| 10 August, 2016

Wearable sculptures? Dubai-based designer combining art, fashion

Zaid Farouki takes inspiration from his backgrounds in business, art and fashion to create wearable art, the first of its kind in the region.

Wearable sculptures? Dubai-based designer combining art, fashion
Zaid Farouki/Supplied
10 August 2016
How often do you get to wear a piece of art? Many would consider luxury haute couture to be a form of art and Dubai-based Arab/American designer Zaid Farouki is pushing the limits of this and attempting to reinvent the meaning of fashion with his wearable art pieces.

Farouki took a leap of faith two years ago by packing up his entire life in the world's fashion capital, Milan, and exchanging it for Dubai's newly opened Dubai Design District (d3).

"At the end of the day, I'm Arab. If Dubai's going to be the creative part in the whole region, then why not be a part of it? Being an Arab/American in Italy has no significance. But being an Arab in your home country, it's what you have to offer."

It wasn't until he attended fashion school in Italy that Farouki realised that he could channel his love of art into the fashion world. "There were so many pieces that I envisioned as art pieces and I knew I had to blend both [art and fashion] together."

Global inspiration

Farouki finds inspiration and sources his materials from his travels abroad. "I've been all over the world and tend to move cities a lot. Now I'm settled in Dubai but previously I was living in London, Washington D.C., Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Italy, which the last collection was inspired by."

As a result of his recent move, his next collection, set to be released at the end of 2016, will take inspiration from his experiences in the United Arab Emirates.

"It's inspired by our culture," he says of his latest work. "The collection deconstructs our clothing and takes it into couture wearable art pieces. It has everything from wearable sculptures to wearable paintings [and] shape shifting pieces to crowns."

The crowns found in the collection are a play on Zaid's middle name Taji, which literally translates to crowns. "So far, this collection has taken us since January and hopefully we'll be introducing it pretty soon this year."

Farouki's background is in business administration and marketing. While his love of fashion and art came from his minor degree in studio art, his grounding in the business world has helped him in setting up his company and he hopes the combination of the two differing world will help him succeed in Dubai.

Supplied by the designer Zaid Farouki

* A correction was made to state the designer's office is based in Dubai Design District, which is also known as d3.

© Zawya 2016