Every woman has been and still is mesmerized by Faten Hamama, Souad Hosny and Shadia’s vintage fashion styles. There is something about vintage dresses that scream elegance, glamorous and femininity, that’s what Bambah Boutique is all about. Luxurious fabrics, lady-like silhouettes, striking colors, and oversized bows is what drove some of the world’s top personalities like Amal Clooney, Priyanka Chopra, Maisie Williams and Emma Roberts to pick Bambah Boutique. We talk to Maha Abdul Rasheed Founder of Bambah Boutique to tell us more about the story behind her brand.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into fashion.
I am a thirty two year old young woman who has a passion for vintage. I am marketer by profession. I started my career in a leading advertising agency where I got a better understanding of building and managing brands followed by a position in Marketing & Corporate Communications in a semi-government entity. Souad Hosny and Jean Patchett are my ultimate style icons and I have a soft spot for ruffles, bows, and polka dots.
“My objective was to encourage ladies to look and feel good about themselves”
What’s the story behind Bambah?
Eight year ago Bambah Boutique was my attempt to position it as the first vintage boutique in the UAE. We wanted to introduce vintage fashion to Dubai’s fashion-savvy crowd. The concept of ‘Vintage’ was fairly new to the region, but the enthusiastic response that I received pushed me towards establishing my own ready to wear line. Over the years, I noticed that customers were subconsciously shopping for past trends and that there was a pull towards styles from the 1950’s. I traveled the world in search of the best vintage finds moreover introducing myself to the world of fashion design. I decided launching my own modern twist of ‘Vintage Inspired’ ready to wear collection.
My objective was to encourage ladies to look and feel good about themselves and I focused my designs on timeless glamour and the rise of the elegant lady. This was the beginning of Bambah Ready To Wear Line!
How did you decide on the name?
Bambah means ‘pink’ in Egyptian Arabic and it was a term commonly used in the 1940s to symbolize happiness and joy. It also happens to be my favorite color. I was very keen on finding a suitable Arabic name for my brand as I really wanted to bring out our culture and my background in the brand’s identity. I’m also heavily inspired by old Egyptian drama and actresses such as Souad Hosny and Faten Hamama which have a unique distinctive 50’s style that I always aspire to.
Tell us a bit about your new SS18 collection; what was the inspiration behind it?
Our SS18 collection was inspired by the magical beauty of India, and my recent visit to Jaipur, which is known as ‘The Pink City’. I was mesmerized by the rich colorful culture and the abundance of pink and orange roses everywhere. I wanted to mix the clashing colors and the metallic gold hues that I saw in the collection by infusing shades of pink and orange, with touches of metallic brocades. Our hero piece of the collection is a rich silk organza developing the lotus flower, which is the national flower of India.
Why did you decide to start in Dubai?
The Emirati nationals are very welcoming; they accept foreigners and and there is so much room for innovation. It’s becoming a melting pot of cultures enabling us to interact with different people, learn more about others, and learn to accept. Also provides business owners more opportunities to shine especially in Fashion industry.
“I was adamant on providing customers with pieces that can be worn repeatedly in different forms,”
How do you maintain your Arab identity throughout your designs?
By thinking outside the box, we have been able to create a collection that speaks to all women regardless of their faith or fashion preference. Coming from a Middle Eastern background, I understand the need for a versatile evening wear wardrobe to keep up with the lavish events that our culture enjoys. As a result, I was adamant on providing customers with pieces that can be worn repeatedly in different forms. We’ve also launched a “Bambah Modest line” which caters to the Middle Eastern audience. The collection is a skillful adaptation of Bambah’s main line design aesthetic with a modest twist. The pieces are practical, fun, elegant and can be worn by any woman at any time of the day.
Since the brand’s inception, you’ve dressed top figures; who else’s on your list?
I aspire to dress the two beauties Meghan Markle and Penelope Cruz.
Who is your style icon?
“Souad Hosny” and “Grace Kelly” – I like the way they’re both very feminine and very confident in their styles. Queen Rania of Jordan is also one of my personal fashion idols, as she is a beautiful example of how modesty meets fashion and elegance in the Middle East.
If you could have any TV or movie characters wardrobe, whose would you chose and why?
Audrey Hepburn – she’s very elegant, feminine, yet practical and always comfortable.