Young, Arab and Proud

“We Shouldn’t Limit Ourselves Because we are Arabs”

Roudha Almazroei answers Pulse’s questions.

She’s one of the finalist of the FTA Prize of 2021, in the Debut Talent category. Recently graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, with a BFA in fashion design, Roudha Almazroei loves architecture and art. Her eponymous label focuses on contemporary, ready-to-wear bridal outfits and reflects her love of storytelling and her rebellious nature, Almazroei just launched, also, her first sportswear collection.

“Seeing the fitness industry increasing in popularity in the MENA region, I loved it that for once the people were hyped up about something that is healthy and good for them; I simply wanted to become part of the movement, and that’s when I decided to create my own line”, she says. “I wanted to create sportswear that circles between fashion, fitness and function, that was also the inspiration for the brand’s name”, she added.

Pulse talks to… Roudha Almazroei

What is the one thing you wish people would stop wearing?
Leggings, or tops that tend to stretch and become see through, they’re very unflattering on the body.

What creation of yours are you most proud of?
The shape and form jacket, very simple, yet very fashionable and can go from the gym to a coffee shop to the grocery store; it combines fitness, function and fashion.

What was your worst fashion faux-pas? 
Pairing socks with sandals, I simply think wearing sandals doesn’t go well with socks.

If you were to choose one of your looks, or that of any other designer, to wear everyday for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I would love to wear one of my CIRCLE O STUDIO activewear sets. Super comfortable and they can be dressed up or down.

Who do you dream of dressing?
CIRCLE O defiantly dreams of dressing Jennifer Lopez. She is a motivation for others that age doesn’t define your look or your body.

When was the last time you pulled an all-nighter?
It was during my university years, studying fashion and stitching all night.

Name five people, dead or alive, that you’d like to invite to a private dinner party at your house.
Lana Del Rey, Marilyn Monroe, Alexander McQueen, Naomi Campbell and Halima Aden.

What does the word “sustainability” mean to you?
Sustainable is a lifestyle, buying one garment that is made sustainably does not mean you are helping the environment. However, keeping your clothes for longer and passing them on is part of being sustainable. Of course if the clothes are made sustainably, then that’s better for our environment because they will decompose faster. But always think of the environment before buying, and always ask yourself if you actually need it.

What would be the title of your Netflix documentary?
“A Rebel at Heart.”

Describe the MENA region in 3 words
Culture, unity, sense of style.

How is “Young, Arab and Proud” translated in your work?
I can describe my inner self in my clothes, there are many pieces that are created to tell stories and create ideas, not just to be worn.

What is the Arab DNA made of?
So much love.

What is the most common misconception about being an Arab?
We don’t live in tents and ride camels to work.

If you could travel in time to meet any Arab icon, who would it be, and why?
Um Kulthum, she is an icon, who wouldn’t want to meet her?

What makes you uncomfortable in the MENA fashion industry and that you would like to see changed?
Exaggerating everything, I wish the whole fashion industry here would just take one step back and realize what they are designing when it comes to each particular piece, and to think about if everything has to be so dramatic and exaggerated in style.

How is the gender-neutral trend translated in the MENA fashion?
I haven’t seen gender neutral trends translate here in the MENA region as much as they have in the West.

What is one Arab tradition you would want to change, and what is the one you adore?
What I would change are limitations, you shouldn’t limit yourself just because you come from this region. What I adore is the unity and the unconditional love between us, it’s like we are one big family.

What is the Arab dish you could eat every day?
Balaleet, definitely!

What is your favorite Arabic song, one that is often stuck on repeat in your playlist?
That’s a hard one, but I listen to Abdul Majeed Abdullah.

Um Kulthum or Fairuz?
Um Kulthum

What is the one city in the MENA region you could live in forever, and why?
My Doha, nowhere else…