Hailing from Jeddah, Saudi designer Nasiba Hafiz launched her eponymous label in 2011. The London College of Fashion graduate comes from a buyer and visual merchandising background, and broke into her true passion—design—in 2012. “I started to see all these new, up-and-coming designers in the Middle East, and I thought, ‘I can do this,’” she told Style.com/Arabia. Hafiz has previously described her client to Style.com/Arabia as “daring, comfortable, and elegant,” and something of a globe-trotter. But for all of the designer’s own journeys (travel and otherwise), if one is to look back at her earlier work, it’s not clear that it has evolved significantly.
For Fall 2016, Hafiz’s show notes confusingly referenced Queen Nefertiti, the Eye of Horus, and Yin and Yang—the first two were apparent only in the beauty looks, while the latter could be seen via a pretty black-and-white floor-grazing silk dress. Overall, the palette consisted of contrasting hues, save for a couple of poppy red punctuations. The designer produced a slew of on-trend slinky slip dresses in silk and velvet renditions; a handful of these were overlaid with sheer-spotted tulle that captured a ‘90s mood. The edit also featured loose fit tops, crop pants, and wide-strapped apron dresses—but there were no surprises here, save for the poorly executed finishings. Moving forward, Hafiz needs to focus on execution, conveying a clearer message, and—above all—showcasing a stronger evolution between seasons.