DUBAI: From Hood by Air’s Shayne Oliver to Off-White founder and men’s artistic director at Louis Vuitton Virgil Abloh, creatives are no longer afraid to take fashion sabbaticals to work on themselves and come out all the better for it. After an almost three-year hiatus, Saudi designer Ahmad Alwohaibi’s cult streetwear label Too Dark to See Tomorrow (2D2C2M) is back — and it’s better than ever.
“I took a break for my wellbeing,” the 31-year-old designer and software engineer explained to Arab News. “I needed to re-examine my values and to also set my house in perfect order,” he added.
However, he didn’t completely abandon his first love, fashion or his brand, which he launched in 2016 alongside his longtime friends Abdallah Bagalb and Maan Al-Qurashi who are no longer involved in the design process. “I wasn’t doing fashion publicly, however, I didn’t stop working with the brand. But returning to the scene feels new after nearly three years,” he said.
Alwohaibi’s triumphant return came in the form of a new 22-piece collection aptly entitled “Homecoming,” which he presented via a runway format at a media production studio that was streamed to the streetwear aficionados who make up the brand’s loyal following via Instagram Live.
A runway show during a global pandemic is no small feat, and the creative designer made sure to enlist only the best of the best in the Kingdom’s blooming creative industry, assembling an all-Saudi team of directors, stylists, makeup artists, lighting designers and models to help bring his vision to life. As everything had to be handled online, the whole process took about three months, including curating and executing the show.
“I never thought I’d do a runway in the first place. All I wanted to do is to present the new collection in a different way,” Alwohaibi admitted.
“The collection symbolizes my journey in the last three years,” he shares. “I called it ‘Homecoming’ for this reason. So, everything was built over that.”
Unlike the brand’s previous offerings, which were punctuated with graphic T-shirts emblazoned with catchy slogans, oversized hoodies and dad hats, Alwohaibi sought a new approach to his designs for his first post-sabbatical collection, churning out a lineup of elevated knitwear and cozy separates made out of luxe fabrics like merino wool, cashmere and linen.
Those who wish to get their hands on it will only have to wait a couple of weeks before it launches online at www.2d2c2m.com, before being made available at various pop-ups.
As for what we can expect next now that the designer is back on the scene? “More releases hopefully,” he said. Suffice to say, that’s one good thing to look forward to in 2021.