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Embracing Identity: Sara Chraibi's Proud Journey as an Arab, Muslim Woman

Moroccan designer Sara Chraibi, the sole woman to represent the Middle East and North Africa at Paris Haute Couture Week, expanded her reach by showcasing her latest collection at Dubai Fashion Week, shortly after debuting it in France earlier this year. Despite some surprise at her decision to present in the UAE, Chraibi sees it as a natural extension of her connection to the region.

Established in 2012, Chraibi's Rabat-based label holds a prestigious position among Arab-led brands featured alongside renowned names like Chanel and Valentino on the Paris runway. As the only female designer from her region at Paris Haute Couture Week, Chraibi feels a profound responsibility as both a designer and a cultural ambassador.

Chraibi draws inspiration from Moroccan culture, infusing her designs with a contemporary yet authentic touch, aiming to transcend stereotypes and establish her unique voice in the industry. Understanding the preferences of her regional clientele, she tailored her Dubai showcase to resonate with local tastes, emphasizing the importance of experiencing haute couture up close to truly appreciate its intricacies.

“Haute couture is about feeling the material, the detail, the work, the hand beading, and sometimes is just about the construction of the dress. You have to see it very close.”

For Chraibi, entering the world of haute couture fulfills a lifelong dream rooted in her childhood experiences learning sewing and embroidery from her mother. Despite lacking formal fashion training, her design approach is shaped by her architectural expertise, which skillfully combines construction with cultural significance.

Preserving traditional craftsmanship while embracing innovation is central to Chraibi's approach, as she proudly incorporates her North African and Muslim heritage into every creation.

“If we keep the tradition as it was back in the time, it will not stay alive anymore. To keep the savoir-faire alive, we need to use it, to combine it, to redo, rethink, reconstruct it, and come up with something new.”

Her decision to showcase at Dubai Fashion Week reflects a desire to broaden perspectives and celebrate her roots on a global stage, attracting a diverse clientele with her fusion of Eastern and Western influences.

The designer pursued her architecture studies in Rabat before completing them in Paris, where she obtained her degree in both philosophy and architectural theory.

Chraibi's journey from Rabat to Paris signifies not only personal success but also a broader evolution within the fashion industry, where voices from diverse cultural backgrounds are increasingly recognized and celebrated. As she continues to leave her mark on the world stage, Chraibi remains committed to authenticity, innovation, and cultural pride.

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