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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No hard feelings: Paris fashion star Abloh reaches out to Kanye West

The relationship between West and Abloh has been tested after the later was named head of menswear at Louis Vuitton in March. (AFP)
Updated 19 June 2018
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No hard feelings: Paris fashion star Abloh reaches out to Kanye West

  • Abloh will show his own Off-White label in Paris Wednesday before making his debut bow with the world’s biggest luxury brand on Thursday
  • Abloh grew up in Illinois where his seamstress mother taught him her trade as he studied engineering and later architecture. He has made it clear his clothes will be much more street

PARIS: Virgil Abloh paid tribute to his friend and longtime collaborator Kanye West as the US designer took star billing as Paris men’s fashion week began Tuesday.
Relations between the pair have been tested since Abloh was named head of menswear at Louis Vuitton in March, with the rapper saying it was “hurtful” to lose his muse and erstwhile artistic director.
West has made no secret of his own ambitions to lead a major luxury brand as a designer, and revealed last month that he had also once been in talks with Louis Vuitton’s owner, French fashion magnate Bernard Arnault.
Abloh — the son of Ghanaian immigrants — will show his own Off-White label in Paris Wednesday before making his debut bow with the world’s biggest luxury brand on Thursday.
As he put the finishing touches to his collections he posted a photo of Kanye West to his 2.3 million Instagram followers with legend, “The architect of it all.”
West’s wife Kim Kardashian responded with emojis of a heart and two fires to signal her approval. The rapper — who has his own Yeezy line for Adidas — remained silent.
But he told US radio star Charlamagne tha God in a wide-ranging interview last month that there were no hard feelings.
“These things are hurtful when you are working with a talent like... Virgil and somebody comes through and says ‘Bam! I am going to take Virgil.’
“There is some validation in that someone that I came up with is now the head (of menswear) of Louis Vuitton,” West added.
Abloh, 38, is only the second black man to rise to the top of a big Paris fashion house, with French designer Olivier Rousteing responsible for both Balmain’s men and women’s lines.
As well as his nod to his former employer, Abloh dropped hints on social media that he was about to give the aristocratic Vuitton label a strong dose of black empowerment and streetwear style.
Vuitton’s previous designer, Briton Kim Jones — who makes his own debut for Dior Homme on Saturday — often referenced British colonial and safari chic in his clothes.
Abloh grew up in Illinois where his seamstress mother taught him her trade as he studied engineering and later architecture. He has made it clear his clothes will be much more street.
He posted films on Instagram of cotton plants and ceramic neck chains, in what could be seen as references to slavery, as well as a Louis Vuitton record box inspired by hip-hop pioneer Grandmaster Flash, “where you can put your coat in while DJing, shielding it from smoky clubs and spilled drinks.”
Abloh had worked hand in glove with West for more than 15 years. They designed clothes together on Photoshop and were $500-a-month interns under Karl Lagerfeld at Fendi in Rome in 2009 even though the rapper already had a string of Grammy awards under his belt.
West said that he only found out about Abloh taking over at Vuitton as the appointment was announced in March. “He (Abloh) made the call two minutes before it hit the Internet... He had told me he was looking at Versace too... but he knew he was going to Louis Vuitton,” he added.
West admitted days later in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter that the news had weighed on him. “It’s not bad or good,” he said.
Abloh has built up a celebrity following at Off-White with high-profile collaborations with Nike, Jimmy Choo and Moncler. Such has been the buzz that fashionistas jostled each other to get into his show in Paris last March.
Not everyone, however, is sold on streetwear’s inexorable rise. New York Times critic Guy Trebay said a “lot of what turns up on the runways lately looks less designed than crowdsourced.”
The young German and Swedish brands CMMN SWDN and Gmbh kicked fashion week off on Tuesday evening after a dance show by choreographer Mathilde Monnier inspired by shoemaker J.M. Weston.
French label Pigalle also tried to rethink the catwalk by presenting its new collection during an hour-long music and dance show at one of the French capital’s most prestigious concert halls.