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

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

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.”


Religious leaders denounce extremism in Europe

Updated 03 December 2020

Religious leaders denounce extremism in Europe

Religious leaders denounce extremism in Europe

RIYADH: The King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID), in collaboration with the European Council of Religious Leaders, organized a virtual dialogue seminar under the theme “The Contributions of Religious Leaders in Tackling Violent Extremism and Promoting Social Cohesion in Europe: Fight and Response.”
The seminar was part of a series of initiatives by KAICIID to promote social cohesion in Europe following recent terrorist attacks in France and Austria. 
KAICIID’s secretary-general, Faisal bin Muaammar, said that terrorists’ behavior stemmed from a false and misleading understanding of their religion. “They chose the language of violence, leaving behind all peaceful alternatives,” he said.

HIGHLIGHT

The seminar was part of a series of initiatives by KAICIID to promote social cohesion in Europe following recent terrorist attacks in France and Austria.

Bin Muaammar highighted the effects social media platforms have in fueling violence and hatred after similar attacks in recent years.
“The responses and counter-responses from followers of religions and cultures in Europe and the world at large fuel controversy, hate speech and crimes according to research and studies adopted in this regard,” he said.
“The abuse of religion on one hand, and the targeting of societal components, religion, race and culture, on the other hand, have become an exciting feature of some societies. Last week, there was an attack on a rabbi on a street in Vienna because of his apparent religious identity only. Behind every story like this, there may be hundreds of similar stories out of the spotlight,” he added.
Participants addressed several themes, including the effectiveness of dialogue, and strengthening partnerships between religious leaders and policymakers to prevent extremism and potential violence.
Bin Muammar said that the virtual seminar reflects the center’s attempt to “provide space for reflection, confidence and participation.”