From the signature pastel luxury lace debuted in 2012 that made her name, to her current, more contemporary, easy-to-wear, separates, Madiyah Al Sharqi’s brand has transformed from regional favourite to international success story. Seen on the likes of Nicole and Sofia Richie, Kourtney Kardashian and Alessandra Ambrosio, the brand has embraced an international audience with the help of global luxury e-tailers. Wanting to amplify the brand’s success, Sheikha Madiyah Al Sharqi is taking things one step further by launching her own online e-commerce platform. The daughter of the Ruler of Fujairah, UAE, HH Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi shares her goals with Grazia as she step into the digital world…
Why did you decide to shoot your campaign in Fujairah?
Shooting the campaign at the Fujairah Fort had an obvious personal meaning to me, and the contrast of the pastel and metallic fabrics against the rough stone of the historic structure translated beautifully. While it’s always been important for the brand to earn and enjoy international success, shooting these images in Fujairah was a really meaningful moment that I hope shows the appreciation we have for being a brand with a significant cultural heritage.
Who is the Madiyah Al Sharqi woman?
The Madiyah Al Sharqi woman, no matter how much she evolves, stays consistent in a number of ways. While she might not live in ultra-luxe gowns day-to-day, she has a taste level and appreciation for quality that informs everything she invests in. She’s well-travelled, has a distinctive style, and is fearless about pairing playful silhouettes and decadent fabrics to create a statement look.
How do you feel your design signature has developed? Something that really evolved over time was the introduction of a really significant amount of tailored separates into our more recent collections. It felt like the natural step: as the brand grew, our customers’ style choices were evolving. Noticing that shift really inspired a vision that we needed to introduce more elevated daywear pieces that combined more relaxed silhouettes and approachable textiles, with the same craftsmanship that we demanded in the formal pieces from our earlier collections.
Why is now the right time to launch online retail?
The majority of stores buying the Madiyah Al Sharqi brand are e-commerce platforms – The Modist, Moda Operandi, and Ounass, for example. In recent years, e-commerce has become such a natural way to shop for luxury fashion, for women in this region, and globally, and we want to ensure that our shoppers can always access the collections whenever they want, from wherever they are in the world. Fans of the brand will be able to find every piece they’ve been waiting for, including some of my favourite designs that I personally love and want to recreate.
How do you plan to compete with the level of service offered by the international online platforms?
Madiyahalsharqi.com will operate at the same high level of customer service as the major e-commerce players. From day one, we’ll be offering worldwide shipping with amazing attention to detail, with fast delivery. More than anything else, what sets this digital space apart is the curated selection of pieces from our current collections, and offering limited edition and exclusive pieces that won’t be available anywhere else. The platform will also potentially be dedicated to extending the label beyond ready-to-wear, showcasing collaborations and developing into other categories like accessories and jewellery.
Why is it important for your brand to have a presence outside of the region?
It’s definitely a goal to take the success we’ve had locally with the brand, global. Having an e-commerce platform that can directly connect us with customers wherever they may be is really an important part of developing a more significant international presence. It’s been amazing so far to have worked with luxury e-tailers, and we’re very excited to grow the audience that we established.
Where in the world do your designs resonate most?
A huge part of our consumer base is in the Middle East, but through contemporary concept stores and e-commerce platforms, the brand has reached beyond the Middle East to New York, Los Angeles, into Europe and even Mexico. It’s been an amazing experience to see how women style their Madiyah Al Sharqi looks not only at home, but globally, and how the collection is interpreted worldwide.
Do you feel you have played a part in creating the new modesty movement that’s now going global?
As with many labels that emerged from this region, we have always consciously tailored our collections to offer options for women who prefer to dress modestly. We love to integrate options that women can mix and match, layering as they like to create added textures and dimensions to their look. With local design talents consistently gaining international recognition, it’s inevitable that as a group, designers from this region played a significant part in the global modesty movement, and I would be proud to be considered as someone who had had an impact.
www.madiyahalsharqi.com is now live
Photos: Courtesy of Madiyah Al Sharqi