Katwalk: The marketplace linking creatives with fashion-conscious consumers
Updated 25 November 2022
Katwalk marketplace connects creative and emerging designers with fashion-conscious customers, showcasing the latest Arabian trends.
Fashion-savvy shoppers can browse through abayas, kaftans, kimonos, cardigans, and dresses with unique styles and a variety of colors, prints, cuts, and shapes.
The products are from 14 different designers from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain who share the same values and passion to produce bespoke Arabian fashion items.
Katwalk aims to build a long-standing relationship and be a destination of inspiration for creative and talented designers and a one-stop-shop for consumers.
After finishing her studies in the UK and returning to Saudi Arabia, company co-founder and creative director, Aliya Almusawi, launched Katwalk in a bid to elevate traditional local shopping to a modern and seamless experience with pieces women desired.
She noted that Arabian fashion had evolved from traditional norms to become part of women’s chic everyday wear and it was her mission to highlight it on a global stage.
Collections include travel, casual, evening, and formal wear with a focus on affordability, high-quality materials, and tailored-made items, all presented in distinctive branded packaging.
Almusawi said: “At Katwalk, a designer’s pieces always stand out with the help of exceptional pictures. The brand works with experienced photographers in the Kingdom to deliver the finest results, from preparing mood boards and searching for unique locations, to photo selection and editing.
“We always ensure that we bring in new ideas and seek inspiration from different minds, depending on the occasion and time of year, while maintaining the quality and guidelines of the brand and designers’ expectations to achieve the best results,” she added.
Saudi local brands are no strangers to creativity and originality, and to keep yourself afloat in such a sea of talent is a notable feat. KaafMeem is one such brand that has made a name for itself.
It caters to Saudi women by giving them unique abayas that match their style. The designs are unique, and the product is woven with class. The brand boasts variety for all women, with shorter abayas that fit the daily hustle, to the more sophisticated look.
The designs are colored in a way that makes pairing with other clothes an easy task.
The tarha is also available in different colors and these are easy to mix and match to produce fun outfits. KaafMeem even stocks a double-sided tarha that can take the place of two in your wardrobe.
The brand also offers accessories and masks so you can be safe and chic at the same time.
KaafMeem has also produced clothing to be worn under the abaya. These sets are ideal for someone looking to put together a modest outfit, and who wants the abaya to flow on top.
Dresses that fit the abaya like a glove come in presentation boxes to provide the ideal present for a loved one, or even yourself.
Customer service is friendly and accommodating. Once the product is delivered, a member of staff will get in touch with the buyer to make sure they are happy.
Originality of design is often considered the key to success in the competitive abaya market.
But Sarah Al-Bedair’s Voula Collection brand also combines accessories in its eye-theme-based embroidered garments.
The brand was launched during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown period in Saudi Arabia at first making fashionable cloth masks but then expanding into abaya production.
Al-Bedair uses a range of materials and fabrics, mostly sourced from Europe, including linen, crape, organza, denim, poplin, and cotton.
The inspiration for her designs was originally drawn from Greece, before she started focusing on Saudi themes such as camels, palm trees, and horses.
She began by creating abayas that could be worn as dresses, then moved into making fashionable face masks with eye designs, and more recently started designing summer abayas for daytime and evening wear.
Al-Bedair has had an interest in fabrics and the fashion world since a young age, eventually prompting friends and family to encourage her to set up her own brand.
She said: “In my opinion, every fashion designer has their own passion, style, and vision. What makes each of us different is our commitment, attitude, creativity, diversity, customer-orientation, and consistency in exceeding customers’ expectations.”
For more information about the brand, visit @voulacollection on Instagram.
Luda Jewelry one of Saudi 100 Brands to be showcased at Milan Fashion Week
Luda’s designer Khlood Arab, a student of the Gemological Institute of America, is also a cosmetic dentist with master’s degree and American board certification in dental artistry
Updated 29 October 2022
Luda Fine Jewelry is all about excellence, quality and finesse. Designs are based on flowers that combine sensual feelings with opulence. Each piece is made of 18-karat gold and precious and semiprecious stones.
The Luda Collection’s “Bouquet of Flowers” draws inspiration from the beauty of nature to evoke a unique experience, feeling and occasion in every piece.
Khlood Arab, Luda’s designer, found her passion in fashion jewelry, taking courses at schools including the Gemological Institute of America.
She has worked with 55fifty7 Diamond Studio in Dubai to realize her passion to design her own jewelry line. Arab wanted her creations to be self-explanatory.
Luda was chosen to be one of Saudi 100 Brands to be showcased in the Milan Whites showroom at next year’s Milan Fashion Week.
The world of fashion jewelry is continuously evolving and challenging, as is Luda, as it strives to be unique.
Arab is also a cosmetic dentist, who returned from the US and settled in Saudi Arabia after obtaining her master’s degree and American board certification in the field of dental artistry.
She was obsessed with the emerging world of fashion, captivated with the latest trends, and mesmerized by the memorable power of uniquely designed jewelry.
What We Are Buying Today: Saudi label By Jana Khojah
Updated 24 October 2022
By Jana Khojah is a Saudi brand founded in 2019 that produces high-end Saudi styles like abayas and farwas with a modern twist.
The brand was established by Saudi designer Jana Khojah in Jeddah and prioritizes high-quality elegance while emphasizing Saudi style in everyday wear for women. Combining classic silhouettes with fabrics and details that are not usually associated with the abaya — like feathers, fur and leather — By Jana Khojah creates unique pieces for a range of tastes.
With regard to seasonal limited-edition pieces, the brand offers distinctive and elegant staple pieces.
Khojah, who received frequent compliments and questions about the abayas she made for herself, began getting requests to create them for others. She founded her fashion label during the coronavirus pandemic, and it became a huge hit, expanding to include teams for embroidery and handmade goods. The brand also has its own perfume line inspired by French perfumes.
By Jana Khojah offers cleaning instructions to accompany every garment, as the natural fabrics used in their creation, such as silk or fur, can be delicate and require special attention. To ensure the pieces arrive undamaged, they are wrapped in paper packing and then in carton boxes.
Prices are reasonable for the uniqueness and quality of the creations. Follow By Jana Khojah’s Instagram account @jk.designer1 for more details.
Saudi Fashion Commission unveils big plans to support local talent
New high-tech product development studio to be built at Misk City Hub
Partnership deals signed with four of industry’s leading players
Updated 14 October 2022
RIYADH: The Fashion Commission has announced a range of new initiatives to provide increased support for the Kingdom’s designers and greater opportunities to promote their work to a global audience.
At its inaugural Fashion Strategy Roadshow on Wednesday, the organization, which falls under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture, unveiled plans to create a product development studio for use by designers, as well as four partnership deals with leading industry players.
CEO Burak Çakmak said: “Over the last two years, the Saudi fashion sector has made great progress. From the launch of our yearlong mentoring program — Saudi 100 Brands — to Fashion Futures, our annual conference and Elevate — our female leadership program — we have been maximizing opportunities for local talent.
“Building a product development studio in Riyadh is a major step forward toward making Saudi a thriving fashion center.”
Located at the Misk City Hub, the 1,000-square-meter facility will provide designers and students with world-class product development support, technology and equipment, including a 3D knitting machine, laser cutting machine, leather stitching and industrial sewing machines and fabric digital printers.
The studio will also have an extensive range of kit for jewelry making, including a Formlab 3D printer and a die cast metal stamping machine.
Princess Reema bint Bandar, who sits on the commission’s board, said: “This next generation of fashion designers and their innovative designs are absolutely enchanting. Their creative energy is evident, their talent is apparent and their vision is a sign of great things to come.
“Over 1,300 people applied to participate in the Saudi 100 Brands program, which is an indication of the vast promise of this industry,” she said.
“As Saudi opens up to the world, fashion will help us tell our story of change and the transformational impact of Vision 2030.”
As part of its ongoing efforts to support the fashion industry, the commission also signed four partnership deals, including ones with Mukatafa, an organization that seeks to increase collaboration between the private and public sectors, and multichannel retailer Kamal Osama Jamjoom Group.
1,000-square-meter facility will provide designers and students with world-class product development support, technology and equipment, including a 3D knitting machine, laser cutting machine, leather stitching and industrial sewing machines and fabric digital printers.
The two others were with Middle East jewelry giant L’azurde in a bid to boost the exposure of local brands, and marketing firm Sela, with the aim of championing the Kingdom’s designers via the Saudi 100 Brands program and providing them with retail space during the high season of Ramadan.
Ammar Bogari, the commission’s general manager for strategy and business development, said: “Fashion isn’t only what we wear. Fashion is much broader than that. Fashion is culture. Fashion is economy. Fashion is environment and soft power.”
He added that thanks to Vision 2030, more than half of the people working in fashion in the Kingdom were women and Saudis held two-thirds of all jobs within the core sector.
Under the Vision initiative, the commission has sought to promote education and creativity in the fashion industry, as well as supporting product development and increasing localization of the manufacturing and supply chain.
It also recently announced a partnership with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology to create greater opportunities for research and development.
Through the Saudi 100 Brands program, the commission has sought to increase the global exposure of Saudi fashion by exhibiting at New York and Milan Fashion Weeks.
Saudi designer Tima Abid, whose creations are included in the program, told Arab News the commission was having a huge and “beautiful” impact on the industry.
“I think the new strategies will give great opportunities to all the designers for their creativity to reach (global markets) in a form that pleases … and most importantly it will be an honorable interface for our country,” she said.