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Subculture Is The New Culture

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Breaking fashion stereotypes.


There’s a new wave of street fashion being embraced both internationally and locally, giving people more room for self-expression through their unique style. We speak to some of our favorite up-and-coming style icons about how this subculture is taking over.

TURKI AL HARBI

_mg_8432Founder of Saudi Swag and street fashion influencer Turki Al Harbi speaks to those who are not afraid to be bold, stand out, and lead change. “This younger crowd is brave, more open to expressing individuality. They will lead the fashion industry and introduce a depth to street fashion and the art of fashion,” Turki says.

According to him, Saudi Arabia’s prior focus on traditional dress codes and casual wear is a huge factor to our struggle for self-expressionism. “It’s been changing gradually, and I’m optimistic that with our attention to street fashion, we can bring it to a whole new level of self-expressionism and streetwear.”

HAYAT OSAMA

Footwear fan Hayat’s style mirrors her personality, believing that fashion allows her and everyone – to be creative in using it as a platform of expression.

“Some people introduce themselves to the world through their style, and others let their fashion represent them. Do what your personality dictates,” she says. Hayat is excited about how brave Saudis have become in the last few years when it comes to experimenting with streetwear.

“Visions are becoming very creative!” she says, adding that there’s less focus on labels, and more on strong pieces that help any outfit stand out.

Do what your personality dictates.

ABDULLAH BAGALB

At the helm of Saudi contemporary clothing brand Too Dark To See Tomorrow, Abdullah Bagalb, along with his partners, wish to empower other youth to do follow their creative passions, not just in the fashion industry. “I’d love to see the youth running the fashion and creative scenes,” he says.

Abdullah remembers a time in the recent past when you don’t see streetwear on kids. “Today, though, not only are Saudis getting into street fashion, there are also many Saudi brands in the streetwear category being established.” He has also noticed how society is now more accepting of our differences in terms of fashion, and if that isn’t evolution, what is?

If this isn’t evolution, what is?

LAMIA OTAISHAN

Designer Lamia Otaishan appreciates that Saudi Arabia’s culture is based on tradition, as does our fashion. “However, we embrace combining tradition and modernity, and self-expressionism, and this has led to the acceptance and popularity of streetwear, a movement that used to be considered small.”
According to Lamia, fashion is more than what is current and popular. “It’s a medium of expression that extends to preference, individuality, and culture. The ability to express ourselves and the availability of means to do so says a lot about fashion’s flexibility,” she adds.

The ability to express ourselves and the availability of means to do so, says a lot about fashion’s flexibility.

MAZIN MAIMANI

Art director Mazin Maimani takes notice of how Saudis have moved from ‘safe’ followers of trends or major brand names, to combining street style pieces with well-established designer items.

“More than society embracing self-expressionism, people in fashion are themselves learning to embrace different styles, appreciating the fact that we don’t all have to be following the same style or have the same taste,” Mazin says. “For a while, fashion in Saudi was categorized as either right and wrong – but there’s no right or wrong in fashion!”

We don’t all have to be following the same style, or have the same taste.

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