Saudi designer Nasiba Hafiz stands out among Instagram’s glossy feeds for her authenticity and quirky style. “It all started with my parents, but mainly my mother, of course. We share the same name, and have so much in common, especially our love for fashion.”
Ensconced by seven siblings, Hafiz has always been something of a pioneer. Her idea of upcycling and recycling came to her after the passing of her father, renowned Saudi publisher Hisham Hafiz, in 2006. Many years later, she discovered that the family still had bags of his clothes stored. “Nobody wanted to give any away,” she recalls. “He was a collector of many things, but one thing that I remember most were his neck ties. He even had them in his dressing room inside a cupboard with a machine that would roll them so you can choose which one you want to wear for the day.” Hafiz crafted a memento for each of her siblings from her father’s ties and the idea to create clothes out of existing pieces was born.
“I am passionate about the environment as well and I hate being in an industry that is among the top three that pollute Earth,” states Hafiz. “But my passion is fashion, so I try to make the best out of what I have. Instead of adding to the environment, I try to redesign, amend clothes that we already have, and use things that already exist like scarves, neck ties, and more,” continues the designer, who has degrees from London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins. Her designs are also inspired by musical plays and Egyptian film muses, and her signature Love and Heart abayas are a mélange of timeless, daring cuts and delicate tailoring. Hafiz’s work is all handmade in collaboration with Namat Embroidery. Her ongoing collaborators include Sarah’s Bag in Lebanon, Saudi artist RexChouk, SEP Jordan, Al Oula charity organization, and Sleysla KSA with Saudi women artists that transform traditional patterns and fabrics into eco-friendly, handmade modern designs.
Originally published in the June 2022 issue of Vogue Arabia
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