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 • Interviews  • Our Exclusive Interview with Fashion Designer Zaid Farouki
Zaid Farouki

Our Exclusive Interview with Fashion Designer Zaid Farouki

Meet Zaid Farouki, a trailblazing fashion designer whose creative journey fuses a robust educational background with innate artistic flair. Holding degrees in business administration, marketing, and studio art, Zaid further honed his craft at Istituto Marangoni in Milano, specializing in fashion design and exploring couture techniques at Central Saint Martins. 

Zaid seamlessly blends cultural identity with timeless elegance. Inspired by the rich storytelling in his household, Zaid’s journey is rooted in envisioning garments through tales of banquets, and foreign delegations. His multicultural background, hailing from a Palestinian family with diverse 

roots, forms the canvas for his designs. Symbolic motifs from Ottoman-era brooches to deconstructed tatreez tell the story of his family’s history across Al-Ramleh, Jerusalem, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan. 

His mission transcends fashion, aiming to celebrate Palestinians, Arabs, and the Orient as more than just a narrative of wars. His designs echo poetry, beauty, elegance, music, and art, showcasing the cultural richness of the region. Each piece, reminiscent of prized marble sculptures, captures memories and stands as a testament to his artistic vision. Beyond painted dresses, he ventures into wearable sculptures, and light installations, and even created a fabric made entirely of paint. His 3D-printed crowns, symbolizing his middle name “Taji” meaning “my crown” in Arabic, serve as both home décor and wearable accessories. 

Your designs seamlessly blend cultural identity and timeless elegance. Can you share specific experiences or moments that inspired you to create garments reflecting your personal journey?

Zaid Farouki

The storytelling in my household growing up is what formed this dream. I would hear stories of dinners, banquets, and visits of foreign delegations. I would imagine what they would wear.

How do family stories and your multicultural background influence your creative process and serve as sources of inspiration?

Coming from a Palestinian family. Both my parents, my four grandparents, my siblings, my aunts, uncles and cousins. Formed the idea of the individual I want to design for and who I create these pieces for. The stories of a beautiful past before 1948. Also a history of achievement and overcoming many adversities has been at the core of my imagination.

Your designs often include symbolic motifs and themes from your Palestinian heritage. What do these symbols represent to you?

Some brooches were inspired by Ottoman-era brooches seen on my great-grandparents in photos. Other motifs include the story of my family as the deconstruction of the traditional tatreez of both Al-Ramleh (paternal side) and Jerusalem (maternal side) as well as an ode to Egypt where theyended up in 1948 as well as Saudi Arabia and Jordan where they eventually had stable and successful careers and built their families.

How do you hope your work contributes to a broader understanding of Palestinian culture on a global scale?

Zaid Farouki

I like to celebrate who we are as Palestinians, Arabs, and of the Orient. Our culture is rich and beautiful. We are not just defined by wars. We are poetry, beauty, elegance, music, art, and much more. That’s the side I like to show.

Staying ahead in the ever-evolving fashion industry is challenging. How do you maintain timelessness in your designs, and what inspired your approach to creating pieces that transcend seasons?

A well-designed, well-tailored, quality piece, transcends any timelines and styles. You can style it up in any way possible for it to be relevant at any time. Maybe I’ll answer this with advice on what I’ll give a buyer and consumer. Follow the trends but don’t steep into fast fashion, intricate designs and work will forever last. Invest in your clothing and pieces

as they are the first impression anyone sees.

Can you provide insights into the challenges and advantages of embracing a seasonless concept in fashion?

Zaid Farouki

The challenges include having to be relevant all year round to your clients. How can we make pieces that you can layer up on in the winter, but also wear in the summer. The advantage is reducing waste, overstocking, and battling the idea of very fast fashion.

In a world with diverse body types, you emphasize inclusivity in your evening wear. How do you approach made-to-measure designs to enhance the unique features of each wearer?

Everything can look beautiful hanging, but most important is how it sits and fits the body. A made-to-measure piece should be designed to accentuate one’s body, play on proportions, and enhance an individual’s body. Subtle beauty is the most beautiful thing to me.

How does the brand celebrate the beauty of diversity in its creations?

Zaid Farouki

Our region is rich in diversity and we celebrate the rich cultural heritage of this region. Therefore by celebrating our culture and region, we welcome diversity. There’s nothing like Arab hospitality.

As a visionary in the fashion industry, how do you see the future of fashion evolving, and what role do you envision your brand playing in that evolution?

First of all, thank you for your kind words, I believe we are going towards more artisanal, locally-made brands and products, people are craving individuality, and they want to support locals, especially in such

times. Wearers want an exclusive piece that defines them. I hope we as a brand are representative of such values and inspire others to find beauty in our culture and hire the artisans in the regions to produce their products.

Are there specific trends or changes in the industry that you are excited about or would like to see in the coming years?

Going regional, supporting regional. It’s getting there, that brings me so much joy.

You mentioned that a deconstructed tailored white or off-white suit is a powerful tool for self-expression. How do you believe fashion can empower individuals to express themselves, especially through your designs?

Zaid Farouki

The way we dress is the first impression anyone sees therefore an idea is formed by the viewer. I always say your body is your soul’s vessel, it is one of the most beautiful creations. Dress it up like you would dress the most precious thing you own. Think about it, have you ever dressed up and walked out of the house and not thought to yourself I deserve better today. You might say, I am dressed up so well today let me sit down and grab lunch at this place I love”. You might be faced with making a decision. You would probably take a decision that elevates you more when you believe you look good. It’s a mental standard, it’s beautiful how an outfit can make you feel.

Can you share a memorable moment of seeing someone wear your creation in the streets and the joy it brought you?

I remember I was walking in the mall here in Dubai and I was like “Wait I know this shirt. “It was very surreal. It was a person I don’t even personally know. It was a wonderful emotion.

Your brand mostly designs gender-neutral pieces. Could you discuss the reasoning behind this choice and how it aligns with your overall design philosophy?

Look at our traditional clothing. In today’s clothing world, all of our garments are gender-neutral, look at the base of them. From scarves, capes, long tunics, pants, shirts, jackets and dresses.