In conversation with: Kuwaiti media personality and entrepreneur, Zainab Abdulrazzaq
A fashion pioneer
It's quite rare to kick off Sunday morning on a high note but this interview has us fist-pumping in the air. Putting the spotlight on an entrepreneur, from the GCC no less, we spoke to one of Kuwait's most prominent figures and a fashion icon.
Meet Zainab Alabdulrazzaq, the media personality and entrepreneur who is responsible for bringing some of the most luxury brands to Kuwait – think Boucheron, Dolce & Gabbana, Ralph Lauren and Fendi – and for facilitating one of the biggest deals across the GCC where the Tamdeen Group acquired 3oud.com (her leading Arabic digital fashion hub headquartered in Kuwait).
Below, read our interview with Alabdulrazzaq as she discusses the fashion culture in Kuwait, the media industry and empowering women.
Can you tell us a little bit about the role you played in the recent acquisition deal with Tamdeen Group?
I was in the right place at the right time, after almost 5 years since founding 3oud.com and working so hard to achieve a dream, the acquisition happened as a verification of the work and time dedicated by the 3oud team, and made clear that we are on the right path especially during these hard times with the pandemic affecting everything especially the fashion industry. It’s a huge honour for me to be part of a group such as “Tamdeen”.
As the Founder, my role was to ease the transition to Tamdeen Group as I have been re-assigned the role of Editor in Chief for the platform.
What is the aim of the Tamdeen Group?
Tamdeen Group is one of Kuwait’s largest Real estate developers which holds a number of companies varying from investments and real estate to entertainment, advertising and fashion – all aiming to keep pace with the rapid development in marketing and further prevail in Kuwait and the region.
What are you doing to promote Kuwaiti culture and talent?
The sky is the limit. I think it’s totally important for all of us in the fashion industry to support the young designers, and in Kuwait, we have a really strong base of people who support local talents and love the trends they create. By building a strong media and communication platform such as 3oud.com we have created a stage to introduce young local talents. We have hosted many local designers and introduced them to the consumer by sharing their success stories. We hope to support and promote the local talents in Kuwait and highlight the beauty of the region through features, having conversations and standing behind Kuwait’s talented and creative community.
You’ve been in the industry for years. How different has the media industry changed since 2011 vs now?
Certainly, the awareness within the industry has changed very much, in terms of investing in culture, being inclusive of all regions from the world and really focusing on communicating with clients.
How would you define the fashion scene in Kuwait and how has it evolved over the years?
Kuwait has always been the fashion hub of the region. Most luxury brands launched in the Middle East region through exclusive boutiques opened first in Kuwait. High fashion is not new to the market — it is a trendy country not just for fashion but also for food and as a travel destination. The residents follow new trends and are always on the lookout for new and unique experiences.
In the last 10 years, the country has become even more fast-paced due to the rise of a new medium “social media”. Fashion events saw a huge shift, fifteen years ago we witnessed direct engagement with clients, women in Kuwait love to know meet and hear the stories behind each brand and collection, they are more open to meeting new designers. They are becoming more conscious and curious about the products they are using on themselves. The easy access to new trends and technology has evolved the fashion scene.
What is your vision of the fashion industry In the Middle East?
The Middle East is rich in beauty, and our culture and heritage are so fascinating, I do believe we do have a lot of beautiful and valuable stories which are not out yet! I trust that the fashion industry in the Middle East will soon be exporting to global markets and not only import.
Who are your favourite regional designers?
Ohhh so many: Elie Saab, Nafsika Skourti and in Kuwait, Hamsa, Sirdab, Liudmila, Bazza Alzouman, Amna Alsalem and 1309.
How do you want to be remembered?
I have always been fascinated by my father’s reputation and how people remember him today, even after more than 15 years of his passing people love and respect his legacy and how he was a loyal man to his work and stood for his beliefs and values. I would love for my son to feel the same way when people remember me.
How do you empower women through the world of fashion?
By showing and sharing how important it is to express yourself the way that makes you feel strong and confident, whether it is in the way we dress up or dress down fashion is the best way to feel independent and empowered. The fashion world has many ways and many directions for any one of us to feel important and powerful.
Also, read 'Farida Khelfa is uniting Arab women globally'.