Introducing the Arab World’s Avant Garde Fashion Visionaries

A whole new generation is taking over

by and

It’s been weeks since designers have started showcasing their latest textile endeavours across the world’s most famed catwalks. From New York to London, Milan and now Paris, the industry has seen a huge wave of creatives book more than one agency and model to defuse their newest collections. 

We’re always ecstatic to find out what today’s designers have up their sleeves, but we’re even more excited to see who holds the future in their hands. As we all know, every generation wants to leave a mark on their own respective era. And if the previous decade was heavily influenced by streetwear culture and its subsequent aesthetic, it is worth wondering which one will define the next. 

Hailing from all corners of the region, we’ve gathered a hefty list of designers that we predict will rock the world of fashion in the times to come. 

Ayyoub Moumen

Tunisian and Paris-based designer and performer Ayoub Moumen might just be one of the visionaries of our generation. Founder and creative behind REW Studio, he doesn’t design for the bling; he does it for himself and his people. Subversive and loud, dark, sexy, the clothes speak for themselves. Through the wide range of his projects, Moumen establishes himself as a force to be reckoned with. Each collection or show he works on is a loud claim for identity, sexuality and the punk life in the dark, on the outskirts of society. A beautiful materialization of what’s tragically deemed ugly.

Faris Bennani

We’ve said this before, the Moroccan designer definitely knows how to single himself out of a large crowd. Very defiant in the way he conceptualizes and delivers his garments, silhouettes and shapes are given other meanings as Faris seems to never be afraid from challenging what we call the norm. 

More on Faris Bennani: From Morocco to Central Saint Martins, Meet Faris Bennani

Zaid Hijazi

The Jordanian-Palestinian designer is an FTA Debut Talent Prize recipient and it really comes as no surprise. The young trailblazer reveals a more artistic approach to fashion using cloth, cotton and other distinctive materials as canvases to brush his feelings out on. Unapologetically different, Zaid’s darkly detailed imagery will definitely know how to speak to the wider audience. 

Shokri Lawrence 

Palestinian designer Shukri Lawrence is the creative director behind queer streetwear label Trashy Clothing,. The subversive designer challenges Arab stereotypes and identities with a DIY approach to a camp and trashy kind of fashion, putting the mix into a daring, provocative yet stunning tableau. Lawrence’s creations are a reclamation of what ‘trashy’ fashion means in an anti-classicism, anti-homogenization movement. Each season, Lawrence takes the brand further in terms of style, creative direction and overall visual artistry. So if you think you’ve seen the best of him, no you haven’t.

Kristian David

Freshly graduated from The Swedish School of Textiles, Kristian David is already making noise around him. His sharp and modern avant-garde take on tailoring, traditional thobes and keffiyehs is a true bridge between two separate worlds. Worlds which he both relates to, being born in Sweden to Assyrian parents and with Iraqi, Syrian and Lebanese roots. Sticking the Iraqi flag and the middle eastern keffiyeh pattern to the wildest garments, reminiscent of the Pierre Cardin Padoga shoulders, Kristian David proposes a new kind of other-worldly fashion; In your face, beyond time and space.

Ahmed Serour

Drenched in references to the region, Ahmed Serour is more than just your average designer as he tackles many cultural codes through fabric. Manhood is often explored through its wide variety of meanings to give birth to some unique creations only Serour knows the secret of. The composition of most of his designs are eye-catchy by nature as their structures are inimitable. 

Kays Mass

There aren’t that many words that can describe the work of Kays Mass. The Brussels-based creative is a conceptual accessory designer that uses futuristic frames to designs that scream of Matrix. Unique and seemingly dystopian, his creations feel like body extensions in a world that is getting more and more digital. 

Malik Thomas

Designer sometimes, painter at others; the British-Iraqi loves to make both of these worlds collide through fashion. Founder of the eponymous and androgynous Malik Thomas Studios, the young artist knows how to work with detail and can show off a wide set of techniques most of us could only wish we could have. 

Fadi Zumot

Minimalistic and monochrome, Zumot explores the wide meanings of gender through fabric and clothing while “addressing social cultural notions of expression and restriction.” Innovative and barrier breaking, Fadi’s work is a much-needed breath of air that the region needs to pay attention to.

Reema Al Banna

Measuring success in this industry isn’t the easiest. But when royals start knocking on your door to wrap themselves up in one of your creations, by then it’s safe to say that you’ve made it. Part of Forbes’ highly prestigious list of 40 Women Behind Middle Eastern brands, Reema’s eponymous label has conquered the hearts of many influential figures in the region including Bella Hadid and Queen Rania of Jordan to name just them. Colourful and specifically tailored by women for women, we can expect the UAE-based creative to reach staggering heights in the next few years. And she deserves to for sure. 

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