DUBAI: Sisters Alia and Abeer Oraif of Jeddah-based label Atelier Hekayat have many feathers in their cap. They have dressed supermodel Helena Christensen and Saudi actress Mila Al-Zahrani, both ambassadors of the AlUla Creates program, and the duo have now presented their collection “A Chapter in Her Life” in London during fashion week.
Film AlUla has partnered with the British Fashion Council alongside sustainable fashion consultancy Eco-Age to host an exhibition of two Saudi labels in London this week — as London Fashion Week goes on — and Atelier Hekayat made the cut.
Their upcoming collection is an ode to the many chapters in a woman’s life. “We dedicate this collection to Saudi women, and we want to represent Saudi Arabia in London in the best way possible,” Alia told Arab News.
Launched in 2012, the duo was adamant about starting a brand with international appeal. Cut to 2023 and they have achieved what they set out to create. Arab News caught up with the sisters to get an insight into their journey with the AlUla Creates program, which was designed to support and empower Saudi creatives.
“It was one of the best moments when we got the call from AlUla Creates’ team. They give opportunities and open doors for creating success stories like ours,” explained Abeer. One of those opportunities was designing a dress for Christensen to wear at the 2023 Oscars Vanity Fair after-party — something that was a dream come true for Abeer.
“When I was eight years old, I used to watch her walk in the Gianni Versace shows, and when I saw her on the flight to AlUla, I thought I was dreaming!” For Christensen’s dress, Abir wanted to make something dreamy and sparkling that was also sustainable, so she turned to an ivory skirt which she and her sister had previously designed and upcycled it into a dress with the help of British designer Emilia Wickstead’s team in London.
“Since the skirt was an existing design, we sent it to Wickstead so she could turn it into a dress – we had already ideated and created sketches for the design,” Abeer said.