling” Rasheed exclusively told Us Weekly. “I’m a big fan and hope she returns to Bambah the next time she visits Dubai!”
Aside from the Quantico star, Rasheed credits model Jean Patchett, Egyptian actress Soad Hosny and Queen Rania of Jordan as her fashion idols. “Islamic fashion is not just about wearing the traditional black abaya,” Rasheed explained to Us, adding that Queen Rania has a “modesty meets fashion and elegance” style. “This year’s fads include embellishments and pretty details on soft and textured fabrics, midi length skirts so women can show off their shoes, gold and metallic galore and bell sleeves for a loose, comfy fit in the heat!”
Not all of Bambah’s pieces are fitted or expose shoulders and midsections. Rasheed noted that one of the many things attributing to Bambah’s success is its variety “because we manage our own production and design process, we tend to be flexible and offer made-to-measure pieces that still fall within our design aesthetics for the more conservative woman.” This is especially the case during Ramadan. “Ladies are very creative and colorful with their Ramadan wardrobe,” she said. “Women take it as an opportunity to make a fashion statement, building new wardrobes specifically during this time and ultimately creating a new season for fashion trends.” Ramadan wardrobe is so popular in Dubai that one of Bambah’s best-selling collections is a curated line geared towards the annual observance.
Rasheed loves to make pieces that not only represent Emiratis, but also that creates a style that the fashion industry can embrace around the world.
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