Exploring the Essence of “Saudi Design”

When the Fashion Commission presented Saudi haute couture and streetwear at the Paris Fashion Week earlier this year, it marked a significant milestone for Saudi fashion designers. Now the Royal Commission for AlUla highlights creative talent and AlUla inspired products at their curated Design Awards events during Paris Design Week.

This last platform wasn’t limited to just Saudi designers. It welcomed a diverse blend of regional and international talent, echoing the global appeal of AlUla’s captivating geography, culture, and heritage. Of the 400 initial submissions, 10 selected finalists embarked on a transformative journey from conceptualisation to prototyped execution of their ideas.

The design rationales varied remarkably: Saudi designers leaned on storytelling, tradition, and craftsmanship, regional talents sculpted AlUla-inspired ornaments and jewellery, while international contenders melded their researched understanding of Saudi Arabian traditions with sustainable materials and innovative production techniques.

At ADHLAL, we champion the developing design ecosystem in Saudi Arabia. The recent introduction of the “Designed in Saudi” seal by the Architecture & Design Commission spotlights products birthed within the kingdom’s borders. While the AlUla Design Awards showcases “Saudi-inspired” creations by designers globally, the Fashion Commission consistently elevates many “Saudi-originating” fashion designers and brands onto the global stage.

This leads to a pivotal question: What defines Saudi Design? Is it the identity of its creator, the geography it originates from, or the rich Saudi legacy it embodies? Or all of these and more? Beyond these, is there a distinct design methodology unique to Saudi Arabia?

Stay tuned, as ADHLAL, in collaboration with SAUDIA, unveils the Saudia Design Awards soon. Announced at this year’s Saudi Design Festival in Riyadh, this venture promises yet another exploration into the ever-evolving realm of Saudi Design and its transformative influence on society and economy. 

So, let me ask you the question (again): What defines Saudi Design? Join the conversation.


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