Last Word: Fashion Designer Deborah Henning
Deborah Henning’s eponymous label was born in Dubai less than two years ago, but has since become a major hit with UAE residents. The designer, originally from Manchester, England, brings an elegant edgy style that was honed while working for Alexander McQueen and Sass & Bide in London and inspired by “music, the streets, and attitude,” she says. “The Stone Roses, Oasis, The Smiths build a rock n roll undertone to my label.”
Her latest pieces can be found at IF Boutique, Umm Suqueim.
What was the last item of clothing you gave away?
I do regular wardrobe clear outs. My last one was about a month ago and I dropped two large bags full of a mix of clothes, accessories and shoes to the community charity boxes.
When was the last time you did something for the first time?
My husband and I were in Tulum, Mexico last summer and I went on a zip line. It was very scary but also enjoyable. I’m a huge fan of constantly pushing yourself out of your comfort zone in all aspects of life, personal and business.
Where did you last go on holiday?
My husband and I did a US tour last summer. We travelled the west coast from San Francisco to San Diego, then Mexico, Miami, Cuba and up to New York. It was a truly inspiring trip. Tulum, Mexico really impressed me, I’d go back in a heartbeat.
What was the last piece of great advice you heard?
“The five-year plan is a waste of time, the world is changing at such a fast pace that you need to have a strategy that can guide you and give you the flexibility of change.” I heard that in a TED talk by American motivational speaker Anthony Robbins. It really resonated.
When was the last time you laughed out loud?
Mostly every day! What I love most about my circle of friends here is they are all high up in their different professions, but in out-of-work mode, they act like five year-olds on their school holidays. I love that!
What was your last major fashion splurge?
A beautiful pair of sliver Acne Studios brogues from Level Shoe District. They have thick white laces and a block of shiny metal with a face on the front. I love them! It was a love-at-first-sight kinda thing!
What’s the last thing we’re likely to see you wear?
Heavy embroidery and lots of loud colour. My brand is clean, minimalist and mostly monochrome. Anyone who knows me knows I’m not a colour-on-colour kind of girl. What was the last look you saw and thought, “Wow, I wish I’d thought of that…” One of my favourite brands is Helmut Lang. I often see elements and fabrics that I aspire to combine in such a beautiful way.
When was the last time you thought “I really love Dubai”?
When I arrived back from the UK after Christmas. I really felt a sense of “happy to be home”! I also thought it when my friends and I went to Good Vibes Market at Al Serkal Avenue – there was outdoor yoga, dodgeball, ParkourDXB and a great atmosphere.
What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
I saw "Joy", a rags-to-riches story about an inventor who came up with homewear items and sold them on home-shopping networks at the rise of their popularity in the 1990s.
What was the last thing you did before answering these questions?
I worked with my web designer to put the final touches to my web store, which goes live soon (deborahhenning.com), and gave some love to my Instagram account (@deborahhenning).