Jeddah, Asharq Al-Awsat- The traditional Saudi attire is now suitable for all tastes, asserted Hatim al-Aqeel, a Saudi designer. He believes that one’s clothes are a reflection of one’s personality. Despite that, Hatim respects tradition but believes strongly in progression. His designs reflect his faith in a mix of Eastern and Western style and he has ushered in a new phenomenon in the world of the traditional Saudi ‘Thowb’.
“The idea came to me as I observed young people who were no longer interested in the classic, traditional look, so I started to think about a new way in which I could portray one’s personality and its uniqueness but through authentic fashion. I wanted my Thowb to reflect individual characteristics. We need to see people express their individuality through their clothes,” al Aqeel told Asharq Al Awsat.
The Saudi designer continued, “The current designs include the Bohemian line that is characterized by unique and modern embroidery. Here I tried to refrain from traditional stitching that I believe is outdated. With the Sports line I use the number seven because it brings me good luck and it is in high demand from youngsters as well as adults. There is also the Trend line which is a result of everything I have learnt and acquired over my years in fashion and everything that I liked from different designers and designs. Last but not least, there is also the Classic line. This uses the classic white shirt that we would wear with a suit but I have extended it to become a Thowb and this was met with great interest from employees in banks, businessmen and others.”
Al Aqeel attempts to mix between eastern and western attire. He said, “Eastern culture is going through some changes. The youth are seeking change and development. It is for this reason that I tried to meet their demands by introducing the vest in casual clothing.”
As for basic fabrics used in his designs al Aqeel said, “I use 100% Italian cotton, Japanese cotton and Tetron cloth that is used for clothes for newborn babies. What is important is that there is a high demand from the market for new ideas with regards to traditional clothing.”