Designer Name: Fadwa Baruni
Label Name: Baruni
"It’s great to be back at Nolcha Fashion Week again – we showcased last season and obviously benefited greatly from the exposure. We are looking forward to another great show."
Background: Baruni grew up in Libya, but left after university and spent much of her adult life in the UK before moving to Dubai in 2006. When she moved to Dubai, she decided to change careers and go back to her earliest love – fashion. Baruni gave up an established career (she worked as an engineer after graduation), and went back to being a student of fashion. After training in the UK and UAE she started my brand in the UAE and found it to be a great environment to work in.
Vision: I have always thought that women should look elegant and sophisticated and this is the starting point. However, it is just as important to me that the garments are wearable - I want to be comfortable and I want my clients to be comfortable too. My clothes need to make a statement of individuality, which is about style and reflects a ‘take charge’ attitude.
Signature style: The ‘look’ that represents Baruni is one of clean lines and simple sophistication. The colors and designs evolve, but there is a clear core or essence, which comes through if you look through the different collections.
Influence: I think if I had to name the single biggest influence on my life and my style, it would be my mother. In the sixties when she was a young woman, fashion in Libya was very influenced by Italy and the Western film stars of the time. She always seemed very glamorous to me as I was growing up and, of course, she had huge a influence on me in many other ways.
Brand philosophy: I want the Baruni brand to make women feel good about themselves so that they look their absolute best wearing my clothes. That is what gives me the greatest pleasure.
Making it happen: Fashion is a very competitive business and there is so much marketing being pushed at people these days so that it is very hard to be heard in all the noise. We have worked hard to build a loyal following, trying a range of ‘above the line’ and ‘below the line’ marketing to develop the business. A combination of PR and direct selling seems to work best.
Celebrity crush: I have always loved the image Audrey Hepburn projects in her movies. She captures the perfect combination of style and elegance. If I had the chance to dress a modern celebrity I would choose Halle Berry. I think she has the perfect body shape my clothes would complement.
What does New York City mean to you? New York is all about energy – it is a fantastic city on many levels – and of course having the energy to keep up with it is also demanding.