Inspired by sunset in the Shetland Islands, the Ala Mairi brand reflects a desire to share the talents, stories and warmth of their artisans with the world.
What began as a look into traditional hand-loom weaving in Scotland and Pakistan, blossomed into a passion for the tales and experiences encountered along the way. Founder, Creative Director and Designer Fatima Mahmood undertook a personal journey through her native Pakistan and Scotland in 2010, visiting women’s welfare centres in Rawalpindi and traveling the Scottish isles and rugged north. Along the way, she encountered artisans who draw on generations of experience to produce beautiful, matchlessly elegant materials. These discoveries led to a commitment to help bring these fabulous traditions to light through modern, innovative fashion; and so Ala Mairi was born.
Ala Mairi believes that high fashion combined with ethical living is a match made to last and do everything they can to ensure a fair, constructive, and dynamic relationship with their artisans and their communities.
Ala Mairi works with women’s welfare centres in Rawalpindi, Pakistan pursuing a mission to connect them with the larger world of luxury fashion; thus, allowing them to use their passion for dressmaking to earn a sustainable income. These centres provide a much needed safe environment, training and creative space for self-expression.
Ala Mairi’s partnership network includes hand loom weavers, lace and yarn makers, dyers, spinners and embroiderers. Many of the women practice techniques that, while invaluable, are becoming increasingly rare. By providing a showcase for the work of these artisans outside of rural Scotland and Pakistan, Ala Mairi brings forth, and aims to preserve, the heritage of their diverse and complementary cultures.
Through projects such as these, and by making positive changes in these women’s lives, Ala Mairi joins artistry with ethics to empower everyone involved.