The world of fashion and beauty is expanding and Sudan is witnessing the birth of Sudanese fashion bloggers and designers. A new wave of makeup artists, and beauty and/or fashion bloggers such as Sulaf Elamin, Ghana Kareem, Mayada Adil and Sahar Arrayeh are quite the rage on social media platforms especially Instagram.
While the fashion scene in Sudan is small, it is growing with designers like Amna Hamadto, dabbling in makeup, beauty and fashion, a stronger and well-rounded community of beauty and fashion is emerging in Sudan.
Hamadto began her fashion journey as a blogger, and very soon gained almost 30,000 followers. Soon after, she became a designer, and recently launched Amna’s Wardrobe, a modest fashion line for women in Sudan.
500 Words Magazine spoke with Amna Hamadto about the world of beauty and fashion in Sudan as well as what’s inside her own wardrobe.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
I was born in Saudi Arabia and raised in Sudan. I graduated in 2013 with Bachelor of Science of Knowledge Management from Future University in Sudan. I then got my makeup diploma at the end of 2016 from the London College of Makeup.
What drew you to beauty and fashion?
As a child, I had a habit of going into shops and staring mesmerised as older women effortlessly applied all kinds of makeup to their faces. I would then go home and try to imitate this. As a university student, I started to take more care of my fashion style and then came my makeup blogging journey which fuelled my real passion for fashion.
When and why did you decide to become a beauty and fashion blogger?
I began my blogging journey in 2017, it started with beauty and specific makeup. I’ve always been a makeup junkie since I was a child but grew to pursue the path of management, with the intention of gaining an MBA and becoming a specialist in that. However, I always felt there was something missing. I had a deep passion for makeup that I needed to express within myself and share with others. Shifting from management to the field of beauty and fashion was not easy, but with such a deep love for it, I knew I had to make it happen. Four years ago, I started doing my friends’ makeup; that’s when I realised that I need to take this to a professional level and enrol into an international makeup course to step into the industry. Immediately, I started searching for courses that could lead me into an international makeup environment, and enrolled myself into the London College of Makeup. I participated in the full course of the International Makeup Association (IMA) with diplomas approved from UK. As I said, my real fashion passion came after beginning my makeup blog.
What’s the key to your success?
God, passion, family and friends, and persistence.
Tell us about your fashion line, Amna’s Wardrobe, and what inspired it?
I started my blog mainly for beauty and makeup but with time I found myself deviating into fashion too. I started getting my clothes stitched by a tailor, instead of buying from the stores. Some of the designs would be mine and others from the internet. Soon I started to become more professional and my designs started to get popular. My family and friends were the main reason I got into this, specially my mother. My friends and cousins would get inspired from my clothes and make similar designs and would take me to their tailor. So, unknowingly I became a fashion designer, fashion lover, fashionista or whatever you would like to call me, and I got the idea for ‘Amna’s Wardrobe’. So, basically, going from management to the field of beauty, makeup and then fashion was not easy, but doing what you love is most important to succeed in life. Let’s all Empower, Push, Inspire and Support (EPIS) each other. I want to thank the many people who helped and supported me through this and made the fashion line ‘Amna’s Wardrobe’ a real thing.
What are your thoughts on the current beauty and fashion scene in Sudan?
Today, Sudanese women are following the latest trends in international fashion and beauty. Years ago, the only Sudanese women who would follow the latest trends were those who travelled a lot. But now, internet and social media has made a huge impact on the fashion and beauty scene in Sudan and all women know what to wear and when.
What are some of your favourite Sudanese fashion and beauty bloggers and/or designers?
- Sulaf Elamin
- Sahar Arrayeh
- Salam Abbass
- Nawar Kamal
What challenges do beauty and fashion bloggers/experts face in Sudan? And how can they overcome it?
Unfortunately, our country’s economic and political issues have greatly affected our work as bloggers and it is one of the biggest problems that youth in different fields are facing today. Youngsters talented in art, music, fashion, makeup, media, photography, etcetera are not getting enough opportunities within Sudan. I’m sure that if those talented youth get the environment and opportunities same as those who live outside Sudan, they can also reach international markets with their talents.
You’ve travelled and worked with different beauty and fashion experts from around the world? How do Sudanese fashionistas differ from those elsewhere?
I can see no difference in the passion, ideas and creativity but unfortunately our country’s economic and political issues are a huge hindrance for youngsters to succeed.
What advice would you like to give those interested in a career in fashion or beauty?
My tip is to do your work with a skill and level that you can present in an international venue someday. Try to come up with different ideas, and make your and your work unique in the field.
What are your future plans or projects?
My ultimate life goal and plan is to empower women and let every young woman find all her beauty needs, clothes and makeup within one brand – ‘Amna’s Wardrobe’.
Tips for aspiring beauty/fashion bloggers?
I wish I had followed my passion sooner but I guess everything happens for a reason. My advice to aspiring bloggers is to just do it and start following your passion. Don’t be afraid of what people are going to say or think about you because if you start caring about negative comments, you will get nowhere. Listen to positive advice and never give up; and one day, you’ll reach a place you never even dreamed of.
Inside Amna’s closet
Favourite fashion brands: Amna’s Wardrobe, Zara, online shopping and pieces from local markets
Favourite beauty brands: ABH, Hudabeauty, Fenty, Mac and Becca
Favourite beauty and fashion personalities: Dalal El-Doub, Ascia and Dan Al-Twarish
Favourite colours: Pastel colours are always my favourites (nude, baby pink, baby blue, light green and beige), white and also shades of yellow
Favourite fashion trends and clothing (literally in your closet right now): Wood and iron bags, flat sandals and mini-casual dresses
What excites you more and why: makeup or clothes? To be honest, it used to be makeup but after I went into fashion, I have to say both