An exhibition in New York highlights Saudi designers

“Saudi 100” is a touring exhibition currently in New York featuring clothing and accessories from 100 Saudi designers curated by Burak Cakmak, CEO of Saudi Arabia’s Fashion Commission and former fashion dean of Parsons School of Design. On display until August 7 at the Flatiron event space Iron23, it’s free and open to the public with pre-registration.

Foz Couture

Jared Siskin/PMC

The traveling fashion showcase debuted late last year in the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh. Divided into eight different categories – ready-to-wear, modest, concept, premiere, demi-couture, bridal, handbags and jewelry – it represents the creative breadth and exquisite craftsmanship that the Kingdom’s designers, eighty percent of whom are women, offer. . Many have never shown their work internationally before. “First and foremost, it’s about opening that cultural bridge that can lead to more steps in the future,” says Cakmak.

The designers represent all levels of business development, from emerging brands launched by recent design school graduates to established labels of two women in their 70s. Cakmak posts a gold thread Foz Couture jumpsuit with matching cape and a Layla Moussa hand-embroidered with chrysanthemum flowers as two highlights.

For Cakmak, the choice of New York for the exhibition’s first international stop was motivated both personally and socio-culturally. “I lived here for five years during my time with Parsons and I have always believed in the diversity of what New York has to offer culturally,” he says. “And if you look at the history of fashion, it’s clear that Paris has couture, but it was New York that really made a big business out of it.”

layla moussa design, saudi 100

Layla Moussa Design

Jared Siskin/PMC

The exhibition is part of a larger annual program that aims to nurture Saudi talent, provide mentorship from global industry leaders and conduct workshops on topics from design and innovation to building a sustainable business.

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