Meet The Designer: Yasmina Q
Meet The Designer: Yasmina Q

Meet The Designer: Yasmina Q

Saudi label, Yasmina Q, is known for its cool, minimalist – and most importantly, sustainable – knitwear. Part of the elite Saudi 100 Brands initiative, it’s shown collections at Milan, Paris, Riyadh, and more recently, Red Sea Fashion Week. Here, we talked to the brand’s namesake designer about her inspiration, how to grow a responsible business and what’s next…
Images: @_YASMINAQ_ | @ZACHCLAPHAM

All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.

@_YASMINAQ_ | @ZACHCLAPHAM

My inspiration is very personal to me. My grandmother continues to inspire me so much in the world of fashion. She owns a shopping centre, and I used to accompany her on her international buying trips when I was younger. I learnt so much from her and I always think of her, especially when I go to Paris to show Yasmina Q.

I am still buzzing from our most recent show. Yasmina Q was selected to show in partnership with the organisers of the Red Sea Fashion Week and the St Regis Red Sea Resort. The backdrop was perfect for new season resort designs – not least because a lot of our sales come from holiday destinations and customers wanting to build weekend wardrobes.

By not OVER-PRODUCING, not OVER-SELLING, not OVER-DOING IT, our pieces can be worn by people of ALL AGES for YEARS TO COME.

At Yasmina Q, we’ve developed a knitwear capsule made from sustainably sourced Italian yarn. The fabrication – made from a FSC and EcoVero viscose yarn – is relatively cool to wear, packs into a suitcase without the need for ironing and can be easily dressed up and down. There’s just not a lot of fuss. 

We love colour at Yasmina Q – especially how it makes you feel and how it is used. We also love nature, the sky, the sun and continue to develop our gradient knits by carefully changing subtle hues throughout the garments. Seeing our bestselling Fleur dress match the aquatic colours of the ocean at Red Sea Fashion Week was such a ‘pinch-me’ moment. Last year, we also showed in Riyadh during Fashion Week and showcased the same style in our Rainbow Stripe colourway. It’s happiness in a dress.

@_YASMINAQ_ | @ZACHCLAPHAM

A lot of people assume our designs are traditional, but this is a misconception. In fact, one of the biggest challenges I face in the design process are the seasons. Saudi is known as being a very dry and hot climate but within Saudi we have a shift between Riyadh and Jeddah and see a lot more rain and cooler temperatures – and then we also serve Europe and the US. Striking a balance between saying what I need to for my brand with my designs and ensuring the product works in different regions is challenging. That said we created the Gigi Sweater and Lourdes Pant set which are all versatile layering pieces and we’ve recently added more options with our new Ezra Cardigan, Gia Top and Sabine Cardigan. 

In a trend-led industry we do the opposite – instead of more, we give less. By not over-producing, not over-selling, not over-doing it, our pieces can be worn by people of all ages for years to come. My vision was to always bring colour to my customers and importantly, quality. Yasmina Q is a feel-good brand, but I also want to ensure that my customers will always come back, and they will regard Yasmina Q as a piece of luxury you don’t ever get rid of. These are pieces that will stand the test of time – it’s not fast fashion.

We also operate with a sustainable hat on. Despite the fact we are a relatively small brand, we do endeavour to operate consciously with regards to both our environmental and social responsibilities. As a new brand at the forefront of Saudi fashion, I’m very positive about ensuring more responsibility is taken and I look forward to working alongside other designers and creatives in this way. 

@_YASMINAQ_ | @ZACHCLAPHAM

Being a sustainable business is getting more challenging, but I like a challenge.  As designers and businesses engaging in consumer sales, we really do have a duty of care to produce responsibly and to understand the very real picture of climate change. I do not see how it is possible anymore to start a brand without having this at the forefront of the business plan. As for myself, I’m always looking to better understand the issues and to weigh up the pros and cons. 

We’re very pleased the brand aesthetic aligns with our sustainable choices. How we source and produce our pieces responsibly it top of the agenda, and we’re also virtually zero-waste because our collections are knitted using a ‘fully-fashioned’ technique, meaning every panel is crafted to be pieced together, so there’s none of the excess that usually builds up when you’re following a ‘cut-and-sew’ cheaper construction method. 

We also don’t hold huge amounts of stock. Instead, we want to create new ways of supplying the demand. If an item is not available on our website, then we offer ‘Pre-Order’ which allows for customers to still own the piece in time – it just requires some patience as we make-to-order, although we do offer a slight discount in return for the wait. Not only does it reduce waste, it also means our products are sold to be worn and don’t end up on a sale rail. 

@_YASMINAQ_

@_YASMINAQ_

@_YASMINAQ_

Yasmina Q is part of the Saudi 100 Brands initiative headed up by Burak Cakmak – from the Saudi Fashion Commission. The commission is part of the Saudi Ministry of Culture and together we’re involved in some exciting projects. I’m so grateful to be involved in this shift in our industry. It’s incredible to be part of the Saudi fashion scene and the many collaborations, pop-ups and creativity between fashion, culture, art, music, food and travel. This cross-pollination is creating a real buzz, and the Saudi Ministry of Culture’s involvement is so inspiring.

Next, we are looking to spread our wings in Dubai. We’re also looking to partner with local businesses to bring to life our pop-up store space. It has always been a dream of mine to bring the brand to different locations so that more women can discover us. We’ve decided Dubai would be a great place outside of Saudi to make our first stop, so stay tuned.

Visit YasminaQ.com 

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