Purple sleevless maxi with embellished necklaceFashionistas are in for a treat as the very talented and creative duo, Reem and Nataya talk about their newly launched House of Rena Collection, their inspirations, the best-dressed celeb and they give advice to aspiring designers.

Have you always been inspiring Fashionistas or do you have a secret fashion disaster that you once wore in the past?
We’ve both been thinking about this long and hard! You know when you need to remember something and you just can’t! We have come to the conclusion that our early teens were the worse times for our fashion sense! For many young women the ages between 11-15 are always the time when you are trying to figure out your style and probably the years with the most fashion disasters!

What originally inspired you to pursue a career in fashion?
Reem: Well, I’ve actually wanted to pursue a career in fashion since I was a kid and even then I put pencil to paper! I was very inspired by the Disney Princesses- their dresses were always re-created with my crayola colouring sets!
Nataya: To be honest it wasn’t something I was interested at a young age. My sister’s ambitions were a big inspiration. And my love of fashion made it easy to get inspired.

What gives you inspiration?
Reem: Right now, just being back in London is my biggest inspiration! I’ve missed it so much!!
Natalya: I can get inspired from anything, whether it’s visiting the V&A to receiving our next fabric swatches.

Who is your target market?
We make dresses for women who love to wear dresses and not the other way around. We target anyone with a love for good tailoring and a craving for luxury materials.

Black jersey kaftan with center embellishment

Which fashion designer do you love and why?
Reem: Karl Lagerfeld- there is no need to explain why.
Natalya: Elie Saab- He is Lebanese, which I love, as it’s a huge inspiration for me, plus he creates some of the most amazing couture in the fashion world.

You have recently launched your gorgeous House of Rena Collection. Can you tell us about your collection?
The collection was created to show off our aesthetic as designers, we wanted to use a limited colour range to show our ability of creating texture, gathering, ruching, embellishing. It’s something we are very proud of, and we can’t wait to look back on it and smile as all the stresses paid off!

How long as the House of Rena been established for?
It started when Reem started to dress celebs for award shows, the latest being Alesha Dixon for the Brits in 2009. We decided to join forces in the summer of 2009 and put our names together to create and equal partnership and something beautiful! It’s been going for about 12 months now.

Who do you think is the best-dressed celeb and why?
Natalya: I have a few but if I had to pick one it would be Victoria Beckham. Her style is very classic and sophisticated, plus her line is a great collection.
Reem: I like Nicole Ritchie’s style. She is a very laid back chic.

Who do you think is the worst dressed celeb?
That would be telling!

White ruched knee length

You have a gorgeous range of dresses in your collection. Will you maybe design an accessory range?
Reem: I studied accessories for a while at LCF and it’s definitely something we have in mind.
Natalya: There’s always room for accessories! It’s something we both have an eye for and we can’t wait to make time for it.

What is your must-have fashion item at the moment?
Natalya: Always having a Trilby hat in you wardrobe for summer is an essential!
Reem: I’m going with the maxi dress, perfect for sticky summer days when jeans are a no-no.

What advice would you give to aspiring fashion designers?
Never give up, even when you feel like your failing, just stay positive and do it. You will never know what could have been unless you try. Also, don’t compromise who you are or your true vision for anything or anyone else.
To all the people that have shown us support, we are so grateful. You can’t build something based on negativity and the support we have received has been amazing.

Words by Mandy Temple