Dubai-based entrepreneur and fashion influencer Hadia Ghaleb is getting on the frontlines of modest swimwear and starting her own personal venture, Hadia Ghaleb Label. The talk of inclusivity has been going on for years, especially when it comes to modern, colorful, and modest swimwear for all women. It doesn’t come as a shock to anyone when women don’t find their preference of modest swimwear, whether they’re veiled or not. It is only recently that we were able to see women more comfortable in their own skin and on the beach. The progress we have witnessed in the past few years is tied to the efforts of women like Hadia Ghaleb. Women who want to bridge that gap in the swimwear market and let all women wear what they want to wear.
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Tell us how your vision for Hadia Ghaleb Label became a reality…
Hadia Ghaleb Label is a personal venture for me. For years, I watched the growing gap in the swimwear market between veiled and unveiled women, with separate designs depending on women’s faith, culture, and lifestyle. I found myself wondering how we can overcome this division and fill that gap with inclusive swimwear that would speak to and represent all women. This is when the vision for Hadia Ghaleb Label was born.
How important was it for you to reflect inclusivity in Hadia Ghaleb Label?
Swimwear inclusivity lies at the very heart of Hadia Ghaleb Label.
I believe that women need the freedom and power to express themselves through fashion; depending on their taste and lifestyle choices, not based on stereotypes. This is why it was so important for me to design swimwear pieces that can be combined in a range of different ways to be worn by women with different tastes and needs.
The swimwear collection is vibrant and perfect for summer. How did you decide on the swimsuit aesthetic and vibrancy of the designs?
The main inspiration for using such bright colors in my swimwear line comes from my nostalgic childhood memories of summers spent in Sahel. They were full of laughter, sun, and beautiful waves. I really wanted to convey this sense of light-heartedness, the feeling of the sea breeze in your hair, and capture the idea of an endless summer.
What do you believe sets Hadia Ghaleb Label apart from other swim brands?
My team and I spent carefully considered every element of our sets. It was important to me to make sure our designs are not gimmicky or tokenistic. I wanted our designs to really give women the freedom to combine their own swimwear into unique looks that reflect their own unique personality and aesthetic and regulate how ‘veiled’ they want to be. I believe we have achieved that.
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You are a fashion icon, traveler, and entrepreneur. How did that shape you and impact Hadia Ghaleb Label?
I feel we are all influenced by our own life experiences. My previous entrepreneurial work as well as having knowledge of the fashion industry definitely helped Hadia Ghaleb Label come to life.
What were the greatest challenges you faced while starting Hadia Ghaleb Label? How did you overcome them?
As with any new brand or venture, the beginning is never easy. It took me more than three years to find the right combination of designs and decide on the manufacturing and materials. I guess it’s an ongoing process to refine and keep moving forward. I just had to keep trying new things until I found the perfect way to capture my vision.
Out of your swimwear collection, which set is your favorite and why?
I truly love the Sapphire set as it’s so fierce and bold.
What message would you like to send through your brand?
To all women: Be confident and love yourself as you are.
How, in your opinion, can powerful female entrepreneurs support each other?
I would say, first of all, by understanding that we don’t have to see each other as rivals.
Each of us comes with our own unique vision and mission. There truly is space for every single one of us. By uplifting and promoting other female entrepreneurs and their businesses, we not only help them grow, but also impact the industry or market as a whole by increasing female representation and diversity.
What is one piece of advice you would give to young women who want to start their own business but are hesitant?
Don’t wait for the perfect moment because it will never come.
Just start in your own time. No matter how challenging or complicated a project looks, remember that the first step is always the hardest. As you move forward, try connecting with other female entrepreneurs in your niche. Whether it’s for networking or simply to use as inspiration to keep your spirits high, and never doubt yourself. You’ve got it, girl!
What are your future plans for Hadia Ghaleb Label?
I’m excited about the official launch event which will take place in the Maldives from 3-6 May this year. I will be showcasing the collection along with four other fashion icons and truly inspirational women: Yusur Al-Khalidi, Maryam Al-Khalidi, Youmi, and Shouq. We will also be launching an official Hadia Ghaleb Label Instagram filter. Plus a limited edition bag design for all customers who spend over 1000AED.
I definitely have even bigger plans for Hadia Ghaleb Label too; expanding to all global markets and growing both horizontally and vertically.
Most Egyptian women have had to answer the question, “Hanefra7 Biki Emta” (when will you get married?), In spite of their accomplishments. What would you say in response to that?
I feel that in 2022 we can’t be defined by the mere fact that we were born women. We can’t let societal pressure affect us and limit our opportunities.
I’ve heard this question many times and my answer has always been: “When I am ready.”
You can shop Hadia Ghaleb’s latest swimwear collection here!