Rami Al Ali was born in Deir ez-Zor, Syria, to Ghassan, an architect, and Sameeha, a graduate in Middle Eastern history. Al Ali was the only boy of five children, and was fascinated by the dramatic transformations in his sisters’ appearances and attitudes when they donned a glamorous dress. Al Ali not only took an early interest in style, but he was mesmerised by the power of fashion.
Despite his loving family background, Al Ali initially accepted that his love of creativity and fashion was a topic he could not communicate with his peers. Because the fashion scene in his hometown was classical, opportunity for career growth and industry exposure was minimal. In 1991, Al Ali made a brave and bold move to Syria’s capital city, Damascus, where he joined the College of Fine Arts to study Visual Communications. It was during his studies that Al Ali started to explore his creative interests, excelling in subjects that allowed him freedom of expression, such as interior and graphic design. In 1995, Al Ali amazed his professors with a fashion show that he designed and produced for his final graduation project. Despite the fact that he deviated from the assignment, they were impressed by his portrayal of fine arts through fashion.
Al Ali knew he had to think big to succeed, so he travelled to the United Arab Emirates to gain valuable international experience at the prestigious fashion houses where he quickly gained respect from the industry. The admiring and loyal client base that he amassed during these years became the base for the creation of the Rami Al Ali label in 2000. Femininity was his core design aesthetic, but the Rami Al Ali woman ranged from sweet bride to blossoming socialite. After a number of inspiring shows around the Gulf, Al Ali’s designs occupied the covers of leading fashion magazines and red carpet celebrations, where he participated in many large award ceremonies.
As the brand’s recognition grew, Al Ali’s designs soon caught the attention of international corporations, including La Mode En Images, who selected Al Ali to participate, along with a select number of key international designers, at the 2006 Asian Olympic Games in Qatar. Global Austrian crystal brand Swarovski followed suit by choosing Al Ali to be a part of their book, UNBRIDALED, alongside revered couture veterans Giorgio Armani, Vivienne Westwood and John Galliano, among others. In 2007, Al Ali was invited to showcase his collection at the launch of Abu Dhabi Fashion Week, where he was selected to feature alongside industry icon Valentino. Al Ali was the only designer from the region bestowed with this honour.
In 2009, Rami Al Ali’s spring/summer couture collection graced the runway at Rome’s AltaRoma couture week. This was the first time Al Ali engaged professionally with the European fashion media, and was the first of six consecutive shows to take place during this prestigious fashion week. His success was further cemented when he was named one of the top 50 most influential Arabs by The Middle East Magazine.
Al Ali’s success has gone unabated. His fashion shoots with high-profile celebrities has made him a sought-after name for celebrities and socialites, such as Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland, Kerry Washington, Julie Bowen, Chanel Iman, Carla Gugino, Natasha Bedingfield, Vanessa Mae, Ivana Trump, Youssra and Googoosh, amongst others.
In January 2012, Al Ali debuted at the Couture Fashion Week in Paris, showcasing his Spring/Summer 2012 collection amongst the crème de la crème of the fashion world, including Elie Saab, Chanel, Valentino and Dior. Now on his fourth consecutive season in Paris, Al Ali’s transition from daydreamer to global trendsetter is complete.