Fashion, cinema, fine arts… The multi-faceted Fahad Al Obaidly, who has just released his latest collection, doesn’t bind himself to any particular artistic medium. The Qatari creative launched FAO, Qatar’s first menswear brand, after graduating with a BA in Fashion Design from Milan’s Istituto Marangoni. After enrolling in cinema courses at the Doha Film Institute, he directed several award winning commercial films and creative campaigns, and his first short movie, Inside Out, was screened in Cannes in 2016. Al Obaidly also creates artwork by experimenting with classic canvas and wood, and was an artist in residence at the Doha Fire Station. Last but not least, in March 2020 he was appointed as Esquire Middle East’s design and art director.


What is the one thing you wish people would stop wearing?

Don’t get me started, but my wish is to stop peplum dresses; at this point in 2022, they’ve become so overdone. We all have something peplum in our wardrobes, and we must replace them with trendier cuts that are fashionably relevant in the new decade.

What creation of yours are you most proud of?

The revolutionary Bisht with my original art on it for FW19.

What was your worst fashion faux pas?

Allowing my underwear to show through my outfit.

If you were to choose one of your looks, or that of any other designer, to wear every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

My oversized blazer and a white t-shirt.

Who do you dream of dressing?

Bad Bunny

When was the last time you pulled an all-nighter?

2005, when I visited Belgrade and Serbia for my close friend’s bachelor party.

Name five people, dead or alive, that you’d like to invite to a private dinner party at your house.

Salma Hayek, Sharon Tate, John Lennon, Dua Lipa, Billie Eilish

What does the word “sustainability” mean to you?


What would the title of your Netflix documentary be?

“I Fucking Hate Him” – a bio documentary about my old self.

Describe the MENA region in 3 words.

Emerging, urban, amusing.

How is “Young, Arab and Proud” translated in your work?

Bold patterns and colors.

What is Arab DNA made of?


What is the most common misconception about being an Arab?

That we’re a closed society.

If you could travel in time to meet any Arab icon, who would it be, and why?

Lamia Abbas Amara. She ushered in the free verse movement in Arabic poetry. She was not only a major cultural figure and freethinker, but also a pillar of contemporary poetry in Iraq.

What is something that makes you uncomfortable in the MENA fashion industry and that would you like to see changed?

I’d like it to be more expressive.

How is the gender-neutral trend translated in MENA fashion?

The oversized style is the gender-neutral style.

What is one Arab tradition you would want to change, and what is the one you adore?

I don’t like the word “change,” but I might say “evolve.” I adore how Arabs love their history and traditions. I feel it’s adding value and positioning us as original and different.

What is the Arab dish you could eat every day?


What is your favorite Arabic song, that is often stuck on repeat in your playlist?

Kol El Qassayed, by Marwan Khoury.

Um Kulthum or Fairuz?

Fairuz, of course.

What is the one city in the MENA region you could live in forever, and why?

Marrakech. It is a great city with a mix of European, Middle Eastern, and African cultures. The architecture of buildings like the Ben Youssef Medersa or Bahia Palace makes our photographer’s hearts go wild.