These local designers and brands are turning the world into a Pinterest board, while shifting Saudi’s aesthetic and functional consciousness.
As creatives descended in Riyadh for Saudi Design Week, we saw breakthrough talents and design practitioners rise to the occasion with showcases that marry contemporary design with a unique play on local identity.
The SIKKA Collection by Dahr Design Studio
Dahr Design Studio has been making a name for itself not just in Saudi Arabia but in the region. Speaking to its creative director, AlBara Saimaldahar, we can see the appeal. Their latest collection, SIKKA, breathes new life to forgotten materials—wood and items from the Hejazi railways, no less. Dahr has turned them into contemporary pieces that can definitely spark a conversation.
“Sikka takes our passion for sourcing local materials, designing and transforming them into meaningful experiences of unique and well thought products. In 1951, King Abdulaziz had established the country’s first railway line to transport crude oil with the assistance of ARAMCO. The wood railways served under the heat of the Arabian sun for decades before it got replaced by concrete. 70 years later, we now find ourselves seduced by the impressions and character left on the wood surfaces by its history. And that’s what you see here, each product is delicately designed and manufactured, it’s comfortable, it’s more than a piece of wood, it’ll stand the test of time—as it had in the past.”
Torba Studio is a fashion brand based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Designing womenswear, menswear and accessory collections. The name of the brand ‘Torba’ is an Arabic word that means sand. Torba Studio takes its inspiration from the mystery and philosophy of the unknown, spirit and the afterlife. And that’s where the brand’s slogan, ‘See beyond what you can touch’ comes from. They create pieces that play on the brand’s love of thought-provoking ideas and graphics. Torba Studio’s goal is to develop the fashion industry in the region, to reach global markets and to provide jobs in the design field because passion is a way of happiness.
// The Influencer
There is a lack of consensus as to what the exact definition of a social media influencer is. However, it lies somewhere along the lines of being a figure who has gained credibility in a certain topic and has the power to affect followers’ purchase decisions. It’s not merely about the number of followers or popularity, but the trust relationship and engagement between the two parties. Celebrities, industry experts, thought leaders, and bloggers are various types of influencers. Game-changing influencers share certain characteristics. They are particularly knowledgeable about a certain subject and understand their audience well. Effective communication, persuasion, unique charisma, and the ability to get people to engage with their content is also another important attribute.
Courses on Becoming an Influencer and Strategy:
// The Personal Shopper
If you have a knack for fashion, are a people person and patience is a virtue of yours, you have negotiation and persuasion skills, and find great satisfaction in helping others look good and hence feel good, this job may be for you. Personal shoppers help one create flattering looks by shopping with you or for you. Working with different body types and clients with varying budgets is their bread and butter. They know their way around the maze and multitude of different shops, and are aware of all the ins and outs of getting great items for competitive prices. Boutiques and department stores aren’t the only places who hire. Nowadays, personal shoppers are needed to put together looks for photoshoots, ads, and TV show hosts as well.
Saudi Personal Shoppers:
// The Podcaster
Podcast producers make sure that everything is put together and ready for execution. They recruit guests, write scripts, schedule interviews and session recording times, and edit, mix, upload, and distribute podcasts. The job is very dynamic and requires time management skills, a love for the audio, audio editing and production skills, and the ability to create great content. Did you know that the first podcast feed was announced back in 2003 before Apple added podcasting to its iTunes in 2005? The Mstdfr Network is Saudi’s first podcast network that has been growing and supporting local talents.
Saudi Podcast Platform & Consultant: