Startup of the Week: Label offers contemporary wear with a touch of tradition

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Updated 28 April 2020

Startup of the Week: Label offers contemporary wear with a touch of tradition

  • Al-Khereiji started her business in 2010, and is thinking of expanding her business globally

Waela Collection (@waelacollection) is a Riyadh-based contemporary ready-to-wear label for those seeking the latest fashion but with a touch of tradition.
“I try to combine elegant yet practical designs that we can wear not only during the month of Ramadan, but throughout the year and even while traveling,” Waela Al-Khereiji told Arab News. “My designs are inspired by international fashion designs while preserving our religious identity.”
Al-Khereiji, who is the owner of Waela Collection, had a passion for fashion design from a young age.
“I studied at King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah, majoring in special children studies, but I didn’t find myself very passionate about this field. So I decided to enroll in fashion courses at the London College of Fashion and attended courses in Riyadh.”
She first started selling ready-made clothes that were designed by others but, after a while, felt the urge to design clothes that represented her identity and culture. Her family and friends supported the idea and she took the decision to start her own fashion line.
Al-Khereiji started her business in 2010, and is thinking of expanding her business globally. “Of course, I went through many stages and experiences until I got to where I am now. Since the beginning of my project the most important thing for me was choosing the right and best materials suitable for our climate. Our market is flooded with cheap and bad materials so I usually choose cotton fabrics and linen.”
The designer is targeting Arab and Gulf women in particular. She said her designs were practical and casual and could be worn everywhere — at work and when traveling. “It is also possible to wear them at parties as well.”
She said it was difficult to be a designer in Saudi Arabia because she had to do everything herself, from designing the dress to drawing the sketch or pattern and sewing it.
“Abroad there are special companies and places for each step,” she explained. “In addition, if I want to be unique, I have to import the fabrics from abroad so that they are exclusive and original.”
She was grateful for receiving many words of encouragement, and although pleasing customers was a priority it was also a hard thing to achieve.
Al-Khereiji said she and a group of designers were lucky this year because they started the season with a huge exhibition in Riyadh. “It was very successful, unfortunately, other exhibitions were postponed and canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, there is huge online demand due to the current circumstances.”


Preserving heritage means securing the future, says Princess Haifa

Updated 05 July 2020

Preserving heritage means securing the future, says Princess Haifa

  • Saudi Arabia is at the 209th session to discuss international issues related to the fields of education, science and culture

PARIS: Princess Haifa bint Abdul Aziz Al-Muqrin, the Kingdom’s permanent representative to UNESCO, said that changes can only be faced with global efforts to achieve the common goals of promoting peace, building cultural bridges between nations, and empowering societies to guarantee a better future.

Saudi Arabia recently participated in the 209th session of the UNESCO Executive Council at the agency’s Paris headquarters. The Kingdom was represented at the session by Princess Haifa and a team of 26 Saudi experts from different sectors that have activities related to the scope of UNESCO’s work, such as education, culture, energy, environment, and training.

Princess Haifa said: “Despite our different cultures and languages, we share our belief that education is a right for everyone, that preserving heritage means securing the future, and that innovation and science are the bridge that will pull us out of this pandemic the world today is living.”

She said that the Kingdom supported African countries and was ready to share its experiences in various UNESCO fields, in addition to supporting action plans related to developing islands as one of its priorities in exchanging experiences, especially since the Kingdom is one of the most advanced countries in the world in the field of water desalination.

Reference was made to the Kingdom’s support for international growth and stability through the G20 presidency, specifically with regard to ensuring the continuity of education in crises, the continuation of efforts to achieve climate adaptation worldwide, and solidarity with the members of the G20 in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a member state of the UNESCO Executive Council, Saudi Arabia is at the 209th session to discuss international issues related to the fields of education, science and culture. These will be evaluated and decided upon, and the executive decisions assigned to them will be voted on, in cooperation with the council’s member states.

The Kingdom’s participation in the meetings of the UNESCO Executive Council also comes as part of its permanent presence in the international cultural and educational organization since its foundation in 1946.