Saudi designer Mohammed Ashi dazzles Paris Couture Week

Saudi designer, Mohammed Ashi, brought couture to throngs of influential attendees from around the world with his fashion show in Paris this week.

Held at the Palais de Tokyo, the show marks Saudi’s next big leap in fashion, building on recent progress in reaching new markets as the Fashion Comm• Mohammed Ashi is the first Saudi designer to continuously show his designs during Paris Couture Weekission leads the development of the Kingdom’s fashion sector from scratch.

The varied collection of dresses and one jumpsuit featured a veil, a cape and puffs while materials ranged from frayed mohair to volcanic crystal appliques and dangling pearls, with the beautifully muted colour scheme of silver, gold, cream, yellow and black letting the textures and cuts do the talking.

Ashi has come a long way since then, moving to Paris to study fashion design and pattern-making at the prestigious ESMOD school of design, then working alongside Ricardo Tisci in the House of Givenchy where he was taught the art of haute couture, and later as creative director of Elie Saab.

His talent has been recognized since the very beginning of his career. In the year of his first collection, he was crowned designer of the year for the Middle East, and he was invited to participate in Vogue Talents 2013 after being spotted by Franca Sozzani, editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia, and Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue US.

Ashi has a loyal clientele of elite women including Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and Emmanuelle Béart.

But the designer is not resting on his laurels. He is navigating the latest cutting-edge technologies in the fashion world including 3D printing.

Burak Cakmak, CEO of the Fashion Commission, said: “Mohammed Ashi is a leader of Saudi fashion and his creative force has made an invaluable contribution to Saudi’s fashion zeitgeist as the country undergoes a cultural transformation.”

Cakmak added that the Saudi fashion scene is being led by local brands and emerging designers, and is projected to grow to more than $32bn by 2025.

Saudi designer, Mohammed Ashi, brought couture to throngs of influential attendees from around the world with his fashion show in Paris this week.
Saudi designer Mohammed Ashi

Ashi felt compelled to pursue a career in couture since he was a young boy, mesmerized by Richard Avedon’s iconic photograph of Dovina in a Yves Saint Laurent dress with the elephants.

“We are proud to support Ashi’s Paris show, and continue to support Saudi designers having launched the second edition of the Saudi 100 Brands mentorship program in 2022.”

Saudi 100 Brands is aimed at designers and brands from the Kingdom who are looking to take their businesses to the next level. It is a rigorous year-long program led by the most experienced fashion experts including fashion houses LVMH, Kering, Valentino Groups, Chanel Limited, Calvin Klein, Tom Ford, Bulgari, Camper and Swarovski.

The emerging designers, who are 80% female and from diverse backgrounds, receive educational experience from Central St Martins, Royal College of Art, Bocconi, London School of Economics, Yale and Parsons.

More than 2,000 Saudis applied for this year’s program – an indication of the promising future that lies ahead for Saudi fashion.

The Saudi Fashion Commission is affiliated to the Saudi Ministry of Culture. It aims to develop the sector, driving its advancement and supporting practitioners in the field. The Commission is setting a new strategy to enhance and boost the sector and proposing new projects targeted at increasing its contribution to the economy.

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