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

  • 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.


Amina Muaddi to launch handbag collection

Updated 17 September 2020

Amina Muaddi to launch handbag collection

DUBAI: Jordanian-Romanian footwear designer Amina Muaddi revealed on Thursday that she is expanding her business with a new handbag collection that will launch in October.

The Paris-based designer — beloved by celebrities — told her 573,000 Instagram followers that her new line will be called Aminis.

She shared a series of images of the new bags being manufactured. According to her shots, her rectangular purses will be available in a range of different colors — including purple, black and silver – and sizes. The handles are adorned will be adorned with crystals, some plain, others with a variety of colors.

Muaddi already has a well-established brand — famous for its signature flared heels — that has garnered a loyal following of famous fans, including Dua Lipa, Gigi Hadid, Kylie Jenner, Kendall Jenner and Hailey Baldwin Bieber.

Her most famous collaboration is the limited-edition footwear capsule collection with multi-hyphenate superstar Rihanna’s Fenty, which dropped in July.

Rihanna tapped Muaddi to design a collection of shoes for her luxury maison back in December. The news wasn’t all that surprising, considering that the singer-turned-designer has been a longtime fan of Muaddi. 

The designer’s eye-catching shoes also previously featured in Rihanna's Savage x Fenty show at New York Fashion Week.