Saudi expression French elegance


Meet Sakina Shbib, the Saudi-French couturier behind Sakina Paris whose pedigree and passion are married together in her collections

Today Saudi Arabia is on the threshold of putting its stamp on haute couture with a bang. After Mohammed Ashi (founder of Ashi Studio) – who has already created a stir with his majestic couture dresses globally – we have another rising talent in a Paris-based Saudi Arabian haute couture designer Sakina Shbib; designing gorgeous gowns that women would often love to wear or see themselves in markedly on special occasions. Shbib’s love of fashion shaped up, thanks to her mother who is a tailor by trade. And as far as she can remember, her first experience was working as her mother’s sewing assistant while growing up in the French countryside. “She taught me the ropes for seven years and I would assist her every day after class in bringing to life the wedding dresses of her customers. I owe my success to my mom who spent years teaching me the art of sewing,” she says. “My mother instilled in me this passion for fashion.”

Passionate since childhood

When Shbib turned 14, she was able to make her own wardrobe. Every day in class, she had her schoolmates complimenting her looks and asking her where she bought her dresses. This beautiful feeling made her regard fashion as something she could make a career out of. “From then on, I seriously considered becoming a fashion designer. Later in 2008 when I was 18, I moved to Paris on my own as a liberal soul determined to make it big in fashion. I graduated after few years from the prestigious École de la chambre syndicale de la couture parisienne. It paved the way for me to dig into fashion houses like Chanel, Givenchy and Alexandre Vauthier with more wit and confidence,” she says.

Having worked with them in different forms gave Shbib the much-needed vigour or a solid platform to launch her own label in style in 2015. “I made this decision to design my own collection because I felt I had something special to offer to women,” she adds.

Tradition and culture

Shbib wanted to put up threads of her personal life with Sakina Paris and showcase it to a larger audience as she explains, “With it, I’m merging the delicacy of the French tradition with a sense of luxury of the Oriental culture. The French signature look is mostly elegance with a certain amount of minimalism whereas the Arab signature look is a strong expression of beauty with a genuine power of seduction.”

Richest form of art

She talks of haute couture as the richest form of art that ever existed. “It’s a combination of architecture, painting, colour matching, movement, proportion and balance. It requires passion, sense of aesthetics and creativity,” Shbib says. Her dreamy couture creations strike a chord with women because she is passionate about her work and she designs every single dress with her heart, like most famous artists.

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