Exclusive: Arwa Al Banawi’s S/S20 Collection Celebrates Female Empowerment

BY Krishna Sunilkumar / Mar 16 2020 / 11:56 AM

The Saudi designer on the rise talks royal style icons, independence and her dreams of opening a flagship store

Exclusive: Arwa Al Banawi’s S/S20 Collection Celebrates Female Empowerment

Saudi Arabian designer Arwa Al Banawi is undoubtedly the person to keep an eye on. The up-and-coming designer has been making waves in the Middle East with her unique style, a blend of urban tailoring with androgynous silhouettes. Al Banawi’s eponymous brand was launched in 2015, and since then she’s gone from strength to strength. She has collaborated with big names in the fashion industry, and is fast becoming a celebrity favourite, worn by the likes of Kris Jenner and Lana El Sahely.

Her latest collection, titled "A'Lasafar" is a functional take on 70s chic, ranging from pop-colour trench coats to boxy suits. The designer says her S/S20 line is symbolic of female empowerment, using the theme of travel to “reflect the meaning on independence and its relation to travel to make decisions and move on with your life.”

BAZAAR sat down for a quick but insightful chat to learn more about her inspirations in fashion and beyond.

Harper’s Bazaar Arabia: If you could use three words to describe your brand, what would they be?

Arwa Al Banawi: Urban, chic and confident.

arwa al banawi s/s20

Arwa Al Banawi S/S20 Collection

HBA: Who are your all-time style icons?

AB: My ultimate style icon is my mother. She inspires me! Also, Princess Deena Al Juhani Abdulaziz and Sarah Jessica Parker.

HBA: What drew you to Andy Warhol and the 70s as a theme for your S/S20 collection?

AB: The 70s is one of my favorite eras; my parents would always share their stories and I was obsessed with watching movies from that time. Andy Warhol’s work is so inspiring, particularly the colors and the depth in his messages.

Arwa Al Banawi S/S20 Collection

HBA: Name one fashion trend you are most excited about in 2020.

AB: Colors, lots and lots of colors!

HBA: You’ve collaborated with Adidas and Levi’s in the past. Do you have any exciting new collaborations in the pipeline?

AB: A collaboration with KFC is about to hit shelves with a few more that will be revealed in good time.

arwa al banawi s/s20

Arwa Al Banawi S/S20 Collection

HBA: Where would you like to see your brand in 5 years from now?

AB: I would love to have flagship stores across the region!


Images courtesy of Arwa Al Banawi.