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Hatem Alakeel: On Tradition and Ath-Leisure


Hatem Alakeel

Creative and innovative, Saudi designer and founder of Toby by Hatem Alakeel is known for marrying together traditional Middle Eastern garments with a Western style of fashion. The brand promotes versatility and comfort, whilst maintaining a balance of tradition and modern edginess through high quality apparel.

Ever the pioneer of bringing unique fashions to the forefront of Saudi fashion, this season Hatem Alakeel will be combining sportswear with the traditional thobe naming his collection, “Sports Lux a la Traditional”.

“Sportswear is the new fashion and this collection is derived from the DNA of the thobe with a sportswear feel. The message behind this line is going back to the DNA of Toby. The cuts, features, aesthetics are very much part of it and we elevated it so it’s more polished,” Alakeel told national press. “Sportswear is viewed as casual, practical and, unfortunately at times, it may come across as sloppy. I wanted to present more polished, more high-end pieces of sportswear, hence the name Sports Lux a la Traditional.”

Hatem prides his work on the fact that he has reworked and transformed the traditional thobe into a more modern garment that appeals to both Arabs and non-Arabs. His sports-luxe series boasts sharp cuts, sleek lines with arabesque embroidery on collars and cuffs, to stay true to his roots whilst working with a muted and timeless color palette of black and white, grey and navy. The collection has a luxury streetwear vibe with pieces including bomber jackets and shirt-jackets.

The Saudi designer has also been commended on designing this year’s BMG annual Polo Cup players’ t-shirts, and has also been known to have dressed the likes of Prince William and Saudi Arabia’s of the Saudi Polo Federation, Amr Zedan during a friendly match between the British and Saudi teams earlier this month. It is a huge charitable event where members of the European and Middle Eastern royal families, politicians and major celebrities are hosted by the BMG Foundation, with all donations are offered to a range of environmental and humanitarian causes.

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