Startup of the Week: A Saudi brand eyeing world fashion capitals

Updated 28 May 2019

Startup of the Week: A Saudi brand eyeing world fashion capitals

  • The brand has two seasonal releases, alongside an “Oriental” collection released during Ramadan

JEDDAH, RIYADH: Classy women who like to keep up with the latest trends in the fashion world can always trust “GHAZAL.”

 The brand launched in 2017, and focuses on quality, detail, and exclusivity in choosing high-quality European fabrics.

Ghazal Kurdi is the founder and designer of GHAZAL, and sharpened her skills for her passion for fashion through education.

She describes the brand in three words: “Classy, quality and timeless.”

The brand has two seasonal releases, alongside an “Oriental” collection released during Ramadan.

“Each collection reminds me of a period of my life that inspired me to create it. So each one, for me, is unique,” she told Arab News.

Discussing where she sees her brand over the next decade, Kurdi said: “In five years, Kate Middleton (the Duchess of Cambridge) will wear our brand, and in 10 years, alongside a flagship store on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, we will have a branch in each of the world’s fashion capitals. That is my vision.”

The next collection to be released, following this year’s “Oriental” Ramadan release, will be the new Fall/Winter collection launched this September.

Saudi TV host Suha Nowailaty is among the many Saudi influencers to have donned the label. 

“She wore our brand, as did Yasmeen Dakheel, Bayan Linjawi, and Ghaila Mahmoudi too,” Kurdi said. “And from Kuwait, we have Hanan Dashti who has one of the biggest makeup brands in the country.”

For aspiring fashion designers who want to start their own business, Kurdi advises just getting on with it. “Do not wait, do not listen to anyone’s negativity and stay close to those who encourage you and are positive. Do not aim for the money, just aim for your passion and money will follow. Success is not easy, but it is not difficult to achieve if you are in love with what you do.”

GHAZAL can be found at Jeddah’s Homegrown Market, and Ana Ghair Mall during Ramadan.

Keep up with the brand by following (@ghazalbygk) for their latest posts.

Innovative Saudi cultural center showcases world-famous ‘The Scream’ artist’s exhibition

Updated 26 June 2019

Innovative Saudi cultural center showcases world-famous ‘The Scream’ artist’s exhibition

  • 40 works by Edvard Munch go on display for first time in Middle East

DHAHRAN: A dynamic Saudi cultural center is to showcase the works of one of the world’s most famous painters in an exhibition-first for the Middle East.

Forty pieces by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, best known for his iconic “The Scream” painting, will go on public display at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra).

The special exhibition, titled “Landscapes of the Soul,” is the latest in a series of high-profile cultural events to be staged at the showpiece exhibition in Dhahran.

Developed by Saudi Aramco with the aim of stimulating knowledge, creativity and cross-cultural engagement, Ithra’s theater, museum, exhibition hall and art gallery complex forms a key part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan to promote culture and entertainment.

The Munch exhibition, which runs until Sept. 3, portrays the artist’s personal life experiences of misery, love, despair, loneliness and reflections of the soul, through his distinctive works.

“It is such an honor to host and introduce to Saudi Arabia, and indeed, the Middle East, the work of the world-renowned artist Edvard Munch,” Rania Biltagi, Ithra’s head of communications and partnership, told Arab News.

Munch’s (1863-1944) original exhibition has been located in Oslo, Norway since 1963, and the Saudi display is being staged in Ithra’s Great Hall in partnership with the Munch Museum in Norway.

As well as a lithograph version of his most famous painting “The Scream,” other works on show will include “Summer Night. The Voice,” 1894, “Self-Portrait,” 1895, and “The Sick Child,” 1896.

“A moment that stood out from the opening was when speaking to a couple visiting the exhibit, they mentioned that they were Norwegian and working in Saudi,” Biltagi said. “They explained that they had never had the chance to visit the Munch Museum in their homeland and what an unexpected pleasure it was to be able to see Munch’s work in Saudi.”

Biltagi added that the event epitomized the aim of Ithra in providing a platform to bring together cultures as well as people.

The center, featured in Time magazine’s list of the world’s top 100 places to visit, is a pioneer on the Kingdom’s culture and arts scene, organizing a variety of events, performances, programs and experiences to suit all ages and backgrounds. Previous exhibitions have included a focus on Saudi contemporary art, Leonardo da Vinci, and installations symbolizing creativity and innovation.