The RAMZEN designer shares how Diriyah inspired his new collection.
Saudi Arabia might not be the first place you expect to see a fashion show. Under Saudi Vision 2030, however, the Kingdom is changing – not only did it adjust the dress code for women, but it is supporting homegrown businesses in a bid to showcase local talent to the world. Strut forward, Abdul Al-Romaizan of fashion label, RAMZEN.
Abdul was born in Saudi Arabia, raised in Milan and studied in the United States. He comes from a family that is famous for its jewellery business. He is the mastermind behind the fashion label, RAMZEN. His clothes are refined yet rebellious, and push design boundaries. In 2021, he created a Saudi Capsule Collection with patriotic green, and his recent pop-up boutique in Riyadh was visited by supermodel Naomi Campbell.
FACT nabbed a front-row seat to the inaugural edition of the Diriyah Arts and Fashion Exhibition at Bujairi Terrace, which was inspired by the historic site. Abdul explained: “The City of Earth Collection resonates with Saudi fans, and the designs have a broad appeal far beyond the region.” Here, he spoke to us about heroes, history and haute couture.
Who were your fashion heroes growing up?
Fashion is a form of art, and I have always admired not just designers but people who have moved the industry forward, from stylists to celebrities. My heroes are the people who have made a difference and are designed with a sense of beauty. I have admiration for Karl Lagerfeld – he was prolific and his creations are timeless. I have a lot of appreciation for Gianni Versace and the groundbreaking work his sister, Donatella, carries on.
Tell us how Saudi Arabia’s historical site Diriyah inspired The City of Earth Collection.
There is only one Diriyah. It is a place of beauty and symbolism. Anyone would feel inspired there. The haute couture collection features 60 looks inspired by art, beautiful and beauty in Diriyah. It incorporates and reinterprets Najdi style, old Saudi techniques and traditional Saudi dress. Some looks are inspired by the UNESCO World Heritage Site, At-Turaif.
Who is the RAMZEN customer?
RAMZEN is wearable art for thinkers, risk-takers and romantics. We are a global brand that believes fashion unites us, and we strive to create designs that appeal to fashion lovers all over the world. Our international following is a gift that gives us insights into the fashion dreams and desires of a diverse audience.
Who is your dream person to dress?
I appreciate everyone who wears RAMZEN and don’t have specific celebrities in mind. We have VIP clients and customers, but each individual is important. My dream is to dress anyone who appreciates fashion as art and who places their trust in our ability to create head-turning looks that fosters confidence and self-expression.
What can you tell us about Saudi Arabia’s fashion scene?
I believe that Riyadh will be the fifth fashion capital. The world will see this becoming a reality. The level of taste and sophistication that characterises Saudi society is nothing new. Saudi buying power and influence put the Kingdom on the map. If you look back to the 1960s and haute couture brands in Paris and Italy, Saudi customers influenced the fashion industry. There are beautiful pieces from Chanel, Valentino and Dior that were made for Saudi brides.
Now, with Vision 2030, our fashion businesses are proving their ability to compete at home and abroad. Saudi Arabia has always been a leader across sectors. Soon, the nation’s cultural contributions will attract global awareness of the talent here.
How does it feel to see the Kingdom change under Saudi Vision 2030?
Everyone in my native country is living a dream. We are so happy and excited, and we’re moving quickly. Saudi Vision 2030 is no longer a dream – it’s happening. It’s not just Saudi citizens but people all over the world who are seeing the country’s emergence as a force in all aspects of business.
GO: Visit www.ramzen.com for more information.