Groundbreaking fashion entrepreneur
“Without the right team, you’ll be a bunch of unfinished ideas.”
With her own fashion brand and style, Dana is cutting a swathe through the industry she loves with an eye for being a trend-setter rather than being a follower of fashion.
She is one part of Lemonade Fashion, an emerging online shopping platform for custom-made designer clothing which, using the latest fashion technology, allows your smartphone to take your measurements and enables you to tailor your wardrobe.
Hi, please introduce yourself to our readers
Hi, I am Dana Malaeb Adi, a 24-year-old fashion designer and fashion entrepreneur
Tell us about your education
I graduated in Fashion Design at the University of Notre Dame and am now pursuing my
Master’s Degree in Cultural Management.
How and when did your interest in fashion begin?
I can’t remember exactly where my interest began. It’s something I was always obsessed with.
What was the first outfit you ever created?
I want to think I was too young to have memories of the first outfit, but playing around with fabric was always part of my playtime.
How would you describe your designs?
It took me a while to understand my designs and my voice, and I think it’s an ongoing process in discovering where my inspiration takes me. But I find myself drawn to making outfits that suit women who want to stand out, not ones who want to be a wallflower and blend in.
How would you characterize those who wear your designs?
Women with tons of character and charm, and have something to say and do to change life.
How do you feed your creativity and stay inspired?
I find inspiration in very different mediums, mostly from the material itself. Finding patterns and material sparks my interest and playing around with colors. I’m also inspired by stories I hear to books, music, films and paintings. Sometimes it’s a concept that attracts me, and I start constructing it in my mind until it’s mature enough for fabric.
When and where did you launch your label Maisondanamaleb?
After winning the BYFDC competition, I felt compelled to maintain momentum and maintain a steady output to challenge me time and again, and be versatile in my technical approach.
What were some of the challenges you faced during the initial stage? How did you overcome them?
Every artistic endeavor is challenging in nature from the funding to the technical challenges, but it all makes it worth the wait, and when everything comes together, all the challenges make the triumph sweeter. Of course, overcoming these challenges need an army of support, talent, and well-drawn out partnerships which guarantees you come out the other side successful.
What’s your future vision for the Maisondanamaleb label?
I hope to be able to come to the runway with new designs each year that speak of the journey I had in the past year and detail my inspirations and obsessions. This is something I need every year to express my life’s journey.
How has your work evolved since you began your label?
Dealing with clients is the biggest plus in my experience. Going from thinking about abstract heroes who I want to dress on a runway to working with real people and trying to find a way to express who they are in their dress is a beautiful process. You can only do it when you love the clients, connect with them and understand them at a very deep level. This is changing how I think of designs, being in touch with the reality of what women love to wear and how they love to see themselves.
What is Lemonade.fashion? Tell us more about it.
Lemonade Fashion is an online shopping platform for custom-made designer clothing. It’s a step forward in fashion technology on a global scale, and I’m thrilled to be part of it as we’re defining the absolute latest in technology.
I am so proud of our awesome team from the AI engineers to the coders and programmers who are making the impossible happen in fashion technology. This enables your phone to take your measurements and allows you to customize your wardrobe for affordable prices.
How would you describe your fashion style?
I like creating my sense and feel in outfits. Something that’s bold and makes a statement either with the colors or cuts or types of fabric. The occasion and place also help me find the most suitable outfit for the day.
What are some of your favourite materials to use?
I love playing around with embroidery and patterns. I’m also continually looking through big warehouses at new material that inspires.
Are there any types of clothing that you avoid wearing?
There’s no specific type of wardrobe I avoid; I make sure to pick outfits that emphasize my body and suit my shape.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned since you started your company?
That as an artist, you always need to push yourself and be on the lookout for something new and inspiring. Being in touch with yourself as an artist is essential if you want to work in a fast paced environment like fashion design. Also, it’s all in the team you have around you, without the right team, you’ll be a bunch of unfinished ideas.
What’s your life motto?
I’m still looking for life’s motto, like a sweeping statement that can explain everything. I will let you know when I get one. But I guess it’s something to do with finding something that fits in every area of your life.
Your message for CiiN
Thank you for the chance to talk about things that excite me the most. Tthe focus, research and care you put into choosing these questions is flattering. I love this magazine, and every new issue and interview is always exciting! Keep them coming.