Designer by Night


He speaks in derivatives, proportions, and geometric shapes. How a well tailored thobe is derived from a shirt, and how architecture is the design principle that has laid the foundation for his craft?

We are of course talking about none other than Omar W. Ashour, the designer behind the brand Omar Azure. The long awaited arrival of Omar Azure‘s flagship boutique on Amir Sultan St, has thobe designers re-evaluating and redefining that perfect fit.

Azure, the second-half of the brands namesake, comes from classical literature meaning heavenly and angelic and is a testament to their design philosophy, at Omar Azure, the sky is the limit for our creativity,“ enthuses Ashour.

Classic and elegant, with that touch of flair, the spark is all in the details.Flower patterned fabric and salmon-pink colored cotton discretely line the inside of cuffs and collars, while satin piping adds a touch of luxury. Botox collars..Yes, that‘s right, I said botox, which has now made the leap from women‘s faces and fashion (think gorgeous plump limps and sultry soft python bags) to men‘s plump..um, collars? A practicing architect by day and successful fashion designer by night, Omar W. Ashour has cut, snipped and re-stitched the best made shirts in the industry, in order to craft that perfect thobe.„Architecture isn‘t just about designing and visualizing spaces and buildings, it’s a perspective, a way of seeing things.Architecture is the foundation of all design principles,“ explains Ashour.

Ashour has deconstructed traditional thobes in order to produce something proportionately sound.Thobe collar button holes are tilted to 60 degree angles, while the traditional 4cm button flap has been trimmed to 3.5cm, which, according to Ashour, is the optimum width that lies in proportion to the human body.

The signature piece of this year‘s Spring Summer 2010 Ramadan collection, the Tuxedo thobe, is made with a layer of fine voile over a body of cotton, and treads upon bold new fashion territory where few other designers have dared to venture before.„I still want to feel and treat thobes as a fashion article, rather than a consu mer product,“ describes Ashour. While the Omar Azure brand exudes luxury and opulence, the skilled tailoring and minute details are more often design elements incorporated by veterans in the fashion industry, rather than designers less than a year young.

Omar Azure is redefining thobe culture for the 21st century, but while doing so, the high-end brand is also reviving the traditions of our grandfathers. Unusual for a luxury brand, the 2010 Ramadan Collection features soft cotton robes for casual lounge ware, that personifies an elegance of yesteryear, somewhat forgotten during our modern times.

I still want to feel and treat thobes as a fashion article, rather than a consumer product,“ describes Ashour.

It would be an understatement to say that Ashour is influenced by his training and profession as an architect, for it is precisely this educational and professional background that lends to his mastery of proportions and perspective. An avid disciple of the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe‘s design philosophy, less is more, Ashour has meticulously embodied this underlying principle throughout his collection.

The Omar Azure brand personifies Ashour‘s profound desire for a new era in thobe design, in which the experience of luxury aims at the liberation of fashion. Ashour has adopted the task of mapping his knowledge in architecture and fashion in order to add something that did not exist previously. So, congratulations to Omar Azure, and now, let the new era begin.


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