Algerian designer Ilyes Ouali inspired by disco glamour of the 1970s

Ilyes Ouali won this year's Fashion Star Arabia. (Supplied)
Updated 08 August 2019

Algerian designer Ilyes Ouali inspired by disco glamour of the 1970s

DUBAI: This week, Algerian designer Ilyes Ouali showed off his designing chops at London Arabia Art & Fashion Week, which returned to the capital for its fourth year and brought together designers and artists from the Arab world.

Ouali shot to fame after winning the intense reality TV competition “Fashion Star Arabia” this year, just months after graduating from Regent’s University London. 

His unique brand is a combination of haute couture and street style. Ouali was born and brought up in Algeria, and his designs blend Arabian culture with the dressed-down look of western cities. 

The 27-year-old designer had no previous fashion experience when he first came to London; it was not a well-established career choice in Algeria. 




Ouali shot to fame after winning the intense reality TV competition “Fashion Star Arabia” this year. (Supplied) 

“I didn’t choose a career in fashion, fashion chose me,” Ouali told Arab News. “I have always been interested in fashion in general, and I didn’t even have the option in my mind to do something else.”

It wasn’t until his college years that he got his start. “During the first years at my university, I decided to drop my collection of six looks because I was impatient to start realizing my ideas.”

His participation in London Arabia Art & Fashion Week is a step into a bigger league. “My… collection will be sort of an introduction for me to the fashion world on a bigger scale, as it is the first time we are doing a big collection.” 

Ouali said his show is meant to serve as a teaser for the new collection, which is strongly influenced by the Seventies. “The core of the brand was and will always be inspired from the 70s glamour, and the upcoming collection will highlight the ‘It’ girls of that era, like Bianca Jagger and Diana Ross.”


What We Are Reading Today: All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung

Updated 22 August 2019

What We Are Reading Today: All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung

  • From early childhood, she heard the story of her adoption as a comforting, prepackaged myth

What does it mean to lose your roots — within your culture, within your family— and what happens when you find them?

All You Can Ever Know is a profound, moving chronicle of surprising connections and the repercussions of unearthing painful family secrets — vital reading for anyone who has ever struggled to figure out where they belong, according to a review published on goodreads.com

Nicole Chung was born severely premature, placed for adoption by her Korean parents, and raised by a white family in a sheltered Oregon town.

From early childhood, she heard the story of her adoption as a comforting, prepackaged myth.

She believed that her biological parents had made the ultimate sacrifice in the hopes of giving her a better life, that forever feeling slightly out of place was simply her fate as a transracial adoptee. But as she grew up — facing prejudice her adoptive family could not see, finding her identity as an Asian American and a writer, becoming ever more curious about where she came from — she wondered if the story she had been told was the whole truth.

With warmth, candor, and startling insight, Chung tells of her search for the people who gave her up, which coincided with the birth of her own child.