When we think about French minimalist modest fashion brands one of the first ones that come to our mind is undoubtedly Imène Sarah. There is something quite special in Imène Sarah impossible to translate into words: a feeling of streamlined serenity, sophisticated simplicity, seamless refinement, ultimate elegance.
The woman behind this eponyme label is just as inspiring. With her meticulous work, she brings to her designs the most feminine aesthetic. More than just a fashion designer, she also shares her exciting journey and her sewing tips on her personal blog. Today she tells us more about her universe, her brand, her inspirations, her challenges and more…
About Her Brand
Imène Sarah: Imène-Sarah is an eponymous brand, composed of my two first names that I associated to form a compound name. I searched for a brand name that I would never get tired of. It is by coming across one of my sketches representing the first two letters of my first name in Arabic, which later became the logo of my brand, that this name seemed to be logical to me. Simple and efficient!
I started sewing almost five years ago. I first took some training that taught me the basics of this field and then took some patronage courses. Subsequently, I continued as an autodidact.
I have always been a big fan of fashion and sewing, but what attracted me the most in this area was the creative side. To me, sewing is freedom of expression: it represents the fact of doing all that one imagines… without limit!
I sew every garment in my workshop, and it is precision work where every little detail counts. Every woman who wears Imène-Sarah wears artisanal and meticulous work with its qualities and its small flaws. During the making of each piece, a new feeling arises. I like to say that my clients feel these values and that they don’t merely wear a garment, but its story.
Photos: Courtesy of Imene Sarah
Beyond material difficulties, the greatest hardships I had to overcome were mental. Giving yourself the strength to succeed is not always easy; moments of doubt and uncertainty are constantly present. It is necessary to be mentally strong and to not let the failures or the difficulties of daily life win. Even though I work alone, I have always had the support of my relatives, and the attachment to my religion has helped me a lot. When we count on God’s support, we must never give up.
I like to inspire myself with absolutely everything, whether in the street, in the shops, or on the web. The current haute couture shows, as well as the old ones, inspire me a lot. I like to observe everyday life’s details. The inspiration is in everything: the material of a fabric, the colours of a painting, or in the different perfumes of everyday.
What Makes Her Brand Unique
We are all unique in our way, and we all have something new to bring and share. What makes my brand unique is each woman who contributes to it. Women who wear Imène-Sarah bring a touch of their personality and thus give a new style to each of the pieces. It is this feeling of exclusivity that I want to offer to each of my clients.
3 Adjectives To Describe Her Brand
I would say minimalist, refined and innovative.
Her Favourite Fabric
I usually choose fabrics I work with for their feeling to the touch. I like fluid fabrics which are comfortable to wear, have a nice feel and bring a certain elegance once sewn. I do not have a favourite fabric. When I happen to have a soft spot for a fabric, I decide to work with it and learn to do so by sewing.
Her Favourite Design
My favourite piece is the Yaphah dress (pronounced yafa). It is the garment that has demanded from me the most reflection both in its creation process and in the choice of fabrics. I have modified it several times, changing its details and its cut. Its work was very complex, and I went through several states of mind before being satisfied by the result, and now it’s my favourite one, for all the work that I’ve put into it. If you are interested in learning more about it, you can read this article on my blog.
Her Definition Of Modest Fashion
To me, modest fashion is above all a state of mind. Feeling modest is not limited to pageantry. In my opinion, this is a way of being, standing, and communicating with others. Elegance must be present in both words and attitude. Modest fashion can be a source of support for women, and it must bring us together and push us to support one another. Whether we live in the same universe or not, we must be welded together and convey a positive image.
Her Favourite Colour
At this moment, dark colours inspire me: chocolate brown and khaki, for example. I love to wear these colours at this time of the year.
Her Favourite Accessories
Shoes and bags. They can definitely change an outfit. I love jewellery too, and I cannot do without my rings.
The Place Of The World That Inspires Her The Most
I am passionate about the Arab world, from the Maghreb to the Middle East; Iran, Turkey, Morocco, Lebanon, etc. The culture and customs of this part of the globe particularly inspire me. The story behind each of these countries, their strength, and beauty are a source of inspiration. You will notice that most of the pieces in my collection have a name related to these countries.
Her Favourite Podcasts
I often listen to podcasts when I work at my studio. I particularly like those on geopolitics, on historical facts, or on society topics and news. If you like these topics, I can advise the program “Affaires Sensibles” presented by Fabrice Drouelle (in French).
Her Favourite Books
On the reading side, two of my favourite books are Anouilh’s Antigone and Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya’s The Watch, poignant stories. I also really like books by Elif Shafak, a great author.
Her Philosophy In Life
Your happiness and your self-esteem depend on you and only you, so never let others decide. Be your own source of motivation.
Her Favourite Quote
“One may not reach the dawn save by the path of the night.” (Khalil Gibran)
Her Advice For Women Willing To Start Their Own Business
Do not impose any barriers on yourself; everything is possible with a will! If you have a dream, a goal, or a project, no matter what name you give it, do everything to make it happen! Do not be afraid of failure; you will often be confronted with it during your life, but try to see it mainly as a lesson. Do not forget that your only limit is yourself!