Meet the Saudi designers speaking at Hai Vogue in Al Balad.
Our first large-scale event in Saudi Arabia, Hai Vogue in Al Balad promises to be unlike any other block party—and it is open to the public! The festival features a packed schedule of fashion, music, culture, and art across two days in Jeddah’s oldest neighborhood on February 8-9. In line with our constant aim to inform, inspire, and uplift the creative scene in the region, Vogue Arabia has enlisted four incredible Saudi designers for a special discussion. On the opening day of Hai Vogue, Yousef Akbar of his namesake brand, Alia and Abeer Oraif of Atelier Hekayat, and Mohammed Khoja of Hindamme will come together for an insightful talk about creativity and fashion in the Kingdom. Each of the designers has made a mark in the industry by seamlessly integrating their Saudi heritage into their forward-thinking designs, which is one of the many qualities of the Kingdom’s emerging creative scene that Hai Vogue seeks to celebrate.
Read on to learn more about the designers, and find out everything about Hai Vogue — from how to get tickets, to the line-up of musical performances coming your way — here.
Yousef Akbar is the creative force behind his namesake brand, which he founded in 2017. The brand uses recycled and upcycled materials and believes in supporting local artisans and small communities in the Middle East. Akbar was selected as one of the finalists of the 2020 Vogue Fashion Prize and went on to win the Fashion Trust Arabia Eveningwear Prize in the same year. The designer’s work featuring bright hues, extraordinary silhouettes, and sumptuous textures has been favored by celebrities including Alicia Keys, Alessandra Ambrosio, Kelly Rowland, and Chrissy Teigen.
Alia and Abeer Oraif
Fashion designers and sisters Alia and Abeer Oraif launched Atelier Hekayat in 2012 out of a shared love for art, and a heritage that includes their grandfather as one of the founders of the textile department for the Kiswah that covers Al Kaaba in Mecca. Based in Jeddah, the brand aims to redefine outerwear with the Oraif sisters’ flair for the dramatic and bold using fine fabrics like lace, silk, organza, and chiffon, and sculptural details like ruffles and bell sleeves. In 2019, the Ministry of Culture named it one of the Kingdom’s most successful brands, offering it the Certificate of Excellence, among hundreds of fashion designers. Atelier Hekayat was also invited to participate in the Fashion Futures Event. In 2020, the brand was chosen to be a part of the Saudi 100 Brands Exhibition.
Self-taught designer Mohammed Khoja founded his ready-to-wear label Hindamme in 2016, inspired by the concept of merging elements of the East and West. As the name of his brand suggests —”to possess perfect form in harmony in aesthetics”—Khoja’s designs bring forth his identity in a contemporary format, often taking cues from nature and Saudi landscapes, such as AlUla. In 2018, Khoja paid tribute to the Kingdom’s landmark reform that lifted the ban on women driving, via a bomber jacket emblazoned with the date of the day women were allowed to drive in Saudi on the back. The jacket was later selected as a permanent display at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. In 2023, Khoja became one of 15 designers to be chosen by the Saudi Fashion Commission and MoCX (the Saudi Ministry of Culture’s General Department of Innovation) to exhibit at a pop-up in Paris.
Vogue Arabia is taking over Jeddah’s Al Balad for a one-of-a-kind block party at the UNESCO World Heritage Site. On February 8 and 9, 2024, join us at Hai Vogue, where we will turn the spotlight on Saudi’s spirited youth and creative community, framed by the unique architecture and spirit of this historical neighborhood. Buy your tickets here.