My London: Rabia Ahsan – Creative Director of RAAB

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Rabia Ahsan is the Creative Director of contemporary and versatile womenswear brand RAAB comprising of statement silk blouses and tops revolving around the button-down shirt. The London based designer originally from Pakistan, gave up a career in finance to pursue her love for fashion last year.

RAAB was born out of the love for offering quality apparel in the market where a clear gap existed for affordable luxury pieces. Clean lines are played around with a fashionable twist emphasizing on pure fabrics, craftsmanship and attention to detail. Designed for the chic and feminine yet strong woman who is not afraid to stand out, the tops and dresses are wearable and can be transitioned easily from day to night.

We caught up with Rabia for the latest in our ‘My London’ interview series.


Favourite neighbourhood:

Primrose Hill. I love being in the centre of London, even though it feels like you are living in a green village. It is like having the best of both worlds at your doorstep.


Favourite place for brunch:

Chiltern Firehouse for their crab donuts and pancakes. I can happily spend the whole day people watching in their courtyard.


Best coffee in London:

Nude coffee on Brick Lane.


Favourite gallery or museum:

The V&A for their fashion and art exhibitions and Halcyon Gallery. I am a big fan of pop art and sometimes will stumble upon small galleries which have some great selection. That’s the beauty of being in London.


Tell us a secret:

I am extremely technology challenged. Its been a year since ive been thinking of setting up my outbox to a google account and its still not done.


Favourite place to shop:

Nowadays I don’t have much time to shop otherwise I loved shopping around town. Its down to Selfridges as you get the best of both contemporary and high end and also their food hall. I used to hate online shopping but Net-a-porter is definitely a firm favourite, especially when things arrive the same day. The corner flower shop on St Johns Wood High street for the best Lilies, Louboutin on Mount street for shoes and Le Labo in Marylebone for perfume.


Favourite place to find inspiration:

In my bed post midnight usually. I work best when the whole world is sleeping and it is quiet.


Best London destination for a date:

The chefs table at Roka Mayfair. I like the concept of sitting next to each other. Also a walk around town. I don’t think any place can beat that. Though lesson learnt that one should be wearing flats not heels for that!


Favourite park:

Primrose Hill. I feel the whole city is your oyster when you are at the top the hill.


Favourite food market:

Spitalfields. And not just for food but finding some great vintage home stuff and clothing that I find quite inspiring.


Your sanctuary in the city:

The studio I work at with my patternmaker who has become a friend, so I treat his place as mine. No matter how good or bad a day maybe being there and working on my designs makes me forget everything.


What inspires you?

I can’t narrow down inspirations to one specific form but I think its mostly shaped up by the life events and people around me. The famous fashion houses and how they have built their brands inspires me a great deal as well. I research and dissect collections of different eras to learn how brands have shaped themselves in the fashion world.


This season I’m loving:

All white which is the theme for my summer collection called Pure, Fashion Biographies, Fishnets with ripped jeans, a statement silk RAAB shirt, Everything from the Saint Laurent S/S 17 collection, Shoulder pads, OTT Heels, An eye catching T-shirt paired with leather but then that’s my firm favourite every season!


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