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Designer Spotlight: Nasiba Hafiz on making fashion sustainable

Saudi Arabia’s fashion scene is definitely growing and Saudi designer Nasiba Hafiz stands out amongst the crowd.

Her father, the late publisher Hisham Hafiz, was a collector of many things while her mother Nasiba Tarabzouni, was a socialite with an impeccable flare for fashion. Their unconventional charm and grace was the source of inspiration that propelled young Nasiba to dream of becoming a designer. She started out with a degree in fashion photography and styling from the renowned Central Saint Martins college at The University of the Arts London. Ten years on, she became a designer with a degree from the London College of Fashion, Dubai.

The Jeddah-based designer started her eponymous brand in 2012 and is known for her ready-to-wear items, audacious printed kaftans and colorfully patterned abayas. She went bold and broke the rules with her minimal approach in designing her collections. Gone are the typical excessive florals, embroidery and sequins found in Saudi fashion. Her contemporary creations are inspired by family photos, musical plays, Egyptian film muses, and gloriously colorful depictions from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s.

Nasiba uses daring fabrics and asymmetric shapes all the while ensuring that she tackles the urgent issue of sustainability. Being part of one of the most polluting industries, the designer strives to produce eco-friendly clothes and reduce waste. She follows the 3Rs - reduce, reuse, and recycle - to manage waste. She repurposes left over, unused and old items to give waste material a second chance and breathe life into new designs. In this way, by recycling and upcycling fabrics, she avoids them ending up in landfills.

Hafiz often uses the ties that her late father used to collect, altering them into new articles of clothing. Thus the idea to create fashionable attire out of existing items was born and with them, she launched a line of dresses and skirts. “Young designers nowadays are very environmentally conscious and education and awareness are where the future is,” she explains. What makes Hafiz’s designs even more appealing is that all her work is in collaboration with charities, whose mission is to provide secure, productive, and sustainable employment for those in need. She works with the likes of SEP Jordan, Sarah’s Bag Lebanon, and with Saudi-based non-governmental organizations such as Namat, Al Oula, Sleysla and local artist Rex Chouk.

Hafiz' collections are sold in pop up stores in Tokyo, Los Angeles, London and Dubai. Be sure to check out the avant-garde vintage selections for the very best in unique handmade items. This brand will revive your summer wardrobe, with playful midis, graphic shifts and feather light tunics.

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