Meet the Saudi style maven bringing luxury vintage fashion to the Kingdom

Rae Joseph is a Saudi lawyer and fashion aficionado. Supplied
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Updated 07 January 2020

Meet the Saudi style maven bringing luxury vintage fashion to the Kingdom

  • The fashion guru established her own fashion house called 1954 by Rae Joseph in 2017
  • The online shopping platform offers pieces by a select range of design houses

LONDON: Based between Riyadh and New York, Rae Joseph is a Saudi lawyer and style guru who is doing her bit to promote vintage fashion in the region. 

It all started on a summer’s day in New York in 2003, when Rae found herself in a café while taking a break from a shopping trip. Rae, along with her sisters, sat next to a sharply dressed older gentleman who eventually introduced himself as the owner of a of a private showroom specialising in vintage fashion. 

Rae’s interest was sparked when she entered the showroom to find treasures by the likes of Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior and Chanel. 

Almost 15 years of her first encounter with vintage fashion, Rae decided to establish her own fashion house called 1954 by Rae Joseph, which lists items for sale in Saudi Arabia and the wider Gulf, in 2017. 

“From an artistic point of view, owning a vintage piece is like owning a piece of history, a piece of art. The pieces carry stories and I find that fascinating,” Joseph told Arab News. 




The style maven established her own fashion house in 2017. Supplied

“Vintage pieces were made in a time where quality and craftsmanship were key, so the materials used and methods of manufacturing were of a quality that no longer exists in today’s mass market. From an environmental point of view, wearing vintage is one of the most sustainable options,” she added.

The online shopping platform offers pieces by a select range of design houses, including Celine, Prada, Cartier and Fendi, among others. 

Handbags, chic scarves and jewelry items are listed alongside their price in dollars and Saudi riyals, as well as a short description of the piece. A gallery of detailed photos show the condition of the item, including close up shots of the stitching and links in some cases. 




The online shopping platform offers pieces by a select range of design houses, including Celine, Prada, Cartier and Fendi, among others. Supplied

“The pieces are carefully curated from top vintage showrooms around the world, primarily in New York and Europe, many of which cater to Hollywood red carpets and leading fashion magazines,” the entrepreneur said.

But how has the idea been received by potential clients in the Gulf? 

 “There are people who have always loved and shopped vintage in Europe and the US. Usually those people are extremely excited to see there is a local brand that curates high quality vintage (items) in the region. The other category are people who may have heard of vintage, but don’t necessarily understand what it really means,” she said.

According to the fashion guru, vintage pieces are ideal for a woman “who is unique, has a strong sense of personal style and someone who appreciates art and is open to mixing different styles and trends to create her own independent look.”


Georges Chakra politicizes couture in an ode to Lebanon

Georges Chakra continuously unveils his aesthetic concepts through his couture shows during fashion weeks. (Supplied)
Updated 21 January 2020

Georges Chakra politicizes couture in an ode to Lebanon

  • The 47-piece offering was an extravagant ode to the Beirut-born designer’s home country of Lebanon, where nation-wide protests have been ongoing for the past couple of months

PARIS: Lebanese Georges Chakra presented his Spring 2020 couture collection at Paris’ Petit Palace on Monday. The 47-piece offering was an extravagant ode to the Beirut-born designer’s home country of Lebanon, where nation-wide protests have been ongoing for the past couple of months.

Lebanese Georges Chakra presented his Spring 2020 couture collection at Paris’ Petit Palace. (Supplied)

Placed on each of the guest’s seats along with the show notes was a synthetic white rose accompanied by a note that read “un rose pour la liberte,” which translates to “one rose for freedom.”

Placed on each of the guest’s seats along with the show notes was a synthetic white rose which read “one rose for freedom.” (Supplied)

The message? Fashion is an act of resistance. Chakra wanted to create the real-life looks that reflected the sophisticated and rebellious nature of Lebanese women. These included a show-stopping lineup of striking eveningwear in a burst of white, hot pink and blue color palettes.

Chakra’s brand signature combines elaborate and intricate back details coupled with modern and bold fabrics. (Supplied)

The glimmer-creating Japanese app Kirakira, which turns anything sparkly into a disco ball–like reflection of shine and shimmer, was the preferred medium for capturing Chakra’s runway today — and rightly so. There were plenty of crystal and sequin embellished pieces on the runway that will surely hit the red carpet soon. 

There were plenty of crystal and sequin embellished pieces on the runway that will surely hit the red carpet soon. (Supplied)

Standout looks included a pink, strapless satin duchesse dress that was short at the front and long at the back and boasted a violet floral print, an asymmetrical gown that featured dashes of sequins in varying hues of green, an icy blue sheath dress with an organza train and a hand-painted blue-grey gazar dress with a fan shaped neckline.

Chakra wanted to create the real-life looks that reflected the sophisticated and rebellious nature of Lebanese women. (Supplied)

You can picture his longtime client US actress Janina Gavankar looking devastating on the red carpet wearing the bright pink slit dress with a criss-cross neckline and long train. Or his new client, actress Nina Kiri, who wore one of his creations to the 2020 Screen Actors Guild Awards on Jan. 20, in the strapless, aquamarine satin dress with a high slit.

Chakra began his work in a war-clad Beirut, after he graduated from Canada. (Supplied)

As is customary, the last look was the bridal look. The off-the-shoulder wedding dress was accessorized with a glittering emerald and diamond necklace made by Lebanese jeweler Fawaz Gruosi. In addition to the striking sartorial lineup, the necklace will also be available for purchase, with a portion of the proceeds going to Beirut’s Children's Cancer Center of Lebanon and scholarships at the Ecole Saint Vincent de Paul.