RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s fashion scene has gone through a major turnaround in recent years as many of its talented designers have found innovative ways to blend their art and culture.
Saudi fashion designer Mohammed Khoja, founder of the contemporary luxury label Hindamme, told Arab News recently that “being in Saudi Arabia now truly feels like living in a cultural renaissance.”
He added: “We are very much tied to our rich past and traditions, and I value those very dearly as is reflected in most of my designs.
“There is so much potential and room for growth within the Saudi fashion industry and I have absolute confidence that it will become one of the main industries in the Kingdom’s future, especially considering the establishment of the Ministry of Culture and the fashion commission, and the enormous and valuable role they have played.”
Several of Khoja’s statement pieces are currently exhibited in two world-renowned museums.
In the National Museum of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh, pieces from his latest season, inspired by the Nabataean civilization in AlUla, are being showcased as part of the “Calligraphy and Scripts” exhibition.
In the past week, his “driving jacket,” designed in 2018 to commemorate women being allowed to drive in the Kingdom, went on permanent display at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, becoming the first contemporary piece from a Saudi “creative” to feature in the museum’s collection.
“The exhibition is generally a reflection or a tool in storytelling and portrays important designs from our current generation. I am honored that my ready-to-wear collections have had the sort of impact and been selected by the curators of these two prestigious museums,” Khoja said.
“It’s always been my intention to reflect new aesthetics within my designs but to also go further and potentially convey a storyline or a positive message.”
The provided support means many share the same sentiment that “it’s the right time to build the Kingdom’s fashion industry,” with incubators, mentors, centers and initiatives launched to promote talent and bring international experience to the Kingdom in order to strengthen proficiency and capability.
With that support, Khoja is moving on to his next project with his new season coming out in August.
“It will present a positive outlook, especially in our post-pandemic world, which also very much feels like the equivalent of the 1960s ‘youthquake’ in the US from an aesthetic point of view,” he said. “But we have also learned many important lessons to take care of our planet, which is all that I’m able to share for now.”
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