In the run-up to Eid-al-Fitr, Saudi Arabian designer, Hatem Alakeel has revealed his latest collection in his children’s fashion line, Toby Jr. by Hatem Alakeel. The collection was launched at his signature boutique in Jeddah this week. The late fashion icon, Karl Lagerfeld and his work became the inspiration for the children’s collection.
“Karl Lagerfeld has inspired me since I started fashion designing, and references to the European style of bowties and neckties can be seen in both, Toby and Toby Jr.,” he shared with Vogue.me. In the children’s collection, thobes of the colors black, grey, and cyan are accompanied with elegant tuxedo-inspired jackets. On designing clothes for his seven-year-old fashion line for kids the designer said, “What distinguishes children’s fashion is that you can unleash creativity, unlike designing for grown men who prefer classic and practical looks. There are gentlemen who are willing to try different looks, there are always limits you don’t want to cross.”
Alakeel is known for being one of the first few designers to take a renewed approach with the traditional thobe by adding Western touches to it. While international and modern influences are evident in his creation, the designer believes in elevating the traditional. “At a time when you see a lot of t-shirts and sneakers, I think it’s nice to have a unique and polished look that Karl has, which is what I always try to do for Toby. ”
Though the designer grew up in Europe, the inspiration for his designs travels the world. “I am keen to portray global elegance in my design despite having been influenced by many fashion legends such as John Galliano, Elsa Schiaparelli, Cristóbal Balenciaga, and Ralph Lauren,” said the Saudi designer.
The collection is available for purchase at Hatem Alakeel’s boutique store in Jeddah and at tobybyhatem.com