Born in Riyadh, raised in Amman, studied in London and settled in Dubai, Ayah Tabari found a way to bring her fascination with culture and traditional fabrics to the simple silhouettes she adores. Sharon Carvalho finds out how
What is the story behind choosing a word of Indian origin for your brand?
I was actually travelling in Jaipur, India when the idea for Mochi begun. Mochis were cobblers by trade who went on to develop the art of embroidery in fine stitching, hence the use of the word.
Where did the inspiration for Mochi come from?
I greatly believe in the word Wanderlust (the urge to travel), so designing my collections around different embroidery from select countries seemed like the best way to combine my two favorite things – travel and fashion.
How do you select the fabric for your collection?
I work with local artisans to pick the fabrics for each collection. My brand is based around embroidery so the one that is different and stands out the most to me is usually the one I go with. It has to be unique, as I hate repetition.
What is it about the ancestry of fabric that interests you the most?
For me, the most interesting part of the design process is taking classic fabrics and making them into modern silhouettes. I love seeing the transformation
Who is a Mochi girl?
A fun loving but sophisticated girl is a Mochi girl.
What is it that sets apart Mochi from other brands in the market?
I don’t think anyone is doing what we are doing. We follow trends to a certain extent but it is never the foundation of a collection.
Which is the fabric you love to work with?
Embroidered cotton as it is easy to work with.
How much time does it take in selecting colors and coming up with patterns for your work?
I would say the whole process from the drawing to picking the embroidery to seeing the final piece takes at least four months. We also have to find the local artisans in each country to work with – this can be a lengthy process
What’s next for Mochi?
We have some pretty cool collaborations lined up for the next year and I’m definitely excited about them.
Celebrities you would like to dress?
Beyonce and The Blonde Salad, I love them!.
Must-have outfit in every girl’s wardrobe?
One that can take you from day to night. I sometimes don’t have the chance to go home and change before a dinner date so I think it’s important.
What’s in your handbag?
A killer lipstick and bronzer.
I can never leave home without…?
The perfect pair of shoes.
What would surprise people most about my job is..?
It’s actually really hardwork but it pays off!.
When I am looking to get inspired I…?
Sit in a quiet space or go to a place that has lots of culture.