Ishtar Al Shaibani
I studied Fine art and graphics before fashion came into my life. I had and still have so much passion and love for classical art using oil colors by paying attention to the ancient masters of art since a very young age. This passion lead me to wanting more and wanting to be strongly involved in this progressive world. After a year of self discovery in France, Nice 2011, I decided to earn a degree in fashion design at ESMOD Fashion University in Dubai - Main ESMOD is based in Paris since 1981 - It was something I never thought I'd finally achieve because before ESMOD which opened in 2006 there was no fashion education in the UAE!
Studying fashion complemented my love for art and colors. It was a perfect match!
I graduated with flying colors and honor in 2014 by my tutors and mainly M. Nils Hans Christian who was the treasure of fashion Haute Couture education during my studies. Without any expectations I won the Golden Needle award and best pattern drafting award.
I have participated in many fashion competitions and programs such as Project Runway Middle East which is aired today on MBC2 channel.
Best design illustration and concept amongst 7 other designers by Arab Fashion Council in collaboration with Lavazza.
Such experience helped me believe in myself and my talent. I realized that I have so much to offer and using my faith in my work could help me one day support other talents. One of the goals I'd like to achieve is helping others make their dreams come true and grow their talent.
Now I am a full time fashion designer and artist based in Dubai. I finally decided to start my own business with my own space to create freely on a bigger scale.
The workshop is in progress and will be opening next year in DIFC DUBAI.
I constantly post my art works and illustrations on ishtarshaibani_fashion instagram account and ishtar_alshaibani
Always an excitement to listen to others' opinions and what they love to receive.
Our readers would love to get to know you more Ishtar. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?
I'm not a person who likes to talk about herself. I actually find it difficult to do so . It's funny.
I guess I could say that I'm different in so many ways. life style, mentality, the way I see things and the way I understand life. I don't feel like it's similar to the ones who surround me.
I am sensitive and intuitive. I live for art and creativity. I love to create things rather than have them ready. I am always curious about what I can do next, thats what keeps me going.
Ishtar, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Designer?
I started designing when I was a little girl. I knew I needed support to give it more attention and grow my talent but It was a bit difficult living in the UAE in the 90's. It wasn't as progressive as it is today. As I mentioned Fashion schools did not exist in Dubai and It was not an option to study abroad. But growing my talent as an artist gave me a rich experience in observing things around me and by the time I graduated things started falling into place.
Who is your inspiration in life Ishtar? How do you keep inspired?
Music inspires me. I can't explain how it happens but I love the feeling that I get from listening to music especially Opera. Classical music has been a huge part in my life. I strangely started listening to Mozart and Beethoven since a very young age! and ever since It kept making me feel free and helps me own a wild imagination. Sometimes traveling inspires me as well, the ancient architecture in Rome, the history of art in Paris and all the museums I get to visit every year. I'm pretty much inspired by history and the richness of ancient life and art.
We all make mistakes Ishtar, we wish we could take back. Please tell us about a time being a Designer , you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
I never regret anything. And if I ever wish I'd handled a situation differently with a colleague or anyone, it would be that I would end it with a smile not a fight and of course hope to receive the same understanding and maturity.
Ishtar ,when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Designer, how do you go about prioritizing your clients’ needs?
Schedule schedule schedule.
Always schedule my time and bookings. Never promise a client what you won't deliver.
Keep your clients close and satisfied and try to meet their needs as best as you can by understanding them, sometimes it has to be more than just your best.
Please tell us Ishtar, about a time you had to be very strategic in order to meet all your top priorities as a Designer?
Since I am officially just at the process with my Fashion Label in Dubai, I would mention how I had to be very strategic starting in order to meet top priorities. It is never easy to start a company from scratch. It's scary and sometimes can be painful! Facing many disappointments, not reaching a certain deadline because it's sometimes out of your control, not finding the space and place you need, and many other obstacles that could make you give up and just stop!
But reminding yourself of the future and what you can offer keeps you going and so at this point I had to be practical with my choices in order to start my fashion label. In other words, sometimes it is necessary to find other solutions for the things I can't have in the meantime.
Ishtar, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
This question made me laugh because I am that person almost all the time. I always try to persuade or help people see things the way I see them. Not because I think I'm write, I only want them to see the magic that I have in my head! They can like it or dislike it but as long as I believe in it they'll see it and believe in it too. I can't really remember a certain situation, it is more realistic to say that during my art work exhibitions people observe the paintings and I tell them about it. No need for persuasion, Art speaks for itself. I guess that's how I let people see things the way I do! and so it applies on fashion, designing a dress in my perspective has to be absolutely flawless to really help others see clearly.
Ishtar please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Designer. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want to share to everyone. What is it and why?
When I won the Golden Needle award.
I was at the back stage of the runway show of ESMOD where I had just received my degree and celebrated the finale with classmates and teachers, awards time is about to start. I did not have any kind of hint or even hope that I'd earn it. I remember during my finals and the execution of my collection (Greek Mythology) I heard that there will be a Golden Needle award that year because it's only given every 4 years, and so everyone was hoping and praying for it!
I could not even imagine getting it! I told my mother I wish I could but there are many students who deserve it as well, they were talented!
As I was leaving to go see my family outside I heard my name! From that moment it was all golden.
Ishtar, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
They say that artists can be creative and inspired when they're sad. I feel it's some how true. I am mostly creative when I'm feeling down. creativity comes out deeper and meaningful. A bit crazy and out of this world. It's exciting and difficult at the same time.
What advice would you give to the people who wants to be successful as a Designer?
I would say be patient and things will settle in the right places at the right time. I learned that you can never force a situation to happen. All you have to do is hustle and never give up on your dream/ goal no matter how many times you fall. I failed countless times but I learned from them, so the word fail to me actually means success, many steps forward. It's a learning process. The key is Patience and hard work.
Last but not least, Turn your passion to purpose.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?
Always, I had ideas of creating fashion shows with other fashion designers not only in the middle east but also in Europe. It would be wonderful to collaborate with other talents out there.
I also thought of collaborating with fashion agencies as a label and spread my designs in different regions.