This summer we caught up with our dear friend Dalida Ayach, a famous Lebanese fashion designer who has dressed international celebrities like Eva Longoria. Dalida is an inspiration for all women with a passion for fashion, as she chased her dream till she made a unique and successful brand name for herself.
We were lucky to get an exclusive interview on her exciting journey!
- Tell us how you began your journey towards becoming a successful fashion designer.
It all started at an early age. My mother would buy me clothes and I would always customize them; I rarely wore clothes in their original design. That’s how I knew my future lied in fashion. While I majored in Business, I made sure to still follow my dream. I took private courses in Fashion and established my own brand soon afterwards.
- What are the challenges and rewards you face on a daily basis?
The biggest challenge I face is having to juggle between work, and being both a wife and mother. I try to have a balance between all three roles.
The biggest reward is simple: seeing a client wear my design. Also receiving positive feedback and compliments on my designs really make my day. I’m grateful that my clients are loyal, and they keep coming back for more. This makes me feel like I’m on the right track and my brand is a success.
- Where do you see the fashion industry heading? Are there any future trends we can expect?
Well you can’t really predict fashion. It’s an ever growing and evolving industry with unexpected trends. That’s what makes it so interesting. I’m expecting to see crazy, avant-garde and out-of-the-box trends. However, as you’ve probably seen, lots of inspiration comes from the past. Designers love taking older fashion trends and giving them a fresh and modern twist. So we can definitely expect to see more past trends revived.
- What is your advice to young fashion designers?
Fashion isn’t everything. Just because there’s a new fashion trend doesn’t mean everyone needs to hop on board. It’s important to make sure you have your own identity, and aren’t simply imitating others who’ve adopted a fashion trend. My advice is to create your own fashion identity, one that leaves you confident and inspired.
- What color will be trending in your upcoming collection?
In my upcoming winter collection the colors will be darker tones. Green, which was trending in my summer collection, will still be prominent in the winter collection but in a darker shade.
- How do you juggle between your responsibilities as a wife, mother, and entrepreneur?
It’s a struggle everyday. But there’s a satisfaction in knowing you’re balancing all the different roles. It’s natural to feel like you’re lacking in a certain role; sometimes I feel I’m neglecting work while I’m busy with family and vice versa. To tackle this, I try to keep my son with me at all times. I bring him with me to work, just so I can spend time with him and get my work done simultaneously.
My priority is family then comes work. And while I’m busy being a wife and mom, I’m very lucky to have such a great team at work that I can rely on in my absence.
- What is the best thing about motherhood?
Everything. There are no words that can describe the feeling of motherhood. It’s a life-changing thing; you’re now responsible for another human being, who is an extension of yourself. And as much as motherhood can tire you out, you find pleasure in the unpleasurable moments. My biggest reward is seeing my son happy. His smile would make all those exhausting moments worthwhile.
- Based on your personal experience, what are three tips you would share with new moms?
- Give all your time to your baby, especially at the beginning. Your baby comes first then comes everything else.
- Be prepared for your world to change. It’s a completely different experience. For the first time in your life, you have a great and serious responsibility.
- Always be available to watch your child grow. Every phase in a child’s life is special, from the first words, to the first steps, to the first day of school etc. And it would be a real shame to miss these moments and hear about them from someone else, like a nanny or babysitter.
- How do you define a successful marriage?
As much as love plays an essential role in a successful marriage, I believe trust and understanding are the foundation. It’s important for partners to really understand each other, know what the other likes and dislikes, and to be on the same page. Communication is key in understanding your partner.
- What are the hobbies and activities that you do away from everything else?
I love to read. It’s my favorite thing to do. I also go to the gym three times a week- it’s my ‘me time’. And I really value my ‘me time’.
On the other hand, I’ve always loved kids and have an innate desire to help them. I’ve always cared about kids’ education, which is what prompted my work at Ayach Altofoula, a family non-profit established to support a child’s education through scholarships and grants. So far we’ve supported 2,000 kids in Lebanon and around 5,000 kids in Morocco. This year, we are helping an additional 500 kids in Lebanon.
The Dalida Ayach boutique is located in Beirut. In the past, Dalida has launched some of her collections in USA and the Arab world. This October, there will be a grand opening for her new showroom in Morocco. Dalida is also working on opening a number of other boutiques in the Arab world.
Sisi & Rara