Daneh Buahmad first launched her fashion brand – Daneh – in 2011 in her native Saudi Arabia. She rebranded in 2017 and is now based in Dubai, where she also produces her designs. She chatted with FTA about her eponymous brand.
Q Why did you decide to launch your own brand?
A I was always interested in fashion – what new, what’s different. For me it has always been a form of self-expression. The brand was born from the love of creation, but later it became clear that my true passion is dressing women, to enable them to express themselves, make them feel strong and good and ready to tackle the world in confidence in anything they do, while looking fabulous doing it.
Q Which are your signature clothing items?
A The maxi dresses and jumpsuits.
Q Where do you sell your designs?
A I sell in boutiques across the GCC and for a period of time in Cairo and Beirut. And I sell internationally via online platforms. I am focusing on my online presence
Q Who’s your main competition?
A There are so many good regional and Saudi brands out there, and they’re getting better and better. It’s tough to pinpoint one as competition, because currently all the good brands out there have something to offer with their own identity.
Q Can you describe your customer?
A A woman who likes to be unique, to stand out yet be comfortable and functional.
Q Why is locally made fashion suddenly so popular in Saudi Arabia and the GCC?
A Women of the GCC and Saudi Arabia have always been glamorous. Regardless of their specific style, background and socio-economic status, they love to dress up and go all the way, from garments to makeup to perfumes. From the dresses being made at corner shop tailors to items being specially ordered from abroad, local women love to dress up and I think that has translated in what we see today. From my years in the business, I realized how the Saudi customer is so open to what is new and unique, leading them to local brands.
Q What makes Saudi Arabian and GCC designs different from other designs?
A I like to think we offer a bit of who we are. For example, with Daneh my culture and background subtly thread through my designs. It may not be so obvious but it’s there. My inspiration comes from who I am, where I’m from, the memories, the experiences and everything around me so it comes out in the designs. And I would assume that is the case for many designers of the region.
Q Have you taken any steps to make your brand more sustainable?
A The brand has always been on a mission to do things better. It always matters to me who produces my items and how they are produced, the amount of waste involved and so on. I would like to think I’m part of a cycle keeping small to medium-sized businesses in business. I also try to make the best choices in fabrics and make it a point that the item my customer will purchase will be something they will be wearing for many years to come.
Q What can we expect from your brand in the near future?
A More collaborations and more projects to showcase our cultural heritage.