Young designer Hind Al Adham and her “Ohlala” handbag designs is a story of passion mixed with creativity to create high quality original pieces.
I’d like to go back to the very beginning, what were you doing before being a designer and what motivated you to start your business?
Well, I've been passionate about fashion design and arts in general since childhood; I even still have drawings from when I was in kindergarten. I studied interior design in AAU University from 2004 to 2008, and after that I took a pattern making and sewing class.
“Art for art's sake” is a saying that describes the beginning of my business as I design things the way I visualize them, not what I'm asked to design for instance.
When you were establishing your brand, what challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?Designing handbags and clutches need fine leather and top materials to bring the designs to life from the sketching phase to match my vision in reality, and this is a hard thing to find here in the local market. I was also concerned about finding a good factory to create high-end clutches with a clean cut and excellent finishing.
What makes your bags different?
The fact that I don’t follow a trend makes them different; for example, I avoid using popular materials or regular shapes and so on. Each bag is an original piece and I put effort, time, and love in creating it.
Tell us about your design process?
It often starts by falling in love with some nice material which then leads to envisioning, sketching, and giving the materials and sketches to the factory to create the base of the bag. The last step would be me adding all the tiny details and embellishments to get the piece ready.
What are the tools and materials that you use in creating the bags?
I don't stick to using certain materials. I use velvet, paillette, laces, leather, jacquard, feathers, and crystals. I simply use anything that I like; I even might paint on some of the pieces if I feel like adding some brush stroke magic.
Who wears your bags?
My bags could be worn by anybody from a hip teenage girl to a classy lady in her 50s because I don’t stick to one specific theme or style.
Has there been a point when you’ve had to take a big risk to move forward?
Yes. I had to quit my day job for a while to focus on my designs till I was able to go back on track and get everything under control, and it worked out just right for me.
Finally, words of encouragement for young designers out there.
Nothing comes easy. We have to work hard to get the results we are looking for. It might take time, but it will pay off eventually.