Crown Princess Victoria led the way as she wore their yellow top and skirt ensemble at the recent Polar Prize Ceremony.
Altewai Saome. Difficult to pronounce, but you’d better get used to it. The new brand is fashion Sweden’s new darlings. It was Crown Princess Victoria who led the way. The women behind the brand, Randa Saome and Natalia Altewai, are based in Malmö and hit the scene last year when they were anointed “Newcomer of the Year” at the Elle gala.
Later on they won Max Factor’s fashion competition, and then struck gold when Princess Victoria wore their yellow top and skirt ensemble at the recent Polar Prize Ceremony. Says Aftonbladet’s fashion expert Nina Johansson: “Victoria is not known to stick out trend wise, and this is a brand most Swedes don’t know about.” Altewai Saome’s clothes now sell in Italy, Hong Kong, Australia, the U.S. and Kuwait. The online customers are spread all over the world, and are of all ages—their most faithful fan is said to be a woman born in the 1970s who buys everything in their collections. In fact Altewai Saome is described as “the most exciting thing to happen to Swedish fashion in a long time."
Milan, where it all began
It all began in Milan eight years ago, where Randa and Natalia (both 19 years old at the time) had moved from their hometowns of Tumba and Malmö. They met at the Instituto Marangoni, and after each of them practiced (Randa working with embroideries for brands like Valentino and Gucci, and Natalia a designer of bags for Etro), they settled in Malmö and opened their own business in 2009. “We lived off our parents and ate noodles,” Natalia Altewai said in an interview with Sydsvenskan. The young women’s families have roots in Poland, Yemen and Lebanon, and perhaps that’s why their collections have been described as “un-Swedish” and “international” but with great care for material, cuts and details. They say themselves that they’ve taken the best from two worlds: The minimalist and functional Swedish, and the Italian feel for color and details. “They can compete with any international designer brand,” says fashionista and artist Emilia de Poret. Right now the young women from Malmö are in New York meeting with suppliers. There seems no doubt that it's only a matter of time for when they get their international breakthrough.
The fashion duo's website is under construction but should be up again soon, at http://altewaisaome.com
- visit their Malmö flagship store if you happen to be there.