Interview with designer and FFWD16 participant Mashael Alrajhi


Mashel Alrajhi is a Saudi fashion designer who graduated at the Box Hill Institute through ASI in Riyadh. She likes to think out of the box and create original and new collections with clothes depicting his cultural origin with a modern touch, using the two colors – black and white, where black depicts honor and extravagance, while white symbolizes spirituality, hope, and happiness.



1 – What or who inspired you to become a designer and what inspired your designs?


Fashion has always played a big part in my life growing up. Eventually, I realized that this is a passion and calling I wouldn’t be able to shake off. I believe that style inspires life and life inspires style, hence, my inspiration comes from everywhere and everything.



2 – How did you break through the competition since there are so many designers out there?


By first and foremost not thinking of it as a competition.


I honestly focus on my collections, my designs and my brand. I challenge myself to go beyond my own expectations. I think dedication and a commitment to quality and going outside your comfort zone and frame of thought is important. And to do this, you have to focus—that includes avoiding distractions like figuring out what my contemporaries are up to. I believe we all have something to offer on our own.



3 – How do you differentiate yourself from other designers? What makes your work unique?


As I’ve said, I think out of the box— actually, I design as if there isn’t one. I put value in the process, experimenting is key and so does respecting artisan craftsmanship. I make sure I offer something that lets people express themselves in a way that is original and well thought of.



4 – What was your most challenging job as a designer? Why?


Balancing the commercial aspect of managing a brand and my desire to create. As a designer, I would love to just focus on my sketches, pushing myself creatively but I need to temper that with the business aspect of things too.



5 – Why did you decide to participate in the Fashion Forward 2016 Dubai event and how did you manage to have your designs showcased there?


I believe that Fashion Forward is the premier platform for designers and the industry in the region. It also bridges the gap between the Middle East and global fashion scene, so it was also an event we wanted to be a part of. We were invited by the great team at Fashion Forward to be showcase for season 6 and we were more than delighted to accept.



6 – What materials and colors do you prefer to use in your designs, and what is you favorite fashion style?


It’s hard to select, to be honest you’ll see from all of my collections that I’m very keen on using a variety of fabrics. I love texture and so, I prefer materials that create this illusion or can be manipulated to give designs a different feel or dimension. When it comes to colors, it depends on the season as well as the inspiration. As you can see, I have affinity for minimalistic hues like white and black but I also explore bold palates. I love experimental Avant Garde and contemporary styles.



7 – What was your greatest success in your career?


Thus far, it is establishing a sustainable and lucrative brand and just being able to translate my vision into reality. There’s still a lot I would like to achieve.



8 – What other future plans do you have regarding your career?


The end goal would be a global fashion house, getting there would be being consistent in the creativity and quality of each collection. I am already working on my Autumn Winter 2016 it will be as forward thinking as this collection and maybe even more.



Interviewed by: Luma Kudsiova