In a region of the world where men love to be seen in their national dress, the simplistic yet elegant Kandoura, many might suppose that there is little to be done for those who wish to make their fashion statement. Yet Saudi designer Hatem Alakeel has found a way to infuse the basic garment with creativity and fashionable flair. His new men’s line Toby launched just last week at Boutique 1 on Jumeirah Beach Walk amidst a glamorous crowd of admirers.
The new collection brings together the traditional with the modern. Even the name “Toby” reflects this idea; it stands for “My Kandoura” or “Thoby” as they say in Saudi Arabia. “I took out the H to give it a trendier and more familiar identity which at the same time incorporates a Western sound. The whole concept of East meets West is represented in the name Toby,” explained the designer in a recent interview with Khaleej Times.
Hatem’s designs are influenced by years spent in the United States and Europe. Many in the region might consider him a trendsetter but he resists the title stating that people need to follow their own trends. His new collection comprises of Emirati style Kandouras and a new professional line for the local businessman. His kid’s line TJ Toby Junior Line celebrates youth and allows kids to experiment with their own style and fashion tastes.
It is certainly worth a trip to Boutique 1 on the JBR walk to check out this designer who has brought great creativity and innovation to the region’s fashion for men.
Boutique 1, JBR Walk, www.boutique1.com 04 330 4555