Style and strength meet on Saudi palace catwalk

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The theme of the collection was ‘Acceptance,’ which was the inspiration for the collection’s colors and designs. (Photos/Supplied)
Updated 03 December 2018
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Style and strength meet on Saudi palace catwalk

  • Fashion can empower and inspire women, says princess at seasonal design showcase

RIYADH: A catwalk with massive floral decorations, smoke and fog machines, and even confetti cannons, provided a spectacular backdrop as the Saudi fashion house JINO showcased its 2018 fall and winter collection at the palace of Prince Talal bin Saud Al-Saud in Riyadh. The hour-long show on Saturday presented a variety of different pieces inspired by the latest seasonal trends.
Commenting on the event, Princess Noura bint Talal Al-Saud said: “This is our eighth show so far, but every show feels different. It always feels special. There is always more to achieve and more to show. And this collection is no different.”
The theme of the collection was “Acceptance,” which Princess Noura said was the inspiration for the collection’s colors and designs.
“We want every Saudi woman to love herself, love her body, and accept her own beauty. And that is what this collection is about at its core: Accepting ourselves and accepting others for who and what we are and what we look like.” Princess Noura said that the response to the show had been “amazing.”
“It is wonderful that our society has been so open and accepting of positive change without compromising any of our dearest values and traditions,” she said.
The collection featured an array of pieces, ranging from modern jackets, vests and coats, to traditional abayas and cloaks. Many of the garments used on-trend plaid. Designs for the abayas played with color, cut, material and style to create a vibrant, modern look.
Aljohara bint Abdulrahman Alslaiteen, vice president and creative director of JINO, said: “The new collection is based on the season’s main streetwear trends, resulting in creations sporting mixed fabrics that render both bright and chic silhouettes with international appeal. Our strategy is to make every woman feel unique in her own style, which is why we produce every design in limited numbers.”
JINO was created 15 years ago by Princess Noura and Al-Sulaiteen to recreate the concept of Saudi traditional style. Today it is among the leading fashion houses in the Kingdom and internationally.
“Since its foundation, JINO has had contemporary women in mind,” said Princess Noura. “It is fashion that is designed by Saudi women for Saudi women.
“Fashion is an important tool to empower women and strengthen their role in our society as they feel more confident, especially with style that expresses the modern Saudi identity.
“That is our philosophy and with every new collection we try to implement it, working toward a national Saudi sustainable fashion sector in line with Vision 2030,” she said.


Startup of the Week: Coco Sabon’s natural skincare

Coco Sabon. (Supplied)
Updated 21 May 2019
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Startup of the Week: Coco Sabon’s natural skincare

  • Coco Sabon’s customers are mostly Arab women aged between 20 and 40, “though we have many loyal fans that span different age groups and come from all over the world”

RIYADH: The healing and relaxing powers of nature are at the heart of Coco Sabon’s philosophy.
Launched by Dr. Cynthia Mosher — an American living in Riyadh — the skincare firm is committed to sourcing high-quality, natural oriental ingredients that provide the skin with gentle care and nourishment.
“I launched Coco Sabon in November 2015 at Alfaisal University’s first bazaar,” she said.
Mosher, who completed a bachelor of science in natural health sciences, said she hoped to do something more than simply diagnose illnesses and prescribe treatments. She also wanted to have time for other important things and people, so now she is working as an educator, training a new generation of medical students.
She encourages people to make healthy choices when it comes to ingredients they use on their bodies.
“I fell in love with formulating and creating beautiful, natural skincare products. I continued my creative journey while pursuing my medical degree, which deepened my commitment to develop ‘do no harm’ skincare based on natural ingredients,” she said.
“Layered with my admiration of Arabian culture, the rich regional ingredients, and my passion for integrative medicine, I developed a deep sense of holistic self-care that guides my formulations. My love for the fragrances, natural remedies and skincare routines of the Middle East are the heart and soul of Coco Sabon.”
There is a growing demand for Coco Sabon products. “After years of requests from family and friends to make and sell my products, I tested the waters, so to speak. We sold out of everything that day.”
She added: “About six weeks later we were invited to participate at the Gathering in Al-Bujairi in January 2016. We had a crowd of customers nonstop for three days and again sold out of everything. It was a decisive weekend. Coco Sabon was born and we have not looked back since.”
Mosher’s family and friends offered encouragement, but one of her strongest supporters was her best friend, Audrey Wilkinson. She said: “Audrey was my supporter, helper and adviser. She now works with me, formulating and producing our candles, cremes and face care line.”
Coco Sabon’s customers are mostly Arab women aged between 20 and 40, “though we have many loyal fans that span different age groups and come from all over the world.”
The brand offers a wide range of products, including soap, bath bombs, scrubs, cremes, face and body oils, perfumes and candles.
“Everything is produced by hand in small batches here in Riyadh using natural, safe and organic ingredients, sourced locally wherever possible,” Mosher said.
Coco Sabon believes in supporting local businesses and in sourcing the best ingredients possible. The store also designs its packaging and hand packages, labels and wraps each item, selling through an online store (cocosabon.com), Instagram, WhatsApp, and local popup shop events.
Mosher has also started offering workshops on making her products.
“Some might think that to be unwise because I could very well teach a future competitor,” she said. “Well, that’s true for the medical students I teach now. Should I withhold my knowledge for fear of them becoming better doctors and doing better? Of course not. The more knowledge we put out there, the better our society will be. The workshops also help build community.
“I connect with people who are curious, who want to learn how to create and how to make good choices for their health. I welcome workshop students young and older (my youngest so far was just 6 years old), and I encourage them to take what they learn and use it to improve their lives and that of others around them. If they make a business out of doing so, then good for them. We all have something to offer the world,” she said.
Mosher is happy that she created a job she loves. “Sometimes I miss practicing clinical medicine, but I remind myself that I am helping people make healthier choices for their bodies, their minds, their souls and the planet,” she said.
“That’s a special kind of medicine that I believe can help heal the world.”