The ILNA Team
It's Lurline's World, We're Just Living In It
Saudi Arabian sisters Sarah and Siham Albinali launched their ready-to-wear label Lurline in 2018. The Albinali sisters bring their conception of the modern woman to life through their unconventional, creative designs. Embracing soft goth fashion mixed with refined femininity, Lurline takes pride in its creative and voluminous approach, which combines traditional and modern techniques. The result? Beautiful, timeless pieces.
We sat down with the duo behind the brand to discuss all things Lurline. After all, it's their world - we're just living in it.
Q1: For those who do not know (but should know, by now), who is behind Lurline?
Lurline is founded by two sisters, Sarah and Siham Albinali from Saudi Arabia ☺
And it is a luxury ready to wear and demie couture womenswear brand.
Q2: t’s Lurline’s world and we’re just living in it. What would this world look like?
Lurline’s world looks like cloudy weather with sunny spells. We like to describe the brand as soft goth. We also like to think of it as a fun escape from prim perfection.
Q3: What does Lurline mean and how did the brand start?
We love reading about folklore and mythologies and came across the modern folklore tale of Lorelie, or Lurline. She was a beautiful siren that lived in the Rhine river.
Additionally, Queen Lurline in Frank L. Baum’s Wizard of Oz is the reason behind all the magic in the land of Oz. Lurline really resonated with us and we felt a connection to the name because of all the magic the name brings with it. We hope to harbour some of that special magic and qualities for our brand!
Q4: Our favourite part of the creative process is the research we do for the new season.
For our 4th collection, we were inspired by the film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and the song Fearless by Pink Floyd. We explored the daydream office and adventure lifestyle dichotomy.
We listened to the song endlessly and watched the movie about 100 times, each time with a different task for colours and the landscapes. We really try to deep dive and explore every corner during the creative stage. This is an emotional process that helps fuel us when sketching.
Q5: Your creative aesthetic, from visuals to the overall brand identity is bold. It’s unlike anything we’ve seen come from the Arab region before. What’s the inspiration behind that?
Well… we are daydreamers! Something that we bond over are horror movies, we like to think that it trickles down into the brand and our aesthetic. We are also inspired by all film, literature and music. It is always a fun escape and we like to think of Lurline as a fun escape from the mundane.
Q6: Has your upbringing, being born in Dammam and travelling between Europe and the Middle East, impacted the way you design and the way you view design? & how so?
Yes absolutely. We are so proud to be Saudi Arabian and really welcomed the learned experiences between living in the Gulf region and Europe. We do not have a formal fashion education, so being exposed to different cultures has helped us understand what the modern Lurline woman looks like and what she represents. She is a multifaceted person.
Q7: I’m intrigued. Why is Dettol Arabia the only page you follow on Instagram? (Lol).
Well, Siham is a neat freak. This is a fun poke and reflecting her personality. We are secretly hoping for a collaboration one day!
Q8: Your approach when it comes to combining traditional and modern techniques to create your pieces fascinates us. Can you tell us more about that?
We have such respect for the couture techniques and the amount of skill and time it takes to make one single piece of garment. We always love to learn new ways we can apply these techniques for our garments.
We are currently working with chainmail fabrics and that brings a different set of challenges alone! Everything is hand linked and hand stitched. We have also developed a draping technique onto the chainmail that we like to call metal waves. It is a fun mixture of old and new that is unique.
Q9: What are the challenges you’ve come across thus far?
Well as a new brand, it has been a rollercoaster of challenges! We imagine there will always be challenges now and in the future.
We can say garnering exposure has been difficult. Additionally, making sure we had the right team was very challenging. Today, we are so grateful to surround ourselves with people that really believe in Lurline.
Q10: How would you describe your personal style as individuals?
Our style is very Lurline, of course! Sarah loves to layer and Siham loves the theatrics.
Q11: If you have to shop from one store for the rest of your life, which store would it be and why?
We are manifesting a future Lurline store so that we won’t need to go anywhere else.
But it could start with an H and end with an S ☺
Q12: The world is ending and you have one Lurline look to save. Which one would it be and why?
Very tough question! It would have to be our 3 tier Clouds gown. So much love went into its creation. There will be a future occasion to celebrate, we are sure. In the meantime it can serve as a good blanket.
Q13: What expectations did you have before launching Lurline? & how have they manifested into the real world?
We had no idea what to expect entering the fashion industry. Something we did learn was the importance of being more mindful for the environment. Which in turn has us on the path towards sustainability.
Q14: The fashion industry is v. saturated. What would you say is key to standing out?
Not to be afraid and to be brave with one’s point of view.
Q15: Most surreal moment in your career so far?
Well, the most surreal moment so far was receiving support from our Middle Eastern brothers and sisters. It means a lot to us.
Q16: Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? Plans for the future? & more.
Inshallah, we hope to have a bigger reach in the region and looking forward to growing globally and responsibly. We look forward to opening a regional store for future clients to enjoy ☺