It’s early in the day on the second of May. The sun is (surprisingly) out in gloomy London and we’re on set for an exclusive FTA Editorial. Following FTA’s mission to support and nurture the region’s up and coming designers, Pulse, our digital zine, has been carving out its editorial niche. After the success of our first “Fashion Stories” shoot in Tunis, we aim to continue elevating the Arab world’s fashion scene by supporting the emerging talents that form its backbone — after all, these creatives are fundamentally intrinsic to the success of our industry. Whether it be designers, photographers, producers, creative directors or any other talent, to date, our content has been exclusively Arab. We do not plan on stopping or slowing down anytime soon. Take note and enjoy the ride.

London, a melting pot of cultures, is our scene for today. As we hopped from one area to another, filming our second instalment of FTA Communities: an online series highlighting Arab creatives in the diaspora, which launched with Paris a couple of months back, I couldn’t help but notice the incredible designers marking their territory in the English capital. In an ever so saturated market, each designer featured in our editorial today has a unique story to share and an impeccable vision for the future to come. I knew we had to do something to further highlight their work.

Four Arab, U.K.-based designers were shot by Iraqi-British Photographer Mehdi Almoussawi. From a slew of monochrome looks from Zeid Hijazi, Ziyad Buainain and Ilyes Ouali to renaissance inspired corsets from Leena Sobeih, the minimal set transitions from light to dark will transport you to the euphoric rave that are my dreams.

Meet the four young, proud Arab designers below.

Zeid Hijazi

In an FTA exclusive, we get a little glimpse into Zeid Hijazi’s debut collection, set to be released later this month. The Palestinian-Jordanian designer and FTA 2020 Debut Talent winner behind this eponymous London-based label, is inspired by Arab culture, traditions and craftsmanship. His designs are alter-egoistic, perfectly fusing “goth and elegance”. His desire to create a new realm representing Arab Futurism is seen through his interpretation of the modern Arab woman — an intellectually, sexy and rebellious figure.

Leena Sobeih

Leena Sobeih is the 24 years old Palestinian/British designer who started her namesake corset label during the lockdowns of 2020. By focusing on slow fashion and sustainability, Sobeih’s brand aligns with her philosophy and morals, namely, re-purposing second hand/vintage or dead stock designer fabrics by creating made-to-measure garments that aim to encourage people to shop responsibly, and look good while doing so. She takes inspiration from historical costume design, whether it be through exaggerated silhouettes or her love for the pieces. The intricate craftsmanship shown in her historically-inspired, handmade corsets is clear to see and each is perfectly fitted to accentuate the curves of the female body.

Ilyes Ouali

Algerian born Ilyes Ouali launched his eponymous brand in 2016 with his mother serving as inspiration. Over the past few years, the brand has evolved to offer women essential wardrobe staples with a unique twist, characterized by cord embroidery, an Ouali classic, through a collection of feminine statement evening pieces that not only versatile, but also are special enough to effortlessly have you stand out at any occasion.

Ziyad Buainain

Ziyad Buainain is a season-less, conscious luxury label based in London, that celebrates the contemporary woman. The Saudi-Arabian brand finds itself at the intersection of boldness and femininity through its rich storytelling, striking prints, playful silhouettes and its array of textures. Each collection reinforces the brand’s ethos of self expression and individual style through versatile and dramatic looks. All Buainain’s garments are ethically made to order in London, from a mix of dead stock, new and recycled fabrics.