Founder Spotlight: Alina Anwar, Alina Anwar Couture

Tell us about yourself and your background.

I am a Dubai-based fashion designer and founder of Alina Anwar Couture. I studied in United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. I did my undergrad at Middlesex University Dubai and I did my Masters at the University of Warwick. After graduating from the UK and mastering various technical and creative courses, I launched my own label in September 2018.

I come from a conservative family background. My dad has always been strict and that is the reason I am so disciplined in my life personally and professionally. He has taught me how to be punctual and regular while I was a student. He also pushed me to stay healthy since I was a young kid hence I started exercising when I was only 16 years old. My family is my strength and they mean the whole world to me.

In my personal life, I am a simple and kind person. I like to exercise and I am also fond of learning new languages. I love travelling as I feel I learn a lot through it and it improves my creativity process and I take inspirations too for my upcoming collections while I am on a holiday.

How did you get involved with fashion?

I was always fascinated by the idea of fashion. Fashion has always been my passion since I was young. Even as a young kid, I used to like designing dresses for myself and learning about it through different fashion magazines/catalogues. I always knew when I grew up that fashion would definitely be my field in the future. I also liked watching my Mother and Grandmother dress for special occasions, hence I followed my dream and pursued a career in fashion design.

What inspired you to launch Alina Anwar Couture?

My mom has been my biggest inspiration to start my own label. Her elegance and persona pushed me to create my own identity in fashion. I have always looked up to her as an inspiration to start my own brand and empower women through powerful dressing an to set them on a path to personal freedom and endless possibilities.

What makes your fashion brand unique and sets you apart from your competitors?

I believe quality is the most important aspect of your brand. I never compromise on the quality of my brand. We source the finest fabrics from Paris and Milan and I always ensure that there is a flawless finished creation as an end product. I think my striking and versatile collections are designed to enhance the features of the wearer, but never outshine. I design to empower women, making them feel beautiful and confident.

When you started, did you have an expansion plan and strategy? Or did your early
success come as a surprise?

I always had an expansion plan as well as a strategy initially but I never knew that I would be able to dress so many big celebrity names in such a short span of time. I was lucky enough to be able to do so. I think the hard work was paid off quite quickly.

You have achieved 5 years of great success, have you achieved all the goals you set out
to achieve five years ago or have you achieved more than you expected?

I think I still have a very long way to go for. I feel right now I am in a happy place. I am satisfied with the growth of the brand for the first 5 years, despite Covid for almost three years which impacted the whole world on a global scale.

What has been your biggest success since launching?
I think dressing Mariah Carey for the video “All I want for Christmas is you” in December 2019 was a career changing moment for me. But I still believe that my biggest success is yet to come.

Have you faced any challenges? If so, how did you overcome them?

Challenges are a part of daily life and I believe you face challenges at every step of your career. Nothing comes easy in life but the way you deal with them and solve them matters the most. I would say the most challenging part until now has been the Covid time when we had to keep all the team members motivated and positive. Things were uncertain and unpredictable yet I was always confident that the time would pass and we would be back on track. Things were a little slow in terms of celebrity placements and sales. I believe getting the right people in your team and taking them together as a team is most crucial step for the business success. If you have the right team, nothing can stop you from achieving what you want.

You have dressed celebrities including Mariah Carey, Saweetie, Camille Vasquez, Toni
Braxton and Kareena Kapoor. How did you elevate your brand and make these

I think I was lucky enough that the stylist chose my outfits for all these big names in the competitive fashion industry. I think it’s always the hard work as well as the quality that speaks for itself. I have never compromised on the quality and finishing of the brand, which is why my brand is always worn by celebrities.

What is your number one piece of advice for a founder about to launch their business in
the fashion industry?

I believe that one should always follow their passion. If hard work is involved, there is no way that one will never succeed. I also feel that choosing the right people for your team is something that every entrepreneur should consider when starting their own business.

If you went back 5 years ago with your current knowledge, would you do anything

I have no regrets in life. I think this whole journey has been a great learning experience. Of course, experience helps you grow a lot in your professional life as well as personal life. But I also feel that if I had not made mistakes in the past, I would have not learnt anything on my own. So I don’t think so that I would want to do anything differently as I am happy with the growth of the brand.

What does a day in your life look like?

I always start my day with exercise in the morning. I either go to the gym for training or I do yoga on alternate days. I feel health is wealth that’s why I like to keep myself active. After working out in the morning, I head to my office for meetings usually with my marketing team. I also work with my production/designing team as I like to be involved in every aspect of the production.

What is your favourite quote?

“Never let success get to your head and never let failure get to your heart”

What are your goals for the next 5 years? And your long-term vision for the company?

I am eagerly looking forward to dressing Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez in the next upcoming 5 years as well as expanding the brand on a global platform. I want to stock my brand in prestigious stores internationally and create a huge name for my brand.

How can readers find out more about yourself and Alina Anwar Couture?

Follow us on instagram @alinaanwarcouture and visit our website to stay updated.

Editor-In-Chief of Bizpreneur Middle East