Celebrities Love This Dubai-Based Clothing Label (and What It Stands For)

Related Article
Designers
This Is Why We're Psyched for Sole DXB
Read Article
Gigi Hadid wearing SemSem
Gigi Hadid wearing red SemSem pants | Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

Born in Alexandria, Egypt, Abeer Al Otaiba pursued a more traditional career path, becoming a civil engineer in Dubai after graduating with a Masters degree. Little did she know where that journey would take her. It was in Dubai that she met Yousef Al Otaiba – the ambassador of the UAE to the United States – and the two eventually fell in love, got married, and relocated to Washington DC for his job.

Over time, they had children, and it was motherhood that led Abeer to launching her mother-daughter line SemSem, the nickname for her daughter Samia. Noticing that it was easy to dress up her son to match her husband, she wasn’t finding the same results with mother-daughter options as they were either too matchy-matchy or not very stylish. “I noticed a void in the marketplace, and I’m an engineer by trade, so I was problem solving – let me start my own line,” she told WWD.

SemSem FW17 mother-daughter
Photo: Courtesy of SemSem

While Abeer’s pursuit of a clothing line that flattered both mothers and daughters alike was a great, niche idea in and of itself, the civil-engineer-turned-designer had even loftier ambitions. When Samia was born, she needed urgent lung surgery, and the experience left Abeer feeling an incredible bond with her daughter. This prompted her to advocate strongly for women and children, which is why philanthropy is at the heart of everything she does. Today, every SemSem collection supports a different charitable organization, especially those focused on women helping women and the education of young girls.

In the past two years, this unique brand has caught the eye of many celebrities, “It” girls, and influencers. SemSem’s matching separates – as well as its jumpsuits and high-waisted trousers – have been a big hit with the fashion crowd, proving that the clothes are desirable even without the mother-daughter angle. Click through the gallery below to see how everyone from Karen Wazen to Blake Lively styles their SemSem pieces.

9 OPEN GALLERY
Be in the know.
Every day, receive Savoir Flair's top articles straight to your computer or smartphone. It's never been easier to stay up-to-date on the latest fashion, beauty, and lifestyle stories.
Click to get the latest news on your device
You can stop notifications at any time.
Unsubscribe from our notifications
Click to unsubscribe from notifications on this device.
Be in the know.
Every day, receive Savoir Flair's top articles straight to your computer or smartphone. It's never been easier to stay up-to-date on the latest fashion, beauty, and lifestyle stories.
Connect using Facebook Messenger