HER STORY, CONCEPTS & INSPIRATION

Maria Beg is an Emirati designer best known for her trendsetting Abaya designs and her ability to transform the iconic traditional garment into contemporary works of art.

Maria's design story began during several failed searches for Abayas that differed from the norm. After failing to find an Abaya that fully satisfied her creative side, Maria realised that while the world changed, evolved and moved forward, the Abaya design remained static and dated. She decided to change this, and began to use the Abaya as a canvass to express her creativity.

In doing so, Maria quickly found that culturally symbolic attires like the Abaya can make powerful fashion statements and still stay true to its roots. Those who saw her designs praised her creativity greatly. However, when attempting to share her unique creations with the world, it dawned on her that there was no one platform or opportunity to showcase local and regional Abaya designers. It was this that drove Maria to launch her signature designs to the public and create her designer boutique, mariabeg.com.

Driven by her creativity and a passion for originality, Maria focused her efforts on launching new concepts that experimented with styles and materials, and in doing so became a true trendsetter. Concepts such as the skinny Abaya, illustrated Abaya, and cotton Abaya were loved and imitated by fellow designers. Abayas fitted with corsets or adorned with spikes, epaulettes, harnesses and vibrant colours were all adored by the general public. Her styles have inspired a generation of alternative Abaya designers and fashion-loving Abaya wearers.

Maria takes an unrestrained approach to her designs and incorporates both fusion and futurism into each one. Influenced by international designers, she particularly admires the work of Comme des Garçons, Yohji Yamamoto and AF Vandevorst. Above all else, Maria believes that fashion should be an essential part of every woman's life. Her attitude is that clothes are a natural extension of a person and their personality, and it is important to use fashion to express oneself.