Alaa Balkhy is not your ordinary influencer. The Saudi Arabian Instagram personality has been a Vogue Arabia cover star, is a globetrotter and entrepreneur extraordinaire. Balkhy, who draws inspiration from her dual life in Jeddah and New York, has recently announced that she’s launching a clothing line, with ethereal silhouettes and vintage-modern pieces that fit right into the contemporary woman’s closet.
The Resort ’19 Collection, as the line will be known, features luxurious fabrics like washed silk, crepe, satin and taffeta. The illustrator and editor stays true to her roots in the collection with pieces in colors like coral that pay homage to her hometown, Jeddah. This blends in perfectly with her mission to curate local talent and lift up emerging creators in the area. We interviewed her on her latest creative venture.
Has it always been a dream for you to launch your own clothing brand?
I’ve always had a thing for creating pieces. It started with [my magazine] Fyunka at the age of 21. But my style has evolved in the past nine years, and I wanted to create pieces that were more me now– articles that were versatile to wear in both Jeddah and New York since I’m based between both cities.
How long have you been planning this? And how hard was it?
This has been in the back of my mind for two years now. I had a Pinterest, but didn’t know what the right time to take that leap and just go for it was. I wanted to create something slowly and locally with limited edition pieces that were one of a kind. I also wanted to know things like who the person that made my clothes was, and where the fabric was sourced from.
What was your inspiration behind it?
This collection is also an inspiration from my own vintage closet, and pieces I’ve been collecting throughout my years of living in New York. I also wanted to have this collection as an ode to Jeddah, the city where I feel at most home. We embroidered Jeddah’s famous roundabouts on the slip dresses. I decided that I wanted the pieces to be made in Saudi Arabia and that the first collection was to be shot in Jeddah by an all-woman team.
How would you describe the woman that will be wearing your designs?
I would say she has a thing for vintage design and extravagant fabric. She appreciates slow fashion and the process behind it.