Monday, 21 November 2016

Arabella Couture

Designer: Zeenat Arbee
Brand Name: Arabella Couture

Education: Style Design College Milan Did you always want to go into the fashion industry?
Yes.....I've always had a passion for fashion! I've been known for my Talent for many years

What was your first job?
I interned with renowned Durban Designer Haroun Hansrot

How did the experience prepare you as a designer / brand creator?
I've always maintained that in anybody's career, it is of utmost importance to enjoy what you do daily, and I loved every moment of working with Haroun. The daily thrills & the adrenalin rush inspired me to soar to new heights. It was awesome, but also immense pressure preparing ranges for fashion shows overnight! What challenges did you face when starting your brand?
My uniqueness and my desire to be different from the rest of the pack, always made me feel that even my most renowned creations, needed to be more better, so I was determined to build a brand, and the challenge I faced was that people throughout S.A. as well as Dubai, were amazed at my creations and they had tried to create fake, copycat versions.

How did you find your niche in such a competitive industry?
Being placed in the Top Ten @ The Vodacom Durban July 3 years in a row really attracted a positive response, also "Arabella couture" caters for the modern yet modest woman, my designs create an illusion of a slimmer body using the clever combination of colors, cut and drapes to camouflage all the lumps and bumps and make every woman feel confident no matter what their shape so that's what gives us the edge! I just continued to do what I know best. I did not follow the norm.

I lead, others followed! When was your first fashion show?
I participated in numerous shows.. too many to mention... but my first solo show was @ the Norwegian hall for the launch of my boutique in May 2012

How was the public response to your brand?
Phenomenal. I've achieved a strong following of die-hard loyal supporters.
What is the most challenging aspect of being both a designer / business owner?
The challenge is meeting deadlines coz very often there may be unexpected orders that come in when a client is sooo thrilled with her garment that she ends up ordering more and brings her friends and family in tow!

Which famous people have you dressed?
I have rubbed shoulders with the cream of elite fashion like Top Billing presenter Jeannie D, Miss S.A Melinda Bham, Isidingo stars Le Toya and Leeanda, Zee tv stars Rakshanda Khan and Bollywood stars Siddarth Malhotra, Karan Johar, and Dia Mirza. I have dressed Miss India S.A, 7de laan and eastern mosaic presenter, Kajal Bagwandeen ... international model Neetasha Singh, Mrs United Nations 2012, Miss Durban 2013 as well as Itv presenters and I styled one of the leading cast members of the local movie "For better or Worse". I was also the fashion stylist, designer and backstage manager for the SAIFTA Awards held at the ICC in Durban recently as well as the KZNFC show held at Umhlanga rocks last month.

What inspires your designs?
My daughter, my friends, my travels to exotic destinations, my world, my imagination and my ability to be daring.

What is the most challenging aspect of your career?
Fashion Trends are continuously changing at a rapid pace, and I've got an extreme mix of varied clients, from liberal to ultra conservative. People find it hard to believe that a bikini, and a burka, are created from the same Fashion House. What is the most rewarding aspect of your career?
To see the extreme joy displayed by my happy clients and the immense transformation in their self-esteem and confidence when they wear one of my designs!

Describe your typical work-day / work-week?
Starts at 4 am..fajr...then cooking lunch and preparing dinner..7am sort out breakfast and school lunch...drop my daughter at school, straight to the office, start designing, sorting out staff issues and orders, style consultations, then prayer... 3 pm pick daughter up from school, lunch, close boutique at 5pm ..get home, prayer...supper, gym then at 11 pm go to my home studio and start working till 1.30 am getting new designs ready for the next day!

What advice do you give to aspiring designers who want to follow your career path?
Never give up in the face of adversity, sometimes we become our worst enemies, always remember keep your head and feet on the ground and remind yourself every day of your achievements and maintain a positive aura!

Contact : Zeeny B/Arabella Couture®™ ☎ : 0827499786 ✉ :

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