While The Vogue Fashion Experience provides momentous fashion moments, this season the experience was reloaded with enriching cultural adventures for all involved. Day two kicked off with a fun and informative guided tour of the Safiyah Binzagr Museum.
Ancient Folklore says that “A shared meal binds people together” and that was certainly the case in Jeddah. After the tour, the ladies were lead to an exquisite Lebanese food tasting experience at the popular restaurant, AM Sherif. The decadent lunch provided yet another opportunity for women from different backgrounds to unite together in their common interest of fashion, while indulging in savory dishes.
After lunch the ladies darted off for a magnificent guided tour of the Historic District of Jeddah. The old city provided a glimpse into the development of a thriving country. The durable and charismatic buildings have stood the test of time (some over 300 years old) are still used for local commerce or a place of refuge for hardworking immigrants.
Later that evening, local fashion enthusiast, editors and the fashion elite gathered for the Saudi Designer showcase, accessory exhibit and University Student showcase at the glamorous Rubaiyat Mall. The selected brands were: Arwa Al Banawi, Atulier, Badawiah, Charmaleena, Daneh, Fyunka, Haal Inc, Haifa Fahad, Mashael Al Rajhi and Nora Aldamer. Without a doubt, the Saudi designers presented collections that were unique, bold and intricately created. The modest collections infused the culture of the Middle East with aspects of contemporary high-end fashion. The finalist excitedly pretended their designs to jurors that roamed the room in search of the most deserving creations.
Excitement buzzed through the air, while many stood captivated by the collections. The judges were less than 24hrs away from announcing the winner at the gala dinner, a moment that would undoubtedly change the life of one talented designer, forever.
Check out details of the finalist below:
ARWA AL BANAWI
Arwa Al Banawi grew up in Jeddah, studied in Switzerland and moved to Dubai in 2012 where she took up a career in banking whilst taking short courses in Fashion Design at the London College of Fashion. Having realized that her true passion lays in fashion, in 2015 Arwa founded her eponymous brand and presented her first ready-to-wear collection.
Atulier is a Jeddah based contemporary womenswear brand founded by Samar Nasraldin in November 2014. The brand aims to create beautiful garments characterized by the juxtaposition of shapes, fabrics and colors never neglecting attention to details.
Atulier is the first Saudi brand to have been featured and sold on Not Just a Label.
Badawiah is a Saudi-Argentinian designer with a bachelor degree in Fashion and Jewellery Design. Jewellery has always been Badawiah’s passion and she started making it when she was only 11 years old. Her brand blends influences from different cultures combining the designer’s love for design and travel.
Charmaleena is a contemporary fine jewellery brand founded by sisters Leena and Hala M. El Khereiji in April 2012. With an international distribution and clientele, Charmaleena’s creations are characterized by an Arab flair and the use of diamonds, semi-precious stones and 18K gold.
Founded in 2010 by Daneh Buahmad, Daneh is a chic and easily wearable brand conceived for a modern woman. Daneh Buahmad proposes sophisticated and experimental designs, characterized by the use of different cottons and a laid-back aura that defines the identity of the brand.
Alaa Balkhy is the designer behind Fyunka, a handbag brand. Alaa’s passion for art and fashion takes shape in her creations characterized by the use of canvas and PVC. The bags have already been featured in many international blogs and publications such as CNN.com, Grazia, Emirates Woman Magazine, Brownbook and Oasis.
Haal Inc is an experimental and creative brand of abayas launched in 2010. Haal Inc aims to emphasize woman’s femininity. The collections features beautiful fine fabrics, from linen to silk, in neutral colors - black, ivory, beige, and taupe.
Haifa Fahad is a ready-to-wear women’s and men’s brand with a focus on the creation of embellished abayas. All samples are locally made, while the production is mainly Turkish. The brand is currently available at Harvey Nichols Riyadh, 4 Concept Store in Kuwait and online on the brand’s official website.
Mashael is the ready-to-wear women’s and men’s brand, characterized by a mix of minimalism and sophistication, designed by Mashael Al Rajhi. The brand reflects the designer’s passion for artisanal values and sartorial art. The brand debuted at London Fashion Week in 2016.
CHADOR SAUDI ARABIA
Nora Aldamer launched Chador Saudi Arabia, a contemporary brand, in 2013 without any design background, but animated by her passion for fashion. Currently based in New York, Nora attends Parsons (AAS in fashion design) and is looking to expand her experience in fashion working for an established brand.
Chandia Brennen is a Certified Image Consultant and CEO of ItsGood2bME Fashion Consulting and Image Management based in Los Angeles CA, Chandia has been in the Fashion industry for over four years. She has worked for dozens of publications and holds the title of Senior Fashion Editor in both LA and NY. Chandia is a fashion scout for a Design Agency in NY and Brand Ambassador for HairEverywhere Luxury.