“It wasn’t easy starting off being so public as a Saudi woman because I didn’t fit the typical profile,” says Alanoud Badr, the founder of clothing label Lady Fozaza. She fought against the stereotypes to become one of the region’s most successful designers with the likes of Kim Kardashian West, Lady Gaga and Nancy Ajram having worn her pieces. One of her greatest accomplishments so far was “that my collection sold out in minutes at Bloomingdale’s – Dubai and that it was their biggest and most successful launch.” She has since branched into jewellery design, working alongside L’azurde on limited edition collections over the past three years.
Alanoud believes the opportunities offered here in the UAE helped not only her business, but also her own growth. “The ability to make your own decisions as a woman without a man was the most important thing. It allowed me to grow.” and blossom as an individual.” It was after moving to Dubai that Joelle Mardinian started her eponymous company. “When I came to Dubai, I landed my show on MBC which has now been running for 13 years. My fans led me to set up my own business as people were always asking me about my salons, doctors and treatments. In 2008, I opened my first salon, Maison de Joelle, in Jumeirah and never looked back.” Just shy of one decade later, Joelle’s portfolio now includes the aforementioned salon, as well as Joelle Paris and Clinica Joelle, with 11 salons across the GCC.
Being in the public eye, Joelle admits she feels pressure to set a good example to her followers. “There’s a lot of responsibility with having so many people look up to me. I don’t know each of them, but I love them. I always try and make sure I am leading those who follow me well.”
EMIRATES WOMAN JULY 2017