Dalida Ayach On Success, Love And making The World A Better Place
Dalida Ayach is a fierce businesswoman, but also a dreamy artist and a dedicated humanitarian, and her success is simply inspiring. In these difficult times we are going through, her success story is a – much needed - source of joy and positive vibes.
Dalida is the Lebanese fashion designer who has made from the joie de vivre a philosophy behind her eponymous label and collections, season after season. She has managed to establish herself in the tough and ruthless world of fashion, as the designer of a cool yet contemporary elegance. During our photoshoot with her, we had a little chat where she looks back on her career, her personal life, her projects but also her activism.
How did your "love affair" with fashion begin?
Since I was a little girl, I used to love fashion: from fabrics, to designs and colors. I remember that I never wore anything without changing it or adding my own touch to it, it has always been a passion for me to create, to mix & match, and all my friends, as well as my family knew that I will be having a career in fashion.
Has working in fashion made you happier or more anxious?
It is actually a mix of both, working with fabrics has always been my passion and designing is always my happy place where I can relax and bring out the best of me. At the same time I get often very anxious, especially before the launching of the collection.
I am someone who looks for the tiniest details and this can be very stressful as well, I check every piece from the beginning till the end, and the process is a big mix of being very happy and very stressed. At the end, when the full collection is out I forget about the stress, the sleepless nights and I just go from stressed to extremely happy again, after all what really matters is how people react to each collection I design.
Did you have to fight to get the respect you have now in the fashion industry?
Let me be honest with you, it was very hard at the beginning of my career to prove myself as a designer. Everyone thought that I was doing this just because I’m the wife of Ramy Ayach, they thought I just want the spotlights but with time people started appreciating my work and my designs and as you know, many celebs around the world wore my designs, the brand proved itself and this is one simple reward for all the hard work that I’ve done during these years.
Tell us about your latest collection.
This collection came out from a very personal perspective; when I was a child, my mother used to sometimes design her own clothes. One day she gave me a blazer and told me “Keep this blazer with you, someday it will inspire you”. Years went by and it stayed in my wardrobe, until a few months ago. That was the starting point of this collection. The idea was to recreate this blazer but with putting my own touch. Then the whole collection came to life, the sketches were flowing and the designing process was clearer.
How do you get your inspiration for your styles and designs?
Everything around me is a source of inspiration, Fabrics, nature, architecture, people… everything around and life itself is a very big part that inspires me to create my designs, COVID-19 and the lockdown inspired me to create my earlier collection TINT, a collection full of colors that proves that I can see beauty in everything around me.
What do you think about trends?
Trends are nice but sometimes people don’t understand what fits and what doesn’t. People tend to obsess over trends without taking into consideration of their body shape, color palettes and cuts. I appreciate trends but I know that they are not suitable for everyone. I believe we should choose the trends that enhance our figure and make us look our best.
What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned, and what are you most proud of in your career so far?
I always had this passion for fashion, and I knew since I was a little girl that this won’t stay a passion only. Those 10 years were full of challenges and achievements, but what I learned from working in this exhilarating word is to be determined, love what I am doing, never be afraid to speak up, and the most important point is to be true to myself.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
This is a hard question… I would say: dedicated, determined and a dreamer.
What’s a day in your life look like?
Mornings are never much of a struggle. We at home are early birds. My typical day starts early, where I wake up before the kids, prepare them to school and spend some time with them before dropping them to school, then it is Dalida & Ramy time. Before heading to work, it will be lunch preparation time, depending on the kids’ recommendations. Most of my time is spent at the boutique preparing, designing and planning with the team, then meeting up with Ayach l Tofoula’s to keep up on our schedule. My favorite time of the day is afternoon, when kids are back from school, where I spend this time with them, studying and having some fun time and activities together. Not to forget dinner time, bed time stories, movie nights … Our family time is very important for us, and both Ramy and I give it a priority.
You are indeed the Vice president of Ayach Al Tofoula NGO. Who do you help via this NGO and how?
Ayach l Tofoula is an educational NGO that helps more than 2000 kids with special needs or kids whom their parents aren’t able to afford their education fees. This became a priority for both Ramy and I, and it brings us ultimate happiness on a personal level. For us it is not a 9 to 5 job, it is a mission that we want to accomplish. We meet daily with parents, families, and different NGOs so we can collaborate and create different educational projects, to be able to build the educational community we are aiming for.
What still needs to be done?
So many things, but we are on the right track, and watching the children continue their education and seeing their final results is just overwhelming, seeing this young generation graduate from university brings happiness to both Ramy and I.
What inspires you or keeps you motivated during this time?
Family first … Ramy has been my all-time support, he was the first one to believe in me and my talent, and he brings out the best of me and pushes me to give more and to go on. My children Aram and Ayana are the joy of my life. Life itself keeps me motivated, I am someone very positive and I always try to keep the positive energy around me.
What does success mean to you?
Success is paying off the hard work, the sleepless nights and the vision that I have for everything that I do with passion. I believe that when we do everything with love and passion, and when we put our soul in the things we do, success will definitely be there.
Your upcoming projects?
I will be in Egypt releasing the new FW22 Collection by the end of October, Abu Dhabi by the end of November and I will be unveiling a new big project soon. Stay tuned!