The queen of designer curves

Designer Dima Ayad makes clothes that look good on all women

Dima Ayad
Dima Ayad

Name: Dima Ayad
Age: 30
Nationality: Lebanese
Time in Dubai: 28 years – ‘Practically my whole life. This is home.’

Locally based designer Dima Ayad’s latest A/W range is surprisingly grown-up for someone who’s only on their second collection. Rich in colour and texture, and refreshingly sophisticated in terms of tailoring for a Dubai designer, we rate Dima as one to watch. Here’s the lowdown on the designer, her collection and her desire to create clothes that make women feel good.

How did you start out as a designer?
I’ve been designing dresses since I was 20, because Dubai didn’t have as many stores then. Also, European designers don’t factor in the idea that as dress size increases, you need to create a place for a bust and a butt. It frustrated me. When they draw, they draw in a size 0; they think this will look great on a size 16. I design by draping on a mannequin that has many sizes. I start with the largest: if it suits the bigger size I work my way down, making sure it suits the small.

What inspired this collection?
Night. I love Dubai – I am what I am because it nurtured me – and one summer evening I was standing on my balcony in the blazing heat. I looked out and thought that even with the disgusting humidity, the city looked pretty because it was lit up. I want the women who wear my clothes to be lit up in colour amid the darks of autumn and winter.

What are your favourite pieces in the collection?
I love the Vivian blazer. I’ve always liked the boyfriend look because it suits every body type, but I added bling to make it more suitable for evening. Then there’s a dress called Plateau: nude organza with strips of gold and a grosgrain belt. I love it because it’s girly – you can wear it anywhere. Finally, I love the Mono dress because it has a line down the middle that accentuates curves and hides wobbly bits.

Which designers inspire you?
It changes with every collection, but now it’s Lanvin. There’s something about the fluidity and simplicity of designer Alber Elbaz’s work that I love. He drapes and uses a lot of beautiful grosgrain ribbon, which I’ve also used in this collection.

What kind of women do you design for?
I design for women who want to feel comfortable. I don’t believe in a woman having to starve at lunch to fit into her dress. I believe in no stomach-control pants, no difficulty walking, no trouble moving around.

What’s your favourite colour to work with?
Purple – I adore it. That deep shade of purple brings out the best in every woman.

What’s next?
For spring/summer ’11, think Andy Warhol in terms of colour combinations – purple and yellow, blue and orange.
Dima Ayad’s autumn/winter ’10 collection is available at S*uce (04 339 9696) and at in sizes XS (6-8) to XL (16-18).

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