20 Saudi Fashion Designers To Watch Now
AboutHer is committed to shining a light on every brilliant mind making a difference in the world. This month, it’s the fashion industry’s turn.
With Saudi Arabia’s entire sectors are in full swing, and with Vision 2030 backing the uproar up, many creatives have been emerging on the scene and leaving us amazed. From enterprises based on social causes to brands worn by the likes of Beyonce and Lupita Nyong’o, Saudis have been killing it with a simple thread and needle. Combining the majestic and deep-rooted heritage of the kingdom, with today’s modern demands, the collections being birthed are nothing short of outstanding.
Take a look at the 20 Saudi Arabian female fashion designers that have been leaving traces not just on the local scene, but the international one as well:
1- Mariam bin Mahfouz, Sotra
Founded by Mariam bin Mahfouz, Sotra is a brand that classifies itself as a “humble dining-table design genesis”. Their designs are chic, minimalistic, and perfect for every occasion. The designer launched her Jeddah-based label in 2010, and has been soaring ever since. The main theme of Mariam's designs is marrying tradition with the contemporary, and her influences vary according to the current culture she’s intrigued by in the moment.
2- Nora Al Shaikh
Nora Al Shaikh launched her brand, named after her, in 2012. She draws inspiration from architecture and rich color palettes. Her creative process is based on experiences she goes through, from a trip to a museum in New York to a stroll in the streets of Paris. Even though the globe trotter is known to be a well-rounded international citizen, you never fail to see the Saudi Arabian heritage instilled in her designs.
3- Honayda Al Serafi, Honayda
Known for dressing the likes of Lupita Nyong’o, Honayda tells the story of an empowered woman that celebrates her power and femininity. Her designs are sleek, elegant, and known to make heads turn. The Saudi Arabia fashion designer’s brand is strikingly versatile as you’ll find kaftans and abayas, as well as daring evening wear.
4- Sarah Al Saud, Death by Dolls
Perhaps the most famous Halloween costume was designed by this Saudi fashion designer. Sarah Al Saud is dressing celebrities Beyonce to Miley Cyrus. Her collections are edgy and channel the avant-garde 80s where everything was bold and dramatic. Influenced by her grandmother, Sarah Al Saud’s aesthetic has the most striking flair, as she tends to incorporate vibrant colors, glamour, and most importantly drama.
5- Razan Alazzouni
Razan Alazzouni doesn’t make clothes, she sculpts them. Playing with layering, light, embroidery and beading, this Saudi fashion designer’s brand is focused on the female form and its natural poise. Coming from an arts background, the designer found herself returning to earlier influences all throughout her designing journey, and the result was a dashing line that aims to show off the wearer in all her glory.
6- Sadeem Alshehail, SADEEM
This Saudi designer does not only make luxury items fit for everyone, her enterprise also adopts an ethical approach. Clean lines and an ultra-lavish feel, the creations are designed with great attention to detail and what the modern woman wants in her wardrobe. Environmental awareness in fashion entrepreneurship is a plus in our present day, and Sadeem has that on lockdown.
7- Renad Hefni, Royaled
“Crown your confidence” is what Renad Hefni wants from you, and she portrays that amazingly in her designs. Royalty is not a crown or a bloodline, it’s a state of mind. This Saudi fashion designer wants her cutting-edge collections to empower women and make them feel that they can accomplish anything they set their minds to. You cloak of power is ready and available with Royaled by Renad Hefni.
8- Mashael AlRajhi, MASHAEL
It’s not just any label, it’s a way of life. Mashael Alrajhi ventured into design immediately after graduation and hasn’t looked back since. The collections follow an artisan concept of work, and a rebellious one at that. The Saudi designer’s pieces make use of complex practices to create texture and volume from flat fabrics. A whole story is sewn into this Saudi designer’s brand.
9- Alya Al Sawwaf, SWAF Designs
Alya’s designs resemble something of a priceless painting. Her asymmetrical shapes fused with layers and ruffles have captured the attention of many fashion-conscious names in the industry. This Saudi designer was part of the first fashion show hosted in the kingdom, and her collection oozed of indulgence and beauty, qualities that connect her to her country. Al Sawwaf is one of the designers that is adamant on growing her brand in her home country, and she takes pride in that.
10- Reem Al Kanhal
Creating masterpieces since 2009, Saudi fashion designer Reem Al Kanhal’s collection is ever-evolving. Her most recent muse is the busy woman. She wants to make clothes for the female powerhouse doing it all, from leading work meetings to taking out her children for ice cream. Style and comfort is the main theme dominating her pieces where you’ll always find head-turning details, like multi-faceted karate pants or a lopsided knee-length skirt.
11- Herfah by Naeema
This Saudi brand has 40 creative minds behind it. Local Saudi women are embroidering the stunning coats we see from Herfah. The brand has even been featured on one of the key ecommerce players in the world, Moda Operandi. Not only that, the brand celebrates ethical fashion and sustainability by using faux fur, even for the renowned farwa jackets. When you sport Herfah by Naeema, you’ll get to be wearing thousand-year-old heritage, an activism statement, and a beautiful piece reflecting local craftsmanship.
12- Arwa Al Banawi
Birthed from a summer home garage, this brand is taking over like nothing we’ve seen before. Arwa Al Banawi has managed to make provocative statements targeting social issues, through the means of a printed t-shirt. Does The Suitable Woman even exist? Does she have to study in America and drive a red car? This Saudi fashion designer probes into topics and lets her audience make whatever of them. The main theme is a strong Arab woman who can be whatever she want. Our favorite piece? The Nahnou Mamlaka shirts, which translates to We Are A Kingdom. Which we believe plays on both the resilience of Saudi women and their royal minds, but also can speak to any woman in the world who knows royalty is something within. We love it when a fashion designer inspires us.
13- Daneh Buahmad, Daneh Designs
Launched in 2011, Daneh Designs is a fashion line created by Saudi designer Daneh Buahmad. Her collections aspire to faze the wall between day and evening wear, and commend an effortless approach while at it. The designers wants her pieces to appeal to the diverse woman of today, and what she’ll feel comfortable with. Having received impressive international recognition, Daneh Buahmad is amongst the Saudi Arabian designers making a mark on the global fashion scene.
14- Safiah Alaquil, Badawiah
This Saudi fashion designer is half Argentinian and her rich cultural background managed to manifest itself in many of her designs. Badawiah, her label, boasts of stunning pieces that carry tradition with a remarkable twist. You’ll find lots of colors and feathers united with ultimate comfort in her pieces. The remarkable thing about this Saudi designer is that proceeds of her brand help raise funds for children in need.
15- Khawla Al Harbi
Futurism with a hint of desert is what this Saudi fashion designer is aiming at. Khawla Al Harbi derived her love for fashion from her dressmaker mother, and then later went on to tune her talents at the Art and Skills institute in Riyadh. Her collections are unmissable due to their eccentric nature and striking use of fabrics. Al Harbi aims to cater to not only the Saudi Arabian market, but the international scene as well, and from the looks of her designs she’s well on the right path.
16- Lojain Al-Refae, MULU Athletics
This Saudi fitness trainer/fashion designer is the creator of the first sports abaya. Lojain Al-Refae has met the requirements of every athletic woman who wants to wear her abaya when exercising. The material is breathable and flexible, and not to mention is made by a fitness trainer, so the credibility holds itself there. She created the brand when she moved to KSA and found that she couldn’t run as comfortably as she would like to in a normal abaya, and so the innovative idea was born.
17- Lama Taher, LUM
This Saudi fashion designer taught us a lesson in style and perseverance. She holds a PhD in psychology and managed to set up a whole fashion label, even though her supporters at first were small. Her designs hold hints of the Victorian era with modern details and modest features. Minimalism, simplicity, and elegance held on the pillars of an inspiring back story of success and perseverance; who wouldn’t want to wear that?
18- Saja Al Yousef, SAJAS official
This Saudi fashion designer is not only invested in garments but in jewelry and accessories as well. Her designs ooze of luxury and extravagance, and each season she has a new muse. One of her collections, PEARL N TWEED, was inspired by the iconic Coco Chanel. While her most recent collection, SAHARA, which is based on charming nudes and flowy figures, is based on the mighty African desert. Where her heart leads her, her mind translates on the fabric. You’ll find that Saja Al Yousef’s creations tend to have a European flair, while also staying in touch with her Saudi Arabian background.
19- Shams Qahtani
This Saudi fashion designer is one of the up-and-coming on the scene, and we can safely say she made a bang for her debut. Shams Qahtani is not only a designer but she is quite the sketch artist as well. The creative specializes in making abayas and kaftans with beautiful embroidery. The patterns are strategically placed on the shoulder of her creations giving them allure of wings and putting an exquisite twist on a simple abaya.
20- Noura Al Harithi, RE:UNITE
Power dressing in all its elegance and authority. Noura Al Harithi is refabricating the definition of formal wear for women. It’s all about being ageless, up-to-the-minute, and simply, powerful. She claims it’s going to be “The Uniform of Femininity” and we couldn’t agree more. The striking thing about her suits is the touch of Saudi Arabia she places. If you look harder at her suits, you’ll find that the buttons are inspired by Arabian culture and heritage.