London Arabia and Art Fashion Week: The Low Down

Last week saw the opening show of London Arabia Art and Fashion Week, which is now an annual event on London’s thriving summer agenda.

Throughout summer, London partakes in a plethora of creative events and workshops and the LAAFW was the perfect opportunity to network as well as showcase their creative talents to those in the art and fashion industry.

“The third year running, the Arabia Art and Fashion Week in London is becoming a mainstay on London’s thriving cultural scene, and we hope it helps people from both regions to continue to cooperate, trade, exchange and understand each other,” Omar Bdour, the head of London Arabia Organization, told Arab News.

The show opened at the Jumeirah Carlton on Wednesday, revealing the latest in Middle Eastern fashion, predominantly from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Morocco, the events curator, Asmaa Al-Jabri, said, “we made an effort to select a few designers that have shown special creative and tailoring skills that could be deemed worthy of exhibiting their product at the pop-up shop at Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge, London.” Asmaa Al-Jabri and her two sisters are the founders of Velvet Abaya, a concept that originated in the Saudi kingdom 12 years ago, and has taken their modest fashion vision from strength to strength.

Amongst designers was Lamia Alsamra, a Saudi designer who enchanted attendees with her luxurious collections. As a businesswoman, she set up shop in 2016 with her multi-brand boutique in Khobar, and eventually developed her own line, she said, “My ‘Royal Collection’ is based mainly on tailored designs with hand embroideries and color.”

Also featured at the momentous cultural event in London was a piece made by Professor Helen Storey, designed from a tent from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, as a prompt that the world is yet to solve the growing refugees crisis.

General Manager, Simon Youden, of Harvey Nichols also spoke about diversity and inclusion within the industry, “In summer time, London increases its diversity, and hosting this pop-up is part of what we do at Harvey Nichols in pushing the boundaries of retail and welcoming Arab designers in the store.”

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