Fanilla Couture – A name taking the Qatari fashion world by storm since the past few months has released yet another amazing collection this Ramadan.
Distinct, highly detailed linework using custom pop style with stripes or geometric patterns throughout with specific images of cultural significance. Usually contains some arabic words or symbols – this is exactly how I would describe Fanilla’s Designs. The designer Razan Suliman has made some unique collections to define Fanilla Couture and it has really come a long way!
Talking to the designer who is a self taught graphic designer, here’s what she says about herself and her inspirations.
Kay: Hi Razan , Tell us more about yourself.
Razan: I am a Saudi self-taught graphic designer based in Doha; founder of Bylens “Qatar photo stock photography” and owner of my own t-shirt label “FanillaCouture”. I am so much in love with fashion and decided to bring that passion to real life in 2011 when I first introduced my brand. Although I studied information technology, my passion for graphic design made me consider a total career shift. It all started when I began to have a critical eye for detail and appreciate how the look of a website can really make it more eye catching so I carved my way into the design world by teaching myself all the steps through online tutorials and making replicas of any website I like. The more I did it, the more I loved it and felt that this was the thing for me. Later I took courses to learn all the tricks and enhance my talent then I decided to pour all this passion into my own fashion statement label Fanilla Couture.
Kay: That is an interesting start in itself! Self Taught and Entrepreneur – that’s two of my favorite words. But, why did you particularly start off with designing t-shirts?
Razan: It just came to me by chance. Right now, I am seriously considering adding more items to my business portfolio which I will be announcing soon to my fans; these might include mobile covers and notebooks. Moreover I just announced last week on my social media that Fanilla Couture will soon launch a T-shirts line for men.
Kay: I can’t wait to see what the men’s line will look like. What inspires you?
Razan: Being in the creative industry puts continuous challenges on the designer where he / she need to always be inspired regardless of any pressures. For me I consider my inspiration process to be challenging yet rewarding given all the positive feedback and support I get from my fans. I guess I am a romantic person, that’s why a simple small thing in my surrounding might really touch my heart to the extent that I base an entire collection on it. Ideas simply hit me out of nowhere; sometimes while driving or walking I get distracted by something which can be the thread I weave an entire collection on. For example the inspiration for my latest collection Fanilla Couture Prive the inspiration point was a video clip I happened to see on this great sport Falconry. Kay: That is interesting and highly inspirational! Self-teaching and entrepreneurship both of them comes along with a lot of obstacles. How did you overcome them?
Razan: I can say that my graphic design journey was never a smooth one because I started all by myself as I carved my way into the design world by teaching myself all the steps through online tutorials and making replicas of websites I like. This is because I have studied information technology but I trust that learning everything the hard way, is what makes me the Razan I am now. Concerning the production process I also went through a lot of hassles and endless challenges when I first started three years ago, but after my extensive experience I can proudly say that now I have my own fabrics, materials and subcontracted team that I deal with for printing. I design my work then push it to my printers.
Kay : Do you follow any blogs?
Razan: I like to keep track and follow a lot of fashionistas on Instagram accounts, it is nice to keep track of all the new trends and be updated with their news. It is useful and sometimes even inspiring because being exposed to all those different styles and fashion schools can induce fresh new ideas for my work. I can’t recall anyone now because there are too many blogs out there.
Kay: Do you have any plans to collaborate with other designers in future?
Razan: Yes of course I would love to whenever there is a chance, actually there might be a collaboration coming up for my men’s collection but I can’t say more details as of now.
Kay: If you were to create dresses how would they look?
Razan: It would look more or less busy with the same style of Fanilla Couture t-shirts patterns.
Kay : What is the inspiration behind your latest collection?
Razan: For me starting every collection is a journey rather than a process. Through all my collections my goal is to help ladies wearing Fanilla Couture stick to their culture yet look trendy and stylish. That is why I wanted my Ramadan collection to be so Arabic looking and floods with our rich culture icons. I designed it to reflect Arabic culture in a modern chic sort of fashion; a reason why I used a mix of jazzy colors, matchless designs, Arabic words and Arab icons building a deep story behind every t-shirt’s design.
Thank you Razan for your time and that was a wonderful session with you. Dear readers, don’t you agree that is yet another beautiful collection she has prepared in time for Ramadan this year!