LBC’s Project Fashion, the Jeddah born, Beirutbased Saudi designer, Mohammed Ashi managed to grasp the interest of every fashionista in the Middle East, an interest that is gradually expanding across the fashion globe.
The Walking Billboards:
Because of globalization, it has become a common sight for men and women to clothe themselves from head-to-toe in bold and monotonous logos. Everywhere you go, everywhere you turn you will see an army clad in LV, GG, CC, DG and a man riding a horse!
The Saudi Talent:
A graduate from an acclaimed fashion school in Beirut, who worked under some of the most popular designers in the region, after winning the second season from LBC’s Project Fashion, the Jeddah born, Beirut-based Saudi designer, Mohammed Ashi managed to grasp the interest of every fashionista in the Middle East, an interest that is gradually expanding across the fashion globe. Experimenting with luscious fabrics, immaculate details, lavish silhouettes and inspirations from his unrestrained imagination, Ashi is definitely on the right path to make a name for himself that goes beyond his homeland, already becoming an inspiration for younger Saudi designers in the making.
A graduate from Central Saint Martin‘s College of Art and Design in London, Nawaf Saud surely stirred things in the Saudi fashion scene with the debut of Noa Couture; not only by creating extravagant clothes, but by making his clothes realized creations of lucid dreams. Inspiring Saudi designer Lamia Alsudairi graduated from The London College of Fashion, with a background in Theater and Costume design, she worked under the legendary Alexander McQueen (RIP) for quite some time. Her first collection debuted under her label, Asudairi in Fall/Winter 2007, with a philosophy that combines Saudi Bedouin culture with western styles, using contrasting elements from tradition and modernity.
After European and American brands started incorporating the Palestinian shumagh prints on scarves, this trend caught on all over the world like a Microsoft virus. Many Saudi brands and designers started integrating the black and white, red and white and many other variations of the shumagh on t-shirts, polo shirts, caps and hats and even jumpers and sweat pants.
The Saudi T-Shirt:
The 2000s has seen a surge of Saudi t-shirt brands that have been making the rounds in GCC and Europe as well. It all started with One Ummah, printing messages of unity with Arabic calligraphy creatively meshed with Latin letters, this trend caught up in no-time with other brands. But t-shirt brand, Noon took this trend even further by adding local Arabic clichés to their designs with the help of graphic designer Ibrahim Abbar. Other t-shirt brands that made a lasting impression during the same time period were, Wasta (previously known as Hobb) – they added nostalgic elements from Saudi culture which gave them a great edge; Kilmah a brand that found their uniqueness by printing iconic illustrations from Saudi culture, and expanding their line to include denim, shirts and jackets.
Saudi consumers witnessed a surge of new shopping experiences, thanks to globalization, most, if not all, big name luxury boutiques have opened flagship stores in Riyadh and Jeddah. But the interesting trend is the growing number of concept stores, where the vision of one person or a group of people is reflected on the selections of brands and items in their store, covering fashion and lifestyle. Some of these stores have truly stood the test of time and made a great difference, from Life, Cugini, Mahat, Jasmine Box, The Shop and Sid stores in Jeddah, to Maison Bo-M and the internationally acclaimed boutique, DNA in Riyadh. The disappointment though, is that most of these stores cater only to women; there is a lack of concept stores dedicated to men, leaving a huge gap in the market still craving to be fulfilled.