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Fashion honcho Yahya Al-Bishri to design Souq Okaz clothes

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JEDDAH — Makkah Emir Prince Mishal Bin Abdullah has commissioned fashion designer Yahya Al-Bishri to design the official clothes for the opening show of the Souq Okaz festival.

The events of the souk, in its eighth edition, will be inaugurated in Taif today (Thursday) by Prince Mishal in the presence of a number of princes, ministers, ambassadors and consuls general.

According to Al-Bishri, the designed garments will be inspired by Souq Okaz’s historic symbolism as the original source of Arabic culture and its role as a destination for ancient Arab intellectuals, poets and people passionate about culture and literature.

He said: “The design would need to reflect the historical characteristics of this ancient poetry event.”

Al-Bishri was born in 1962 in Abha where he received a primary education before moving to Jeddah to complete his studies.

He developed a love for literature and poetry that led him into journalism. In 1986 Al-Bishri discovered fashion and was so passionate that he decided to try to make a career out of it.

Initially he studied in Italy and then moved on to Paris where he finally completed his degree in fashion, graduating from the Paris American Academy.

A pivotal point in his career came when he was commissioned to design clothes for Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and a dress for the late Princess Diana.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on Jan. 15, 2015.