The Evolution of flower petals and exquisite embroidery
Razan Alazzouni is a Saudi fashion designer that has pushed the boundaries of merging art and fashion to create fairytale garments in every breathtaking way possible.
Razan Alazzouni is a Saudi fashion designer that has pushed the boundaries of merging art and fashion to create fairytale garments in every breathtaking way possible.Who was Razan before you turned it into a respective brand?
I was an art student, so I was just an artist. I studied in Boston in a college called the school of museum of fine arts, so all of my inspirations that are shown through my designs are from art history books, paintings and sculptures. My major was concentrated on sculptures which reflects a lot on the way I design my clothes in terms of the embroidery and beddings that are infused in the pieces I create. It’s all about dimensions and reflection of light so I kind of fused my clothing as a medium in art.
How was it like when you started building your brand?
I started the brand in Khobar, Saudi Arabia and in the beginning it was just me, so it was a very small collection. The brand began to develope slowly when two of my sisters joined the Razan Alazzoni: brand and turned into a company. Now we’re 3 partners that work together. I take care of the design and production for the clothing line, each one of my sisters hold a different department. Salwa deals with a lot of the PRs and HR departments, and Raya deals with the brand image and social media, she also designs our accessories line and deals with the online shopping, so anything that has to do with technology is pretty much Raya. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out in Khobar because when we started there was no acceptance to the idea of a ready-to-wear brand produced in Saudi, so we showed our collection in the states and that’s when we started getting a lot of feedback from America and a lot of good reviews and that became out steppingstone, but our headquarters are always in Khobar.
What were the roots of your inspiration when you designed your first collection?
The first collection was inspired by a flower, by nature, by ballerinas dancing and how their skirts looked like petals when they would move, and by all the impressionist painters and how they used to use different layers and lights. I made a flower, and that was our signature, that flower slowly evolved within every year in different versions in every collection that was made, but that was the first form of heavy embroidery bedding that I did. That was what my collection was based of off, it was based of off that flower that I had visualized.
What is one fabric or pattern that is always included in your collections?
Embroidery will always be a part of every collection. same as skirts, tops and dresses. I love the idea of mixing and matching these pieces to turn them into your own style.
How did you become recognized internationally?
There were a few things that happened throughout the years. The first step was when we placed our first celebrity request, it was with an actress called Anna Sophia Rob, she wore a piece from our collection to the independent spirit awards and won an award. That was our first celebrity placement and it was kind of what got the brand on the radars in the US. Slowly, we saw that the people became aware of the brand. Later in 2013 we were featured in vogue Italia, and then they chose us to walk the vogue Italy in Dubai. Being chosen as one of the new designers in the world for 2013 was the turning point for us. Everyone looks at the January issue to know who was chosen as the new designer and that year we were chosen. There was photo that they took from online and we don’t even know how they got it and it was a pleasant shock to be chosen.
What was your inspiration behind your latest collection?
Actually, this collection specifically didn’t have a story behind it, I wanted to take the flower that we originally used from our first collection and simplify it and went for a modern look with it. We wanted to do a collection that was a bit more minimalistic even though it had a lot of embroidery and bedding. Honestly this collection is by far my favorite that I have done until now because it is the most ‘easy to wear’ collection and at the same time it still has the essence of the brand.
How did your footwear and accessories line come about?
we received a lot of positive feedback because of our bedding and embroidery designs, and slowly throughout the years our brand started to evolve and released our accessory line 3 years after our ‘ready to wear’ line. After that, we started designing leather belts and then later on we figured “why not do some shoes infusing our infamous embroidery techniques” and so we started making shoes that would also represent the brand.
What was your favorite moment throughout your journey as a fashion designer?
I work with my sisters, so it’s a fun and dramatic day everyday. We’re all very artistic and all in different department so we never step on each other’s toes, but when we all come together for our managerial meetings that’s when the creativity starts to flow. For example, one of my sisters is very modern and has a more casual side than I do, so she’s always the one suggesting to add pants and shirts to the collection.
Other than being a fashion designer, what is it that you are passionate about?
There are alot of things I am passionate about, I love art, I love going to the theaters, and my most favorite is spending time with my family of course. I have beautiful nieces and nephews and it brings me joy to watch them grow up. I also enjoy traveling, it’s a blessing to be able to visit new places. I have a group of friends where we decided that every year we would travel to a city or a country non of us had been to and so we’d travel there for 2 weeks, it’s exciting to discover new culture.
In your opinion, what does fashion really mean and what should it mean to every individual?
I think fashion is an extension to your personality, I believe that when you choose what you’re wearing you’re choosing something that represents your mood and style. I’d always say “don’t follow a trend” I would like for everyone that dresses up not to follow a trend, if you like dressing up like an old grandmother by all means dress up like an old grandmother, what will represent you in the most way will make you feel comfortable.
What do you want to achieve in the next few years?
We’re opening a Flagship soon; we want to basically expand the brand. Now we are trying to approach the Eastern-Asian markets, making sure that these markets would know us. We’re trying to evolve the brand into something that everybody will recognize.
What is one piece you’d like to give to new fashion designers?
You need to establish a brand identity because this was the most difficult step to work on, having to decide on what the identity of the brand is because you would like different brands and different styles and your brand has to be true to that, you have to have a trademark. Everyone that goes to any fashion house in the world, for example, if you’re going to Chanel you’re looking for loose dreamy dresses, if you’re going to Dior you’re looking for structured suits, if you’re going to Balmain you’re looking for something edgy, you need to know what your style is.