Sara Al Zadjali of Sadz Design fame talks about making style statements with bags and defines her fashionista moments through Muscat Street Styles, her popular fashion page on Instatgram
Sara Al-Zadjali, owner of Sadz Design and founder of @muscatstreetstyles, is a fashion maker, having turned her passion for bags into a business and her love for all things style into an art forum through social media. Despite a full time job as a risk management officer in a local bank, she has found avenues to create designer bags and keep the fashion momentum up with her pet project Muscat Street Styles, an Instagram page presenting styles adopted by fashionistas in the country, region, as well as global style inspirations from celebrities.
Talking about her fashion sense, she says she acquired a penchant for style from her mother who has always dressed up, whether it was to go for a social do or her work. “Most of my clothes as a growing up girl were bought by her,” she recalls, hastening to add that she always – even as a kid – had her eyes on shoes and bags. She soon became a bag collector and all her travels out of the country ended in shopping for bags.
“That was until 2008…” she muses, explaining that that was the year she got her hands on a Gucci bag, a gift from her brother, which ignited her obsession for high end brands.
A year or so later, she went to London to complete her higher education, where she explored the vibrant fashion horizon and found her inclination for bag designing growing. Although she’d dabbled in bag designing on note books since high school years, a dedicated sketch during a lazy weekend in London, changed things for her. It was an idea put forth by her father… “At that time I was obsessed with high end brand bags and he was like why don’t you create your own brand instead of spending that much of money,” she quips. But the idea didn’t take off immediately. The sketch got forgotten in between her notes and she returned back home after completing her Masters programme.
It was when her friends prodded her to turn those sketches into bags that she brushed the inertia away and turned her dream into a reality. To makes things easier, she had an aunt living in Italy, who provided her with the right platform to channelize her creativity and explore the avenues to set her designing business in motion. She soon found herself in Italy where she checked around specifically for a small family run factory, dealing in handmade bags.
And so, in January 2014 she launched her first handbag collection and also started the now popular Instagram page @muscatstreetstyles. Called the Abeey Collection after her cousin, it featured one style of bag in two sizes – mini and classic. The bags, designed in exotic leather, python and water snake, were mostly for night wear; the mini bag was created in a size that catered to Sara’s personal requirement. The collection was sold online using her Sadz Design Instagram page. That same year, she also participated in the Dubai Fashion Forward exhibition.
To follow up on her debut collection, she introduced casual bags called Sadz Collection in 2015, featuring two styles – shoppers’ bag and Bella bags. That year she also ventured into wallets for men and complemented it with wallets for women. During this time she partook in local exhibitions and followed that up with exhibitions in Kuwait and London. In 2016 she designed the Abeey clutch with a detachable strap and added card holders in crocodile and python skin.
Although she has had her share of trials on the way, Sara has ensured that all her designs are unique and the quality is maintained by creating all the pieces exclusively in the designated factory in Italy, where she personally supervises the process – from choosing the leather and the colours to all the little details.
She relies on social media to market her collection, but she admits that there are challenges, as most buyers of high end products prefer to patronise only internationally recognised brands. She has realised that the market can be slow, but her dreams have not waned. “I would love to see my brand next to all those high end brands… I am not doing anything less than all those brands. Basically, where I am doing the bags is where you see the high end brand factories too,” she points out, noting that she intends to start her own boutique in a couple of years’ time.