Arab catwalk influence grows despite small London Fashion Week presence

Amira Haroon spring/summer 2018 collection catwalk show. (Photo courtesy: social media)
Updated 22 September 2017
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Arab catwalk influence grows despite small London Fashion Week presence

LONDON: When superstar Beyonce starts posting Instagram pictures of herself in dresses from Dubai-based designer Bouguessa, you know that Arab designers are starting to gain the international recognition they have been striving for.
With the Arab region typically known internationally for its insatiable appetite for high-end luxury, it is beginning to be recognized as a creative hub in its own right.
London Fashion Week, which ended on Tuesday, may not have been over-subscribed with Arab talent, but it did showcase the work of a number of emerging names from the region.
Amira Haroon participated in the Fashion Scout London event on Sept. 15 after being selected via a competition run by Dubai Design and Fashion Council (DDFC) and Fad Institute of Luxury, Fashion and Style — Dubai (Fad Dubai). Fashion Scout is an independent platform that showcases new designers.
Haroon — who spent most of her life in Saudi Arabia and Dubai — launched her Amira Haroon brand in 2010 and her designs are now stocked across the Gulf region.
Another more established Dubai-based designer taking part in this season’s Fashion Week is Ayah Tabari — the founder of the brand Mochi. Tabari is originally from Palestine, raised in Amman and Riyadh and currently based in Dubai. Her brand is stocked across the world.
Earlier in February, two other UAE-based brands Azzalia and Deborah Henning made their international debut at London Fashion Scout Autumn 2017 event.
Azzalia is a luxury fashion brand from the UAE that offers a range of abayas, gowns, and evening wear, while Deborah Henning is a British Dubai-based designer, who launched a womenswear brand in 2014.
“The Middle East is currently witnessing an exponential growth in the design segment, with a growing number of talents emerging from the region,” said a spokesperson from the DDFC.
“The major fashion weeks are no stranger to Arab designers, with names like Reem Acra, Elie Saab and Rami Al Ali leaving their mark with the international design community,” the spokesperson said.
There are also less high-profile designers such as Hala Kaiksow, from Bahrain, that has gained some degree of international recognition through showcasing her collections at Paris Fashion Week last year.


Saudi fashion label puts women in limelight

Renad Hefni showcases her brand Royaled collection. Her bold spring/summer collection aims to make women feel powerful and confident.( Photo/Supplied)
Updated 19 July 2018
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Saudi fashion label puts women in limelight

  • In 2018, Saudi Arabia hosted its first Fashion Week in Riyadh and also made history by lifting its driving ban on women.
  • Renad Hefni won the Women Appreciation Month fashion award created by Femi9fashion brand in Jeddah

JEDDAH: Fashion and couture are on the rise in Saudi Arabia with the increase in young Saudi fashion icons and the growth of the creative community.

In 2018, the Kingdom hosted its first Fashion Week in Riyadh and also made history by lifting its driving ban on women.

With the growth of female empowerment in Kingdom, Renad Hefni, a fashion designer and graduate of Dar Al-Hekma University, began her brand Royaled to empower young women in the country. 

Hefni believes that “changing someone’s appearance can lead to changing people’s attitude toward one another.” Her brand celebrates female power.

“Royaled looks to celebrate every woman who treasures her character by crowning her with a virtual crown and a throne fit for the queen aura that radiates with inspiration. Jeweled with grace, charm and confidence,” she said.

Hefni told Arab News that to her the crown represents power, victory and glory. “It symbolizes leadership to closely align the women of the 21st century with their rights of passage to confidence and influence.”

She believes Royaled will stand out to young Saudi women as it represents their need to thrive and conquer.

“When everyone started to see the brand, they understood the message completely — from the logo to the slogan to all the crowns placed on every garment. Being recognized, understood and appreciated for why I became a designer is my proudest achievement,” Hefni said.

She promotes women’s rights through her fashion label. One of her collections, titled “Enthrone,” consists of half garments to let women feel that “they are the missing beautiful piece in every garment.”

Hefni won the Women Appreciation Month fashion award created by Femi9fashion brand in Jeddah.

Royaled has already made a name for itself with two fashion shows in Dubai and more to come. Royaled has a broad vision for the future.

“Our vision is to reach a wider audience in different countries and to dress some of the most powerful and well-known women. Royaled looks to expand its target market and reach international fashion weeks.” The brand has launched its spring/summer collection “The Ruler.” 

Inspired by the 1980s hiphop style mixed with Middle Eastern glam, the collection reminds women “of their power and confidence, creating a movement, an army of strong and capable women,” reads a post shared on the brand’s Instagram page.

UAE-Yemeni singer Balqees Fathi appeared in a video clip wearing Royaled’s tower collar vest.

Royaled was established in 2015 — it is a new name that has made big steps. See the brand’s page on Instagram: @RoyaledbyRH.