Saudi brand aims to create integration between Mideast and the West

HINDAMME launched its latest capsule in January. (Photo Supplied)
Updated 18 March 2019
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Saudi brand aims to create integration between Mideast and the West

  • HINDAMME launched its latest capsule Futur Antérieur, which consists of luxury sportswear, in January
  • Traditional Arabian heritage motifs are echoed in this futuristic capsule, making it appeal to many types of consumer

JEDDAH: Saudi luxury brand HINDAMME has a strong presence in the fashion scene in Saudi Arabia, with its “East meets West” trademark.

HINDAMME launched its latest capsule Futur Antérieur, which consists of luxury sportswear, in January. This collection is different from previous ones, which featured more elements from the past, Saudi designer and HINDAMME founder Mohammed Khoja told Arab News.

“It’s a smaller capsule but full of energy and I really feel it takes the concept of something considered quite restricted such as sportswear and elevates it, with its use of vibrant detailing and prints of cultural Saudi patterns. It’s also very forward-thinking and presents a very futuristic theme in comparison to work I’ve done before.”

“The capsule is pretty much an amalgamation of my work, presenting my signature HINDAMME look with its integration of reimagined heritage patterns in a contemporary format. It is differentiated as I feel the patterns are more colorful and vibrant but are balanced out with solid darker colors. It’s also the first time I’ve done tracksuits.”

Khoja has always had a fascination with sportswear. “I wanted to create pieces that were easy to wear, functional yet were also high-end and portrayed elements of our culture in a modern way. I used jersey, velvet and combined luxury detailing such as metallic embroidery and satin-paneled prints featuring modernized heritage patterns.”

The name Futur Antérieur represents the capsule’s message, Khoja said. “The relationship of past and future. Having lived in France for many years and being exposed to French language and culture, I felt the grammatical term, Futur Anterieur, which is used to express a future action that is expected to happen before a time of reference in the future, was very fitting.”

Traditional Arabian heritage motifs are echoed in this futuristic capsule, making it appeal to many types of consumers.

“I feel inspired to be able to portray my culture and heritage and I’d like to expose newer generations to this heritage as well as making it universally appealing to my Western clients. This time the heritage patterns are more colorful, vibrant, there’s also the use of neon. It’s sports luxe and urban and futuristic, yet also carries with it elements of the past,” Khoja told Arab News.

Explaining his choice of heritage prints and which area in the Kingdom inspires him to use their heritage prints, Khoja said that he had always been drawn to Al-Qatt Al-Asiri. 

“There is such a universal appeal to these tribal patterns and I share a deep appreciation of its aesthetic as well as the meanings behind its symbolism. I feel proud to say that I was the first to integrate it into contemporary ready-to-wear, and now I see it being used more often, which makes me quite happy to know designers are reflecting more toward our past for inspiration to create a future.”

Through HINDAMME, Khoja aspires to create a sense of integration between the Middle East and the West “as well as presenting a link between past, present and future through design. I want to reverse the tables and be able to export more of our design and culture to a global audience.” 

Khoja’s recap on the Season III collection that was launched in March 2018:

The designer said that he was inspired by mystic and astrological themes in the previous collection.

“I was so inspired by the Islamic Golden age with Season III and all the incredible accomplishments during that era, especially within the field of astronomy. I was also very inspired by the works of poets such as Rumi and surrealist designers such as Schiaparelli.”

One of Season III’s pieces, “Arabian Dream,” was inspired by Saudi Arabian former minister of petroleum and mineral resources Ali Ibrahim Al-Naimi’s book “Out of the Desert: My Journey from Nomadic Bedouin to the Heart of Global Oil.”

“I felt this statement from this Saudi icon was very poignant and can be read and interpreted in multiple ways, but to me the statement basically says ‘yes, we come from humble beginnings and are proud of it as it shaped who we are today,’” Khoja said.

 

“Having grown up in the Eastern Province and hearing stories about Al-Naimi’s journey to success was very inspiring to many and I consider him one of our heroes.”


Fashion capital New York considers banning sale of fur

Updated 17 April 2019
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Fashion capital New York considers banning sale of fur

  • Lawmakers are pushing a measure that would ban the sale of all new fur products in the city
  • “Cruelty should not be confused with economic development,” a sponsor of the legislation said

NEW YORK: A burgeoning movement to outlaw fur is seeking to make its biggest statement yet in the fashion mecca of New York City.
Lawmakers are pushing a measure that would ban the sale of all new fur products in the city where such garments were once common and style-setters including Marilyn Monroe, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Joe Namath and Sean “Diddy” Combs have all rocked furs over the years.
A similar measure in the state Capitol in Albany would impose a statewide ban on the sale of any items made with farmed fur and ban the manufacture of products made from trapped fur.
Whether this is good or bad depends on which side of the pelt you’re on. Members of the fur industry say such bans could put 1,100 people out of a job in the city alone. Supporters dismiss that and emphasize that the wearing of fur is barbaric and inhumane.
“Cruelty should not be confused with economic development,” said state Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, a Democrat from Manhattan, who is sponsoring the state legislation. “Fur relies on violence to innocent animals. That should be no one’s business.”
The fate of the proposals could be decided in the coming months, though supporters acknowledge New York City’s measure has a better chance of passage than the state legislation.
The fur trade is considered so important to New York’s development that two beavers adorn the city’s official seal, a reference to early Dutch and English settlers who traded in beaver pelts.
At the height of the fur business in the last century, New York City manufactured 80% of the fur coats made in the U.S, according to FUR NYC, a group representing 130 retailers and manufacturers in the city. The group says New York City remains the largest market for fur products in the country, with real fur still frequently used as trim on coats, jackets and other items.
If passed, New York would become the third major American city with such a ban, following San Francisco, where a ban takes effect this year, and Los Angeles, where a ban passed this year will take effect in 2021.
Elsewhere, Sao Paulo, Brazil, began its ban on the import and sale of fur in 2015. Fur farming was banned in the United Kingdom nearly 20 years ago, and last year London fashion week became the first major fashion event to go entirely fur-free.
Fur industry leaders warn that if the ban passes in New York, emboldened animal rights activists will want more.
“Everyone is watching this,” said Nancy Daigneault, vice president at the International Fur Federation, an industry group based in London. “If it starts here with fur, it’s going to go to wool, to leather, to meat.”
When asked what a fur ban would mean for him, Nick Pologeorgis was blunt: “I’m out of business.”
Pologeorgis’ father, who emigrated from Greece, started the fur design and sales business in the city’s “Fur District” nearly 60 years ago.
“My employees are nervous,” he said. “If you’re 55 or 50 and all you’ve trained to do is be a fur worker, what are you going to do?“
Supporters of the ban contend those employees could find jobs that don’t involve animal fur, noting that an increasing number of fashion designers and retailers now refuse to sell animal fur and that synthetic substitutes are every bit as convincing as the real thing.
They also argue that fur retailers and manufacturers represent just a small fraction of an estimated 180,000 people who work in the city’s fashion industry and that their skills can readily be transferred.
“There is a lot of room for job growth developing ethically and environmentally friendly materials,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who introduced the city measure.
New Yorkers asked about the ban this week came down on both sides, with some questioning if a law was really needed.
“It is a matter of personal choice. I don’t think it’s something that needs to be legislated,” said 44-year-old Janet Thompson. “There are lots of people wearing leather and suede and other animal hides out there. To pick on fur seems a little one-sided.”
Joshua Katcher, a Manhattan designer and author who has taught at the Parsons School of Design, says he believes the proposed bans reflect an increased desire to know where our products come from and for them to be ethical and sustainable.
“Fur is a relic,” he said.