Covid has brought a lot of change and with it new ways of connecting to others. Saudi Arabia took a very proactive approach to containing the virus early on, which helped immensely in keeping numbers lower than in many other countries. Throughout this process travel was restricted, borders closed and people were encouraged not to travel and just stay home. In the case of two designers, Lomar & Safia, not travelling and staying in place in Saudi, produced a new business partnership and design collaboration. You can read the article “Children of the Evolution: The New Saudi Fashion Collective Reimagining The Abaya”, 14 Dec. 2020, written by Devinder Bains in harpersbazaararabia.com in the link at the bottom.
Below is an excerpt from the article. Don’t miss seeing the beautiful photos in original article!
“A chance meeting between designers Safia Hussein Guerras and Christophe Beaufays is to thank for the collaboration, a rendezvous that may never have occurred if pandemic travel restrictions hadn’t been in place to keep Safia at home in Riyadh, rather than abroad. She stumbled on Christophe while researching Jeddah-based thobe designers Lomar, where Christophe is fashion designer and associate art director. “My husband is involved with the Saudi Golf Federation and he was looking for a brand to design the clothes that the golfers on the team should wear,” explains mother-of-three Safia. “He often asks me to help with style issues, so we discussed the beauty and simplicity of the thobe. We both felt very strongly that we needed a brand that would be traditional, elegant, and yet have a modern twist, and this lead me to Lomar.”
But when the former model met Christophe, a friendship formed that outlived the corporate golf project, and evolved into discussions about abayas – something the Lomar brand also produces and markets.
“Lomar was, and still is, very well known for the men’s thobe, and the popular menswear image of the brand has overshadowed its womenswear for a while,” explains Christophe, whose fashion CV includes working alongside Jean-Paul Gaultier before moving to the Middle East as Artistic Director at the Esmod French Fashion School in Dubai, then on to Lomar in Jeddah.
“Things are changing with time, especially since we opened our first‘ abaya-only’ store. We also hope that this collaboration with Safia will shine more light on our womenswear section.”’