The Emirati artist and entrepreneur makes the case for an audacious mix of colorful abayas and jewels.
“Confident, bright, and bold,” is what comes to mind when describing Fatma Al Mulla ’s personal style. After all, you can instantly spot the visual artist and founder of Dubai -based lifestyle label FMM in a sea of black abayas. “I gravitate towards bright colors,” she agrees. She’s not one to shy away from a yellow abaya with matching shayla, paired with a handbag in rainbow stripes, or elevating a turquoise cloak with a Balenciaga tote and Marni heels. “My abayas are very bold, and people do stare,” smiles Al Mulla, who resists uniformity. “I’m not doing this to disrespect my culture or my religion – my approach to fashion is on the conservative side. But I also respect individuality and I admire people who have their own sense of style.” The designer looks to Iris Apfel and Anna Dello Russo for inspiration. “Confidence is key. You can never be overdressed or over-accessorized.
Originally printed in the October 2018 issue of Vogue Arabia
Emirati creative artist Fatma Al Mulla speaks to us about her new distinctly designed, Ramadan-inspired collaborations with international brands.
Emirati artist and fashion designer Fatma Al Mulla has made a name for herself crafting vividly patterned products punctuated with locally-relevant pop-culture motifs.
Find your sense of style and discover inspiration for luxury fashion at The Galleria on Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi.
Explore ‘The Influence of Fashion’ in our latest video, featuring the world-renowned fashion illustrator Megan Hess, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia’s Editor-in-Chief Louise Nichol, Emirati Fashion Designer Fatma Al Mulla and Influencer Rosmin Manji; as they talk through what fashion and style means to them.
Biography -- Fatma Al Mulla, a young Emirati artist, was born in the 1990s and started her journey in the world of art from as young as she can remember — until she found and studied design.
Al Mulla graduated from the American University of Sharjah in 2011 with a bachelor of science degree in Visual Communications. While on the search for something new and exciting, she launched her first collection in May 2012 under the label FMM. Her label grew to consist of T-shirts, dresses, accessories, bags, and leather goods. She has also been involved in numerous collaborations, including brands like iFLY, Kiehls, Glam Box, Heart of Sharjah, and Galleria Mall.
Emirati designer creates Chips Oman, Nokia 3310, Vimto-themed clothing
DUBAI: An Emirati fashion designer has come up with a fashion label that is reminiscent of the days of yore.
Using nostalgia as her tool, Fatma Al Mulla, 27, has created a fashion label, FMM, based on throwback-themes such as Chips Oman capes, Vimto kaftans, Rainbow Milk dresses and dozens of quirky accessories. The list goes on.
Check out the designer's latest stylish collection!
Emirati fashion designer Fatma Al Mulla will presents her newest collection at Tryano’s first Ramadan Fair. During four days, local and regional designers will showcase their latest collections. Patron HH Sheikha Mariam Khalifa Bin Saif Al Nahyan wants to support local designers and show their talent to the world throughout the Ramadan Fair.
Not only is Emirati fashionista Fatma Al Mulla known as the 'designer with a difference' - her eponymous label is chock full of vibrant prints and cultural references - but she has also landed a National Day coup by being selected to design a Limited Edition Sunglass Hut x FMM case to celebrate.
Here she tells us about the project, her sentiments for the special occasion and how she's inspired by her son.
Elevate your next beauty gift with a blend of modernity and tradition
An artistic cosmetic collection of pop-infused packaging and Middle Eastern-themed designs, Kiehl’s x Fatma AlMulla marries a young and dynamic Emirati designer and entrepreneur and one of the region’s most loved names in natural beauty products. Better still, for every product purchased, Dhs50 will be donated to Al Jalila Foundation, a global philanthropic organisation working in unison with strategic partners to empower children with developmental disorders and special needs, and helping them enhance their quality of life.
A visual artist who combines pop culture with Arabic traditions.
CV: Visual artist Fatma is the founder and creative director of FMM, a collection of pop culture inspired shirts, dresses, abayas and accessories that can be found in Dubai’s coolest boutiques.
Where it began: After graduating from the American University of Sharjah, where she studied visual communication and photography, Fatma established her own Khaleeji pop-culture brand, FMM, which takes its name from her three initials. The collection pokes fun at social and cultural stereotypes and misconceptions with its detailed illustrations and tongue in cheek Arabic captions.
Dreaming big: “I want to keep adding value to my brand and to society, and to expand FMM on an international scale.”
What winning means to me: “It would mean that I have added value to my brand in a way that can inspire others, which is such a big accomplishment for me. Also, to be an Emirati woman recognised for her work ethic and creative designs is a great achievement in itself.
Fatma Al Mulla had always been the creative type. But when she started at the American University of Sharjah, she realised that she didn’t even know her full potential.
“Ever since I can remember I was very interested in art,” she says. “But studying design was something else completely. I used to paint with acrylics, but when I entered university I didn’t even know the meaning of design, to be honest.”
She took a chance on a visual communications course and loved it. Al Mulla, now 22, left the school as a graphic artist and freelanced for a while before joining Romantic Flowers and Events, an events company, as a partner and its creative director. But it wasn’t enough for her.
“I was bored. I was looking for a job at the time, but nothing seemed to suit me. Then I started a blog [fatmaalmulla.wordpress.com] last year. When I started it, I just posted illustrations, but I didn’t think anyone would look at them. After four months, I had more than 100,000 followers and views.”
Propelled by friends’ suggestions, she started her own company, FMM, and began putting her designs on T-shirts, mugs and other merchandise, and sold them at local boutiques.
“I’ve been getting a lot of requests by boutiques to create something special just for them. But it’s hectic! It’s one thing to think of one design, but it’s another to create five different designs at the same time.”
So how does she balance her creative interests with a family life? Al Mulla has the secret. “Everything is busy, but I’ve always been the type to make lists. I’m organised about where I spend my time and how.”
Still young, this creative Emirati has always been proactive with her objectives. But she remains restless.
“Whenever I want to do something I do it. But I was telling my husband that I need to make a new set of goals, because I’m getting bored again!”
Emirati entrepreneur Fatma Almulla has developed her own unique style in the world of design and creativity and crowned it by launching her fashion line, FMM by Fatma Almulla . The line includes shirts, bags, accessories for mobile phones, and more. Her designs include illustrations and common slang phrases for young Emiratis and Khaleejis: funny sentences or phrases that reflect everyday concerns, attract lovers of Western fashion, and reflect the ideas of youths in the Gulf. Her designs are now sold throughout the GCC (the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia).
While Fatma Almulla might resist being called a fashion designer, having been primarily inspired by her study of graphics and visual arts, she has created a distinctive fashion line that combines local culture and dialect with Western fashion.
Check out our interview with the young designer.