23 November 2013

Designer Focus | Interview: Aziz Humaid - SS2014 Collection

 Aziz Humaid SS2014 - Marie Claire

Aziz Humaid's young and revolutionary mind is something you will notice not only from his collection but also after reading his answers for this interview, a confident man with a sharp intellect and a vivid imagination, these are only few words that describe him, I will leave you to discover the rest on your own. -Amal Ismail 
How would you like to introduce yourself to our readers...
My name is Aziz Humaid and I'm a design enthusiast. 

When did you decide to be a fashion designer?
It was in July 2009. A seemingly ordinary night out in Jeddah totally changed my direction. At that time I was studying abroad majoring in Graphic Design, but If you have been doing graphic design since the age of 11, studying it in college won't suffice. I was hungry for more but didn't know where to look, on the summer break I went back to Saudi for a family visit, I was out with friends one night, shopping for inspiration I think, and we passed by a fabric store, I was curious so I went in. I would like to use the word 'magical' to describe it, that moment I had my revelation, surrounded by colors and textures, the feeling was incredible. I never thought about fashion before, I cared about style but that night another world of possibilities opened its door. I realized the potential of this medium, it flamed me. I left the fabric store knowing that I've just took a step further into my personal evolution, just when I was considering architecture, fashion happened. So I went back to study fashion design.  Unlike graphic design, painting and poetry the things that interest me the most, fashion design embodies them all. A painting on the wall is a sad thing to me, why not have it move around, give it a chance in living somewhere else. In the beginning fashion design was an artistic expression, I cared much about my personal expression which was great, as I was beginning to learn the trade. It taught me direction, but it's more than that. If you look long enough, you see that fashion is interconnected with everything, it's one of the most incredible mediums that reflect the quality of living. It reflect change, aspire change and contribute to the quality of our experience. You can do so much with fashion, I believe. And with this incredible medium I would like to share the present moment, to aspire for the future and to totally be.  
Did you have any collections before this one, if yes how many collections and where are they now?
Yes, many for that matter. They are in suitcases in a small storage room in Riyadh. "Creatures of the Dark," I call them. They were the victims of excessive experimentation.

Why did you choose to be a women's ready-to-wear designer?

Freedom and creativity. There are too many restrictions in designing for men.  
 Make sure to check "lamodarabia" on instagram for our exclusive 
backstage photos  from Aziz Humaid's show
Tell us about this collection, the inspiration, the silhouette, the colors...etc
BLACK GOLD is the title of this collection. I wanted to say that women in Saudi are the black gold, the treasures and pillars of the Kingdom, not oil. Strong silhouettes and formfitting designs are used to reflect the independent and empowered individual. Looking into contemporary architecture and art, I worked with straight cuts and experimented with asymmetry and contrasting paneling. This collection is strictly black and white, I wanted to emphasize the theme and attitude of the designs without the distraction of colors. I drive my aesthetics from minimalism to reflect the contemporary and empowered women. This collection was the beginning.

Are you satisfied with the feedback so far?
We had positive feedback and people really connected with the collection. I'm very pleased.
Who was your  biggest supporter during this process? 
I've been blessed with an incredibly supportive team, and working with "Niche Arabia" who made it all happen.

What is next for you and for the brand?
I'm currently working on the next collection. Exciting times are ahead.

We also asked Niche's "a Saudi based luxury consultancy firm" owner Marriam Mossalli about her mission in the region and plans for the designer.. 

What is Niche Arabia's plan for Aziz Humaid?
Our plan is to continue to nurture the Aziz Humaid brand, as we've been doing since it's inception, both from a creative and strategic perspective. With our years of experience and our network of international industry professionals, Niche Arabia is all about making sure Aziz Humaid follows an international standard of execution, we're not taking any short cuts. Our goal is to make the Aziz Humaid an international name in the contemporary fashion world. Niche Arabia has been in the business of helping international brands penetrate the Saudi market. With Aziz Humaid, we're exporting our culture and showcasing the true talent of the Kingdom. 

After this great success with Aziz would Niche Arabia be looking for new Saudi designers to support for the next Fashion Forward Season or any other fashion events?
Yes!! Niche wants to be the Isabella Blow for Saudi, which means we're always on the look out for our next McQueen! We pride ourselves in supporting our country's emerging talent! It's all about creating a community of support and expertise. For the designers, we want talents who have something to say, it's all about having a unique perspective, whether it's through apparel or accessory design. Niche hopes to continue to mentor and sponsor one Saudi talent every fashion season.

For more info. about Aziz Humaid: Click Here
Questions: Hussa AlTubbaji - Editing: Amal Ismail
Collages: Lamodarabia.com - Photos: courtesy of Aziz Humaid, 
Souad Herve, Fashion Forward, Marie Claire, Lamodarabia.com
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