Endemage, one of the most successful fashion labels from Oman, is a firm favourite of the fashion forward women not just in the Sultanate but across the region. The brand also has a loyal clientele around the globe. Co-founded by Lubna Al Zakwani, who is also the Creative Head of Endemage, the brand has been showcased at various regional and international fashion showcases. Signature talks to the talented designer about fashion, Middle East’s tryst with the sartorial world and not following trends.

What was it about fashion that brought you to the industry?
It was always a passion as a young girl, growing up in a fashionable background, watching my mother and aunt run their own fashion boutique in Muscat.
I would spend most of my free time playing around with the fabrics and designing my own outfits, from puffy Cinderella dresses to traditional Eid outfits; I loved adding my personal touches.

What are you inspired by?
Everything! Oman has so many hidden treasures, and  I always find myself inspired by the diversity of culture, the nature, the food! From our enriched history and traditions, to the beautiful landscape, everything is utterly beautiful and excuberating.

Who are the people that inspire you?
Powerful women; more specifically Arab women. It is such an inspiration to see so many powerful Arab women who have managed to make a mark in society proudly and successfully.

How would you sum up the Middle Eastern fashion industry?
Diverse; there’s so much going on in the Middle East and it’s all so different. It’s a growing market, and a very important economically speaking.

Many brands are turning towards the Middle East for inspiration as well as talent. Is this something you feel will continue or is more of a phase?
Well I personally think that designers are recognizing the Middle East as a very powerful market and they are intrigued by the fashion sense, and the acquired taste primarily influenced by cultures and traditions,  but it has already started to change so instead of seeing international designers creating abayas they are now creating collections that fit the market,  while still maintaining their aesthetics.

How can someone be stylish without following trends to the book?
I personally don’t believe that anyone’s restricted to follow trends! You just need to have your own style an identity that defines who you are; you can’t always follow trends simply because not everything trending will suite you or reflect your personality. It’s about finding a style that reflects your persona.

How long have you been in the industry?
We’ve been in full operation for five years now.

What changes have you seen in Muscat’s fashion scene since you entered as a designer?
The fashion scene in Muscat has really matured, consumers were notably considered as safes buyers, but now they have started to take risks and their more aware or international styles & trends.  It’s a growing market with so much pote