Zad designs for stylish, casual women

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Updated 16 June 2014
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Zad designs for stylish, casual women

Saudi fashion designer Zakia Attar aims to design stylish and affordable abayas and thobes for women who want to look good and feel comfortable. Her thobes and abayas are known to be a blend of cultural and modern styles characterized by a mix of trendy colors.
It all started when Attar was pregnant with her first child and was looking for Ramadan thobes to wear but couldn't find anything that suited her size or taste. This pushed her to shop for fabrics and design her own clothing, for which she later received several compliments from friends and family. This encouraged her to design more thobes, in addition to abayas, maxi dresses and maternity wear.
“The market lacked plus size clothing and maternity clothing that actually looked good. I was angry to see that bigger sizes were more expensive than small sizes and they didn’t look appealing to me,” she said. “When I started designing my own clothes, many people started asking me to do the same for them and that's when I decided to start my own fashion brand and call it Zad for Zakia Attar Designs,” she added.
Attar used to teach English aiming to inspire the younger generation to find themselves through language. “It was a passion and I was very happy to stand in front of a class and share my life experience and guide them to their next step in life,” she said. “I later quit teaching and focused on my home and while I was building it, I applied for an interior design diploma and that’s when I learned something about myself. I learned that I am always curious to learn more, especially when I’m in a place where I have to use my knowledge like designing my home,” she added.
Attar always had a passion for fashion. When she was a teenager she used to subscribe to fashion magazines and gather around with her friends to discuss latest trends. “I have always been attracted to street style because they are actually wearable and practical for everyone. I always admired those pieces that were lively and comfortable more that the glamorous ones,” she said. “You can actually see my love for street style in my designs now and my style for everyday designs and what I wear myself,” she added.
Fashion is personal and we all have individual styles, according to Attar. “Fashion to me is not about the image, it is all about how you feel wearing this piece of clothing and how you style it to suit your character,” she said. “My goal is to dress everyone and make them feel good in their own skin, all this in reasonable prices. But unfortunately, you sometimes have to hike up your prices in order to survive in the economy, in order to pay off all that comes with starting a fashion brand and to survive in this competitive market,” she added.
Zad started from being a home-based business to becoming a locally well-known brand, making its presence felt in the most famous malls in Jeddah. “It was a gift from my husband when he first rented the space for me to sell my designs as a way to show his support. By that time I was only designing one collection a year, which was a Ramadan collection. He did this to push me to do more and be more active with my designs,” said Attar. "It was very hard for me to design for a boutique because I do everything myself but this definitely pushed me to be more active and I couldn’t be more proud. I managed to produce 300 pieces in three months and it was horrifying but it really paid off,” she added.
Last year, a fire accident happened in the Red Sea mall where Zad boutique was situated and that changed everything. “The accident happened in the corridor where my shop was located. My husband and I were in shock because we invested so much in it and we were partners in this business who spent our time, money and energy to build it,” said Attar. “Surprisingly, I was calm and a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and at least we are all safe and no one was injured. We later relocated the boutique in the same mall and produced a whole new collection in only three weeks and everything went great and we love the new location, next to Saad Eldeen café,” she added.
Zad has just released its Ramadan collection comprising colorful designs and comfortable thobes and abayas. “I usually like to use soft and cool fabrics knowing we live in hot and humid weather. I use linens, cotton and viscose fabric. I like to design my collection with crochet and I guess that’s what I’m majorly known for,” said Attar. “I started my everyday collection for Ramadan using light fabrics for abayas and heavier ones for Eid. I have formal, semi-formal, casual and semi-casual abaya and thobe collections in store,” she added.

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Karl Lagerfeld: Looking back at his rise to fame and love of Arabian fashion

The designer died at the age of 85 on Tuesday. (File photo: AFP)
Updated 19 February 2019
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Karl Lagerfeld: Looking back at his rise to fame and love of Arabian fashion

DUBAI: As tributes pour in from across the fashion world over the death of industry icon Karl Lagerfeld, we take a look at his storied rise to fame, as well as his controversial comments on Middle Eastern migrants and his love of fashion from the region.

The designer died at the age of 85 on Tuesday after he failed to make an appearance at the Chanel show at Paris Couture Week in January, prompting industry insiders to question the state of his health.

Reuters reported that Lagerfeld enjoyed the stature of a deity among mortals in the world of fashion, where he stayed on top for well over half of a century and up to his death, at an age almost nobody apart from himself knew with to-the-day precision.

The German designer was best known for his association with France’s Chanel, dating back to 1983. The brand, the legend now goes, risked becoming the preserve of monied grannies before he arrived, slashing hemlines and adding glitz to the prim tweed suits of what is now one of the world’s most valuable couture houses.

But Lagerfeld, who simultaneously churned out collections for LVMH’s Fendi and his eponymous label — an unheard of feat in fashion — was almost a brand in his own right.
Sporting dark suits, white, pony-tailed hair and tinted sunglasses in his later years that made him instantly recognizable, an irreverent wit was also part of a carefully crafted persona.

“I am like a caricature of myself, and I like that,” runs one legendary quote attributed to him, and often recycled to convey the person he liked to play. “It is like a mask. And for me the Carnival of Venice lasts all year long.”

Tributes pour in 

The world’s fashion elite took to social media to pay tribute to the hugely respected designer, with the likes of Victoria Beckham, Donatella Versace and Lilly Allen leading the pack.

Versace shared a similar message.

Singer Allen took to social media with a touching message.

Meanwhile, Lebanese designer Zuhair Murad also paid tribute.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

In great honor and admiration of the iconic fashion legend Karl Lagerfeld - Rest In Peace

A post shared by Zuhair Murad Official (@zuhairmuradofficial) on

Model Gigi Hadid shared a message on Instagram Stories.

Controversial comments

His artistic instincts, business acumen and commensurate ego combined to commercially triumphant effect in the rarefied world of high fashion, where he was revered and feared in similar proportions by competitors and top-models.

Lagerfeld was as harsh with his fashion models as he was searingly critical of anyone he considered "not trendy".

He fired his closest female friend, former Chanel model Ines de la Fressange, in 1999 after she agreed to pose as Marianne, France's national symbol, without asking him first.

Occasionally his sharp tongue has stirred controversies, though he also had a flair for a good soundbite.

In 2017, he sparked outrage by evoking the Holocaust in an attack on Chancellor Angela Merkel over her opening of Germany’s borders to migrants.

“One cannot – even if there are decades between them – kill millions of Jews so you can bring millions of their worst enemies in their place,” the 80-year-old Chanel designer told a French TV show.

“I know someone in Germany who took a young Syrian and after four days said: ‘The greatest thing Germany invented was the Holocaust’,” he added.

Middle Eastern inspiration

Despite the abrasive comments, the designer went on to release an Egypt-inspired collection in December 2018 and sent models down the runway in a rich array of Ancient Egypt-themed outfits at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Gold shimmered all over the runway, as models strolled past the floodlit temple in everything from gold thigh-high boots to gold brimmed hats to glistening dresses with golden feather adornments, to shoulder-length gold earrings.

Singer Pharrel walked the runway during Karl Lagerfeld's Egypt-inspired show in December. (AFP)

It isn’t the only time he has looked to the Middle East for inspiration, however.

The designer made a much-reported-on appearance in Dubai in 2014 when Chanel staged its Cruise collection show in the city.

That collection was inspired by an Orientalist vision of hazy Arabian nights and featured harem pants, ghutra-pattern-inspired coats and diaphanous jumpsuits, along with a heavy use of mosaic-style patterns.

Karl Lagerfeld photographed at ‘The Island’ in Dubai during the Chanel fashion show on May 13, 2014. (AFP)

In 2018, he worked with Lebanese architect Aline Asmar D’Amman on the renovation of Paris’s Hôtel de Crillon and, in a win for the Middle Eastern fashion scene, he photographed Bella Hadid for Vogue Arabia’s first September issue in 2017.

In rare moments when he was not working, Lagerfeld retired to one of his many homes in Paris, Germany, Italy or Monaco, all of them lavish carbon copies of 18th-century interiors.