Exclusive Interview with House of Lux 2014 Winner Bissan AbuZainab

It was such a pleasure to interview House of Lux 2014 Winner
Bissan AbuZainab, to talk about her journey into fashion, the experience behind the House of Lux competition, her future and upcoming collection and finally tossing ideas around the latest issues in fashion in the Arab region

1- You studied Interior Design & Architecture.
What led you to partake in the House of Lux Fashion Competition? Were you always fascinated with fashion design?

Actually I wanted to study Fashion Design and Textile, really badly. But as you know or might know in the Arab world or to be more specific in the Levant, they perceive Fashion in a way that they think as you only become a tailor and not a designer. So what happened is that my family didn't allow to study fashion. I found interior design as my closest choice to stay in the art field. While I was doing my major, I kept searching, learning and teaching my self fashion. What my family did give me was the motivation to show them that I can do this and they where wrong in not allowing me to study what I love. I do have interest in interior design as well. Actually entering that field helped me a lot to expand my ideas and way of thinking towards art and creativity.

2- How was the experience from A to Z – from the moment you entered the studio to confection your masterpiece till the moment the winners were called out?

It all start when my sister tagging me in a Lux post on Facebook. It was in Ramadan "July" I freaked out when I saw the post - "Don't ask why lol" – I started looking at their previous winners creations and looked thrrough there products. At first, I chose the purple one and I submitted it. After a few days, they announced that they will postpone the date of submission till the following weekend. So I thought of changing my design to another color "And thank God I did so!" Ironically, almost all the designs were in purple color.
After few days, I was on my way to Al-Taraweh Prayer as I receive a call telling me that I'm one of the 5 short listed winners of the competition “and i latterly freaked out!" I started screaming and crying! I didn't know what to say or do. On July 6th 2014, we had our first workshop in Kempinski Hotel in the Mall of the Emirates. All 5 contestants, we met for the first time and we introduced each other and our designs. We met the judges and we started filming the workshop and we got some advice from the judges on our designs so we got some inspiration to improve the design more. Plus, we got our budget to buy our material and execute the design. After a couple of weeks we met again to meet the tailor and our models. We worked on the design until the event day.

3- As a prize, each winner received a generous capital to encourage and support the launch of your personal fashion business. Have you started the design process and concept of your future line? If not, what are you plans?

Well yes I'm planning to open my own business but I am taking my time in this: I don't want to rush anything until I make everything clear to myself and to have some proper education on business and fashion.

4- From a fashion designer's perspective, what is your viewpoint on high-street versus high-end fashion?

Well I still don't consider myself as a fashion designer (I'm going there :D) it's all a matter of the name (of the designer), pricing and the quality of the material and finishing of garments.

5- Are you aware of the plus size fashion movement – one that indulges in providing style for all sizes, body positivity, expanding the fashion market beyond the standard measurements and sizes, basically they call it fashion above size 14 (which is still debatable).
Not really. But that's very good and exciting. I think people should be more open and knowledgeable on body types and sizes. I do believe that fashion (clothes in particular) can make women feel more confident, powerful and wanted in a way. Let's face it, that's what we are all looking for...

6- Would you consider having a collection that goes from a size 8 to a size 24?
Actually the first name I picked for my brand is BCURVA which means "b" for "be", "curva" for "curve" in Italian. I'll be designing for curvy women not in particular plus size.

7- In the Arab region, in my opinion, there are several phenomena.
The self-absorbed high-end fashionistas who dismiss women who are bigger or curvier, the male-dominating Saudi society that evaluates plus size women and their need for style and fashion as taboo, and the general community that thinks that promoting plus size fashion is equal to promoting obesity and unhealthy lifestyles. Do you think society is afraid to acknowledge the plus size movement or is it simply despised and neglected?

Sadly they are looking to that category of women in despise.

8- When I started talking about plus size fashion and blogging, I tried to create a community, starting with bloggers and designers. I always think there is a lack of local and regional designers who would venture into a plus size line. Would that be in your agenda?
Yes, as i mentioned before I will be focusing more on styling women with fuller body types.

9- Only the luxury and high-end aspect of fashion in the Arab region is under the spotlight, when it comes to marketing, with the recurring events, fashion shows, etc... Do you think there should be more balance, by elevating high-street fashion and giving it more attention?
Sadly there is no fashion industry in the Arab world. Despite there openness for fashion these couple of years, there is still something missing in that field. I believe they need more knowledge.

10- Designers who start small and stay humble, in my opinion, succeed and are more valuable. Everyone wants success fast. What is your perspective and insight on your future career in fashion?
I'm taking it slow, I don't want to rush anything.

11- When can we expect the big reveal to your new collection?
Let's say 2 years from now - maybe. I want everything to be perfect. No rush...

12- As a shopper, what are the 5 must-haves in a women's closet, regardless of her body shape?
Black elegant well-fitted dress, that shows off your assets
Black "comfortable" high-heels pumps/shoes
Statement accessory/piece
Perfectly fitted jeans
Hazel color bag that will match with anything.

13- As a stylist, what is your favorite accessory, that would complement any casual outfit?
Rings! I have an obsession for rings.

14- As a woman, how would you describe your style?
Not boring, casual/classic and textured

15- What are you favorite go-to brands?
H&M, Zara, Forever 21 for casual and easy to go looks and Iconic.

16- At the end, after an essay-looking interview (lol), what are your dreams as a designer – whether in the domains of architecture, interior design or fashion?

I want to establish a charity organization that is related to fashion in a way to help in raising money and help women all around the world. Of course, besides finding my name next to Elie Saab, Giambattista Valli, etc...


  1. Great article!! Looking forward to see BCurve pieces

    1. Thanks dear! Xx
      A couple of years to go and maybe we'll even see more fashion designers like her, especially in the fashion scene here in the MENA region.


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