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UAE-based designer founds e-collection for mini fashionistas

The designer has now turned her sights to children, with the founding of the Lil Rocker brand sold online

Saffiya Ansari

Published: Updated:

American-born designer Tala Ardalan is a self-taught powerhouse with a fashion line, children’s books and now a kid’s collection to her name.

Having arrived in Dubai in 1992, the young designer went on to release a sophisticated range of eye-catching couture in 2012, after studying Advertising at the American University of Dubai. In 2013, she launched the Tala Ardalan signature collection for Spring/Summer 14, which was lapped up by the city’s socialite scene, and all this despite having no formal training in design.

Ardalan continued her success by releasing a children’s book, the “Adventures of Tutu and Tantan” on which she collaborated with her close friend Tanya.

“It’s about two girls who go on an adventure in Dubai, they go to the Palm and other landmarks. It’s different because the background images are real images of the landmarks with cartoons superimposed on them,” Ardalan told Al Arabiya News.

“We have great imagination, both of us, and we’re like children so we’re fun, always laughing.”

The multi-talented up-and-comer, who was named among a local style magazine’s Hot 100 for 2014, says designing is a passion and shed light on the inspiration for her womanswear collection.

“It was very preppy chic, street style. I took a lot of inspiration from Balmain – heavy embroidery and buttons,” she said.

The designer has now turned her sights to children, with the founding of the Lil Rocker brand sold online and dedicated to children between the ages of 1-10.

Designed in collaboration with Zena Shukur, the collection is made with youngsters in mind.

“All the materials are pure. It has to be comfortable, it has to be easy to take on and off,” Ardalan explained. “You also have to be careful there’s nothing hazardous on the clothing - spikes, buttons for example. Also, it has to go with the weather. The materials can’t be thick, it can’t give them a rash,” she added, explaining why designing for children is so different to the process of designing for women.