Budreya Faisal is not a formally trained fashion designer, but the success of her cutting edge label, Bleach, proves that only professional training doesn’t necessarily make you any better at your craft or guarantee success. Yasmeen Maqbool speaks to the designer whose signature style is a mix of sporty-chic and bohemian and whose label ‘bleaches’ the boundaries between convention, style and modern practicality.
It is the mother of all standard pieces of clothing for an Emirati woman. WhenI started there weren’t any abaya designers,only retailers in malls that made cookie cutter abayas. That didn’t work well for me.I needed to represent and express myself.And no one could help me do that better than me.
What is your design process?
I do some research on upcoming trends and go searching for the textiles that speak to me. And I know when I’ve found the right fabrics when I can envision my collection with them. So I let them do the talking while I do the sketching. From there on, I am with the production team every step of the way, from pattern making to sewing on the labels.
What influences you when you are designing?
Dubai and Dubai’s markets and streets. The life found all around our wonderful busy roads, breathes a new life into me every time and has always been my biggest inspiration.
Who inspires you and why?
My mother and my sisters. They are strong and delicate, expressive and respectful, artistic and humble. And designers such as Antonio Marras and Yohji Yamamoto.
Your favourite abaya style?
If I didn’t say my own, then I would be doing something wrong! The signature Bleach mullet style abaya is my favourite.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
To be unapologetically myself.
What are your plans for the brand? /strong>
Hopefully, being stocked internationally beyond the GCC at some point when my ready-to-wear pieces can be marketed independently.
What advise would you give to the newbies in the fashion business? /strong>
Get formal training! Do not underestimate the importance of an education in fashion, because you will
certainly miss it along the road if you started without one. At the very least, learn your basics. Do your part, research, learn, train and don’t hold back.
“IT’S A LITTLE TERRIFYING SINCE I AM NOT A FORMALLY TRAINED DESIGNER, BUT TO BE A NOMINEE AT THE INTERNATIONAL WOOLMARK PRIZE, BECAUSE OF HOW I HAVE PROVED MYSELF AS A DESIGNER, IS INCREDIBLY THRILLING.”