An interview with designer and founder of ‘Designed by Werdah’ – Amaal Al-Halwachi.
Amaal Al-Halwachi is a lover of graffiti, calligraphy and typography. Her apparel designs are bright and vibrant, and reflect the grandeur of nature. Even though a flair for designing dresses has always been a part of her persona, it was not until last year that she seriously took it up as her entrepreneurship – Designed by Werdah.
The success of Designed by Werdah speaks for itself, being one of the major brands on display at two of the prime apparel studios in the Kingdom. Some of her designs use Arabic script with references to Bedouin culture as well as nature. Initially starting out with scarves, Amaal has travelled quite a long distance, thanks to her supportive family, friends and the customers who are always on the lookout for her new collections.
Your brand name is so unique. Why did you name it ‘Designed by Werdah’? What does it signify about your designs?
Werdah, meaning ‘flower’ in Arabic, is my business name. I chose this name because I have always been inspired by nature and everything surrounding it. Flowers come in various colours and fragrances. They are beautiful in their tiny imperfections and differences. Each one has a distinct smell which cannot be reproduced. And I want my designs to be like them – unique and distinct in every sense.
Which is your favourite fabric to work with?
I love all sorts of fabrics. I work with fabrics depending on my mood and artistic views during the time of production. I have worked with different types of fabrics and have enjoyed seeing each of them altered to suit my customers’ needs.
What are the steps involved in creating a new design and making it available for the clients?
I usually do a little yoga before I start creating or even thinking of a new design (No really, that is my little secret!). This gives me the balance and clarity when I need to be creative. Once I create my designs, I start thinking about the client type that might be interested in that particular blueprint and try adapting it to their possible needs at the early stages itself. I make products that are custom made to suit each client’s special needs.
Where can we find your collections in Bahrain?
You can find my collections at Showcase101, Level 1 at Riyadat Mall in A’ali and on my website www.designedbywerdah.com
Have you thought about taking your brand outside Bahrain?
I have not started selling outside of Bahrain yet, however I am currently working on expanding my product to meet the global market needs.
Tell us your love story with scarves…
I wanted to create a unique product that would be easy to wear and have no age limit attached to using it. I also wanted it to show my inventive side for creating fashionable, universal designs, and scarves were the best option for me to start working with.
Can you elaborate on the specialty of your designs?
I am proud of our heritage and I love using it in my designs. I usually use Arabic and Arabesque styles together. They always give a unique touch; in better words, they help give an ethnic touch to the patterns. This is one of my ways to show the world that the designs based on our heritage can always look beautiful, compared to the new designs that come up every other day.
Which is the best seller from your collection so far?
That would be a difficult question to answer. I keep my designs as unique as possible. I only make one of each design in order to ensure that all my clients have exclusive pieces made just to suit their taste. And for the same reason, I cannot point out one best seller design.
Tell us about your upcoming collection…
My new collection will be dedicated to raising awareness towards Gaza. I hope to inspire those who are trying to help people in need. I also plan to give away a part of the proceeds to the needy in Gaza.
And finally, what do you think can make a lady look classy and fabulous?
I believe that people need to wear what is comfortable for them, yet fashionable at the same time. My designs are loose fitting and can make anybody look wonderful; making those little imperfections go unnoticed.