Rula Galayini, is an internationally celebrated Dubai-based brand. Voted by Vogue UK as one of the world’s 100 best bags in 2013. And decreed by The Huffington Post as the “it bag” of Paris Fashion Week in 2014. RulaGalayini has also been spotted on the red carpet, and featured on the US hit series The Carrie Diaries.
#Qinsider with Rula Galayini
- Who is Rula Galayini? How did you start your own label? When was the moment you felt that you want to do this?
As a lover of art, architecture and design I studied graphic design at the American University of Beirut, graduating with distinction. I then received a scholarship for the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) but was unable pursue it at that time due to family reasons. My bachelor degree taught me that design really is a way of life. In one statement, it taught me the art of looking at things side ways. On a more practical level, it shed light on the basic principles and tools that distinguish great design from mediocre design.
After graduating, I worked as an Associate Creative Director at Leo Burnett on many regional and global luxury brands. I then joined MTV here in Dubai as Creative Director, developing the identity of the channel and all areas of their design and communication strategy.
Following the brand building experience, coupled with my intrigue with form and function and their respective relationships particularly in women’s accessories, I set off to create my own fashion brand.
Accessories are among the few fashion elements that are not prejudice. They can be worn and enjoyed by women irrespective of their height, age or waistline. They also transcend cultural sensitivities and traditions. Because design is a an ever evolving process, I continue to educate and inform my personal designs, through short courses at fashion schools Esmod and London College of Fashion.
- What is the message behind your line?
Rula Galayini are inspired accessories with a real life edge. Rula Galayini is a reflection of the woman who wears it: strong, edgy, and sensual; a power-bag and a contemporary statement piece. Her collections are designed for the everyday, yet tailored for the surprises that one never expects. With its playful metal work, buttery leathers, streamlined geometric designs and contrasting colors, her bags are as distinct and remarkable as the women who carry them. Rula Galayini’s beginnings stem from Lebanon, where I unearthed and redefined my country’s artisanal roots, using the signature oriental and arabesque latticework that adorns the surface of historical structures. I draw inspiration from Lebanon’s bounty of natural wonders and rich millennia-old artistic heritage that has aroused the creativity and genius of prominent artists across the centuries.
- Where does your core inspiration come from?
Art, Architecture and nature are the main 3 sources of inspiration for our work. Having said that, inspiration can come from anywhere, even from the most mundane things. I generally feel like to begin by questioning the status quo and challenging the existing in hopes of coming up with something fresh and unprecedented. I also like to ensure my pieces are practical and serve a purpose, as well as looking aesthetically pleasing. The removable insets, laptop cases and clutches in the Chrysalis Collection, which can be personalized by the owner, allow each piece to be unique and ever changing. Overall, I feel that ‘Rula Galayini’ offers edgy, yet functional pieces which become an extension of the woman and her personality.
- What is your view on crowdfunding and crowd-investing in UAE?
It’s a relatively new concept here in the UAE but has recently been gaining more popularity. Investors see it as good way to become part of an interesting concept with a minimum investment capital. They gain an emotional sense of ownership that is both motivating to them, and productive to the entrepreneur. There is also an aspect of giving back to the local economy that is quite noble. Typically investments were poured into telecom and service industries, but slowly unconventional industries are being considered as well, providing solutions to entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds.
5. What are you three most important advices for the new designers to start their own project?
Study the market, make sure you are bringing something new to the current landscape and take criticism constructively. The biggest challenges faced by emerging designs is that of the large fast fashion high street brands, primarily those that imitate the renowned fashion labels for a fraction of the price. The only way these designers can really create a niche for themselves is if they have a strong story that accompanies their creations. They need to be able to create that strong emotional bond with their consumer, and the only way to do this is by creating an impactful brand within which their creations are showcased.
- In your opinion, how does Dubai transforming itself to the main hub of design district? Moreover, how would D3 play a role in it?
d3 is the first space in the Middle East where creatives and designers work as one community. There is a big creative scene in Beirut, but it is spread out and the political and economic situation makes it difficult to access the global market. d3 provides us with an opportunity to challenge each other – push each other and learn from each other. And of course, Dubai is the region’s only true gateway to the rest of the world.
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?
As the product development has matured, I am now turning more attention to brand distribution throughout the Middle East. In 5 years from now, I would like to between between the hands of every stand out woman walking this earth.