Start-up of the Week: Saudi fashion designer combines beauty and comfort

Start-up of the Week: Saudi fashion designer combines beauty and comfort
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Saja Al-Yousef's fashion show at Milan's Fashion Week. (Photo/Supplied)
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Updated 01 September 2020

Start-up of the Week: Saudi fashion designer combines beauty and comfort

Start-up of the Week: Saudi fashion designer combines beauty and comfort
  • SAJAS Boutique specializes in luxury jewelry, fashion, and bag collections designed as per international standards

RIYADH: Bearing a lotus logo, Saudi designer and stylist Saja Al-Yousef’s creations are inspired by the qualities of the flower, which symbolizes beauty, health, comfort, love, and optimism

SAJAS Boutique specializes in luxury jewelry, fashion, and bag collections designed as per international standards. Al-Yousef’s designs are a fusion of classical and modern styles.

She opened her main outlet in Al-Ahsa in Saudi Arabia and soon became an icon in the Saudi fashion world.

Al-Yousef said she was not satisfied with the products available around her. This dissatisfaction motivated her to launch her line of products to cater to the needs of the people who thought like her.

“I started to invent my style and challenged myself until I reached where I am now,” she told Arab News.

In 2004, SAJAS Boutique entered the fashion world with its first collection. In 2009, Al-Yousef went to Australia to pursue her master’s degree. During her 4-year stay in Australia, she attended several fashion courses, and met several fashion designers and icons, which enlightened her and shaped her thoughts and ideas about fashion.

In 2013, Al-Yousef worked as a stylist backstage during Riyadh Fashion Days. She then attended many courses in fashion, jewelry and bag design in the UK, Qatar, France, and Australia.

She started working on her first line of jewelry in 2014. In 2017, she researched leather products and visited several countries to study the feasibility of entering into the industry. In February 2019, she started her leather bags industry in Italy.

Al-Yousef mentioned that she had participated in many international jewelry events in the Gulf countries such as Bahrain’s Jewelry Arabia and Qatar’s Jewelry International Exhibition.

In 2017, Al-Yousef participated in the Jewelry Salon held in Riyadh and another event in Dubai.

In August 2018, Al-Yousef presented her bags collection at Harvey Nichols, London, during London Fashion Week.

“I participated in several fashion shows in Bahrain and Riyadh. In February 2019, I exhibited my designs in a showroom in Italy. In December 2019, I was selected by the Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) to represent my brand in a showroom at Ritz-Carlton Riyadh,” said Al-Yousef.

Al-Yousef mentioned that her ambitions were boundless. “The sky is the limit,” she said.

She added that she hoped to share her vision and imagination with top brands and not confine herself to the local market.

“I think SAJAS products have gone through a lot of phases. Each product has a story and buyers are listeners who can understand the hard work that goes into each product,” she said.

 


COVID-19 kills men’s fashion buzz in Milan

COVID-19 kills men’s fashion buzz in Milan
Updated 15 January 2021

COVID-19 kills men’s fashion buzz in Milan

COVID-19 kills men’s fashion buzz in Milan

MILAN: A year after the last COVID-free catwalk shows in Milan, men’s fashion week begins on Friday, but without the buzz of its traditional audience of buyers, bloggers, celebrities and media.

As the pandemic continues to upend Italy’s crucial luxury sector nearly 12 months after it first swept through the country, fashion houses have turned to technology to showcase their fall/winter 2021-22 collections.

Shows will be broadcast live on the fashion houses’ own websites or be replaced with pre-recorded presentations, short films and other artistic projects. Others such as Dolce & Gabbana have withdrawn entirely.

The four-day men’s fashion event takes place with infections rising in Italy’s Lombardy region with a return a full lockdown possible as early as the weekend.

Lombardy, whose capital is Milan, is one of five in Italy classified “orange” by the government, which means that stores and most schools are closed, while a curfew remains in force at night.

Among those opting for live shows to be broadcast by the fashion houses are Fendi, Etro and Kway.

Most other brands, however, including Ermenegildo Zegna, Tod’s, Prada and Church’s, have opted for pre-records – choices that allow for creative freedom but lack the immediacy and drama of live shows.

Dolce & Gabbana, which was originally scheduled to offer a traditional runway show on January 16, announced on Monday its decision to pull out entirely.

In view of COVID-19, it said, “the conditions essential to the realisation of our fashion show are not met.”

For the moment, no digital presentation is planned.