Born and raised in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Yousef Akbar first studied logistics in Australia. But his first love was always fashion. After completing his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Sydney, he earned a Bachelor’s in fashion in 2016. He launched his contemporary eveningwear brand one year later.
Fascinated by the interaction of the cloth and body, Yousef challenges conventions in cutting and construction of garments, while maintaining elegance and femininity. He creates a narrative with his collections to evoke emotional undercurrents of everyday life. When a woman wears one of his garments, she lives his story and experiences his personal research and quest for inspiration.
The Yousef Akbar brand is built on a spirit of collaboration, creating ethical and responsible couture and ready-to-wear garments that make the wearer look good and also feel good about wearing. The brand uses recycled and upcycled materials while supporting local artisans in small communities around the world. It’s a slower design process, where tradition influences more than trends, where there is a purpose to every piece and where it is all in the details.
“Before I begin designing, I don’t really think about designing clothes, I think about creating something beautiful. To me this is truly beyond just a profession, it is something I deeply connect with and feel it gives me a sense of purpose,” he says.