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.

 


Influencer Hadia Ghaleb puts on a stellar sartorial showcase with Lebanese help

You may recognize Hadia Ghaleb from her stint on E! Entertainment’s ‘My Fabulous Me.’ (File/Getty Images)
Updated 02 December 2020

Influencer Hadia Ghaleb puts on a stellar sartorial showcase with Lebanese help

You may recognize Hadia Ghaleb from her stint on E! Entertainment’s ‘My Fabulous Me.’ (File/Getty Images)

DUBAI: You may recognize her from your TV screens, but Hadia Ghaleb, the star of E! Entertainment’s reality show “My Fabulous Me,” is still turning heads with her covetable style and just showed off a clutch of designer gowns at a wedding in Cairo.

The Egyptian influencer and entrepreneur, who has a stellar 2.1 million Instagram followers to her name, attended her sister’s nuptials in an array of glittering ensembles, including gowns by Lebanese designers Azzi & Osta and Rami Kadi,

First up was a forest green, tulle-heavy number by design duo George Azzi and Assaad Osta, who just dressed Hollywood’s Megan Fox for the 48th annual American Music Awards in November.

Ghaleb opted for the tea-length dress for her sister’s Katb El-Kitab ceremony (the traditional Islamic portion of the wedding festivities), which took place in late November. The dress boasted a halter neck top and dramatic, flared skirt with an ethereal tulle cape for added drama. Bursts of beading adorned the length of the gown, which Ghaleb paired with silver heels.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it seemed to be the mantra as the entrepreneur, who founded the Egypt-based PR and social media agency Ghaleb Production House, chose to stick with Azzi & Osta for her next look.

For the wedding ceremony, Ghaleb chose a dramatic ebony gown, complete with a ribbed bodice, A-line skirt and starburst beading in a subtle call-back to her first look.

Voluminous, frothed tulle on one shoulder added a little edginess to the ensemble and Ghaleb topped it all off with swept back hair and evening-ready makeup.

“Can’t believe it. Just can’t believe it. My little sister is not little anymore. You were stunning in your wedding, glowing from the inside and showing simply on the outside. Everything was so tasteful just like you. I’m so happy for you my angel (sic),” she posted on Instagram on Sunday, alongside a snap of the sisters posing outdoors.

For her part, the bride, Layla Ghaleb, stunned in a delicate white wedding gown, complete with a similar ribbed bodice, by Egyptian fashion house Maram Borhan.

Finally, Hadia stepped out in a show-stopping gown by Lebanese designer to the stars Rami Kadi for the wedding reception.

 “Feeling like a queen in an enchanted forest dressed in a surreal gown,” she captioned a snap of the dress on Instagram on Tuesday.

The shimmering grey organza dress was covered in petal-like embellishments and featured an asymmetrical cape, as well as a thigh-high slit.  

The gown hailed from Kadi’s Spring/Summer 2020 couture line.