Designers to Follow / Fashion

Five new-gen Arab designers on the rise you need to know

From grunge-couture to deconstructed tailoring.

The Fashion Trust Arabia prize,  co-chaired by Tania Fares and Sheikha Al- Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani, is a non-profit fashion fund initiative which will provide funding, support and mentorship to the next generation of dynamic Arab fashion designers. The 25 shortlisted designers, selected from across the MENA region, presented their collections in Doha in March (with an esteemed panel of industry judges on board, including Haider Ackerman, Pierpaolo Piccioli, Natalia Vodianova, Olivier Rousteing, Diane von Furstenberg, Edgardo Osorio, and Erdem Moralioglu) with the winners announced in a special prize event that evening. Below, HUNGER picks the five young Arab designers you need to follow breaking the mould.

Hamza Guelmouss

Location

Morocco

Hit Follow

@hamzaguelmouss

Fashion CV

Hamza Guelmouss is a 24-year-old emerging Moroccan fashion designer, whose brand combines a downtown grungy yet luxurious taste with a fetish for black and leather. His first collection « Dystopia 3.0 » garnered pan-African recognition as the winner of the 2015 ELLE rising star competition in South Africa as well as the 10th edition of FIMA-Africa contest in Niger, 2016. Hamza’s time and energy are devoted to crafting empowering pieces that push boundaries and question society, gender, and youth culture via subverting the codes of luxury and fashion. Now, Hamza Guelmouss second collection entitled « UNDERNEATH THE BRIDGE », was inspired by the legendary Kurt Cobain, viewing the non-conformist and rebellious grunge subculture through the distorting lens of the ostentatious luxury of Haute couture.

Nafsika Skourti

 

 

Location

Jordan

Hit Follow

@nafsikaskourti

Fashion CV

Nafsika Skourti is a directional upper contemporary womenswear brand that embraces both glamour and anti-glamour. Collections are built around an eclectic mix of references, research, and textile development. Nafsika and Stephanie Skourti, two Greek-Jordanian sisters with a balance of fashion and business savvy, are the duo behind the label.

Despite the lack of an established fashion landscape in Jordan, Nafsika Skourti has helped create a community of like-minded artists through their passion for design, and has had the honour of dressing one of the most stylish women in the Middle East – HRM Queen Rania – from their Amman atelier.

Boyfriend

Location

Lebanon and Beirut

Hit Follow

@boyfriendthebrand

Fashion CV

Lebanese & Beirut-based, Amin Jreissati was always surrounded by family members with an acute affinity towards fashion, growing up to be what you would call a fashion native.

After a Bachelor’s degree in Business Hospitality from the Lebanese American University of Beirut (LAU), Amine went on to obtain a Master’s degree in Fashion Design from Instituto Marangoni. And since then, he has been living, breathing & working the fashion industry for over a decade. Amine kicked off his career with a 5-year stint as head of the fashion department at Marie Claire Arabia, after which he became a coveted freelance art director for some of the most luxurious brands, such as Chanel, Dior, Prada & Bvlgari, and as a stylist for select regional & global celebrities.

Having worked so closely with an array of talented photographers, as well as with reputable regional online/offline publications, Amine has produced high-calibre visual shoots & acclaimed editorial content, thus building very strong & close relationships with all the major press, editors & fashion journalists both locally & internationally.

Roni Helou

Location

Lebanon

Hit Follow

@ronihelou

Fashion CV

Roni Helou was born in Lebanon in 1992. He attended Creative Space Beirut, a progressive fashion design institution offering free education. Upon graduating, he took part in Starch Foundation for two seasons, through which his collections were presented at Fashion Forward Dubai.

Roni was awarded the Boghossian Foundation Fashion Prize for 2017, which offers a residency at Villa Empain in Brussels, where he will work on an upcoming project. Pieces from Roni’s previous collections were displayed at Les Nouveux Créateurs in Paris as part of Exposition Mode émergente du monde arabe, co-curated by Institut du Monde Arabe and Fashion Forward Dubai.

As finalist in the London-based International Fashion Showcase, Roni displayed his FW19 collection at London Fashion Week in February. The brand Roni Helou has been featured in prominent regional media outlets such as Vogue Arabia, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia and the National UAE. His designs are sold at various boutiques in the region.

 

Salim Azzam

Location

Lebanon

Hit Follow

@azzamsalim

Fashion CV

Salim Azzam is a Visual Storyteller and Illustrator who has created a socially-conscious brand, inspired by local traditions and cultural heritage. His clothing is hand-crafted and embroidered by women from mountain villages near Mount Lebanon, who have embroidery skills but had had never previously been provided with a platform to present their talents. With a feeling of responsibility to share the stories of his community, the people of his village interacted and engaged with him, telling all their stories with an open heart, and from these conversations inspired his work, as he became an illustrator of their stories.

2 May 2019