Qasimi's recently unveiled spring/summer 2022 ready-to-wear collection was scattered through with many Arab and Islamic themes.
In addition to being inspired by the poetry of the Syrian writer Adunis, it also called on the intangible heritage of Sharjah weaving.
The designer of the label, Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, who is the daughter of the Ruler of Sharjah, Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, looked to her cultural roots for the collection.
The brand collaborated with the Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council (ICCC), the organisation headquartered in Sharjah and dedicated to preserving Emirati hand-weaving techniques.
An affiliate of the Nama Women Advancement Establishment, ICCC is helping protect Middle Eastern heritage, and the hand skills that have been passed down through the generations.
Sheikha Hoor joined forces with ICCC to create looks and accessories especially for the collection, incorporating the traditional Emirati crafts of safeefah (palm-frond weaving) and faroukha, a handwoven tassel.
Faroukha, traditionally made in silk to adorn the neckline of men’s kandouras, was here rethought in a drawstring bag, the size of a water bottle, with long tassels hanging down. Made using macrame (a finger-knotting technique) it felt fresh and homely, while the bold colours of black, pink and orange brought it up-to-date.
The safeefah palm-frond weave, meanwhile, adorned the pockets of a man’s petrol-green top. Similar to the Italian leather weaving technique of intrecciato, it is luxurious, and the subtle variations that come with being handmade add to its inherent beauty.
Sheikha Hoor also chose to celebrate the work of her country’s artisans, by fashioning a woman's look of top and matching skirt in deep plum, using the technique.
Adam Rice, Qasimi head of design, said: “By bringing together two unique Emirati crafts and the Qasimi collection, we are aiming for authenticity and innovation. We hope to build on this relationship and want to ensure that those who make the craft are recognised and supported.”
Also speaking about the project, Reem BinKaram, director of Nama, described it as helping take “the exceptional craft traditions of our Emirati artisans in an exciting new direction".
“It is the perfect example of how craft and design can create better opportunities for artisans while offering a refreshing perspective of traditional handmade crafts by infusing them with a global, contemporary appeal.”