SOLs U.K Contributor Alexandra Spiegel met Reema Al Banna and her womenswear brand Reemami during Milan Fashion Week.
Alexandra was immediately drawn by Reemas smile and positive aura, but also her designs which were perfectly balanced between playful and edgy.
The beautiful Reema spoke to Alexandra about her aesthetics, the Reemami woman and what inspired the S/S 19 Collection.
Interview by Alexandra Spiegel
How would you describe the concept of REEMAMI in a sentence?
Reemami is a contemporary womenswear label, a brand for the young and young at heart. Reemami’s ethos is playfulness, optimism, positivity and creativity. The brand identity is shaped by my love for creativity, through working with unexpected cuts and details, and treating each item as a piece of art. I also have a huge passion to experiment with new cuts and volumes, it gives me life!
Our brand is all about architectural & experimental cuts, playful concepts and hand illustrated graphics and prints, which showcases a passion to dress a bold, intelligent and stylish woman.
How was the brand founded, and would you like to tell us a little bit more about your background prior to fashion?
I graduated from university as a graphic designer and worked in the field for a few years. My interest in print development naturally grew after I graduated from university with a major in design management. When I started working as graphic designer, I obviously developed a technical expertise in graphic branding. However, when I constantly had to create prints and below-the-line work for 4 years, I felt like the corporate world was constraining my creativity, so I turned to my other passion, which was fashion. I pursued my dream by enrolling in ESMOD, the French fashion school, and graduated after two years. One thing led to another and I started my journey, which happens to be my brand, Reemami, since eight years now.
How would you describe the woman of today’s world? And who is the REEMAMI woman’?
I would describe the woman of today as very clever and bright and aware of what she needs and wants, also conscious about what suits her body and style.
Reemami’s woman loves and appreciates the art of fashion, she is always hunting for something unique or a statement piece, however, always something flattering to her body shape. She pursues a very strong attention to detail and at the same time she is bold, opinionated and very stylish.
What does aesthetics mean to you and how does it play into REEMAMI?
My aesthetics are very true to the brand, and it means a lot to me, it is after all the signature of Reemami, everything I do is very colourful, vibrant, and has a unique edge to it. At the same time it's very important for me to feel comfortable and cool when I m creating new pieces.
Can you talk us through the inspirations for your spring ’19 collection?
Reemami’s SS19 Prismatic Fields collection, showcases an array of floral prints envisioned through kaleidoscopic goggles. A collection of 26 looks, inspired from our visit to Brooklyn's Botanical Garden's green-house, which takes you through a journey of full bloom florals in parallel with a vision of light beams coming through the green-house glass windows,
Its the first time that I worked with florals which were developed to be true to Reemami's fashion aesthetics of edgy and cool. The prints were hand sketched, and paired with iridescent graphics such as scribbles & rainbows to give it an edge.
The collections portrays a selection for every occasion, from the skin tight biker shorts to unique tailored cuts, and my signature work with buckles and iridescent buttons. Finally, in this collection we also introduced our first swimwear pieces and bodysuits, a result of my love for water sports and the need for trendy full cover swimwear.
What does your design process look like?
The process is very organic, I start by looking deeper into the theme and exploring different ways to sketch the prints. Then I go on by refining each print, I re-sketch it until they are perfect. I have around 60 versions of these prints. Then, we explore different ways of placing it on the garments, and which silhouettes fit which print etc. it s a process, but for me, the most important thing is that i have to be 100% convinced and satisfied with how it is being translated. It must fit the Reemami muse- a strong minded woman that loves unique prints and innovative cuts.
This season, I loved exploring new feminine forms while developing best sellers from previous seasons. For instance, we played with circular buckles, which were a new take on our SS18 semi circle buckle detail. This detail was a hit the the past few seasons so we decided to bring it back with a twist. It takes us around six months to develop a collection, from the moment we develop the idea, to final sampling. And finally, we keep editing and refining until the last minute, sometimes even pre-production.When it comes to final production, the item would have undergone many stages, before reaching our customer.
Are there any specific details regarding the quality of construction or fabrics used that you’d like to call out?
I enjoyed redesigning denim, especially because I was introducing it in white, i really think our denim pieces this seasons are very fresh and innovative. Furthermore, using denim for swimwear makes it stand out. We released a few pieces ranging from one piece swimwear to a full bodysuit, and finally, biker shorts, all in vibrant prints and flattering cuts.
I also developed a new fabric manipulation technique using different materials and shapes to create new volumes, I’ve been expanding on it, and developing it every season, which is so refreshing.
Where can we get inspired by your style and where can we find the collection?