Sadeem Alshehail

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Elegance, wearability, and sustainability are the core values of pret-a-couture fashion brand, SADEEM, founded by Saudi designer, Sadeem Alshehail.

SADEEM offers ethically tailored clothing for the woman who wishes to look elegant yet feel comfortable; one that is as interested in preserving the environment as she is about sporting visionary designs.

This month, in an exclusive collaboration with Ounousa and Kamsyn, Marisa Cutillas brings us an exclusive Q&A with the woman who has achieved every goal she has set for herself: Sadeem Alshehail.

How did you start in the world of fashion?
My journey in fashion began in my hometown Riyadh of Saudi Arabia. As a child, I was exposed to the fashion design process while spending a lot of time in my aunt’s atelier and observed sketches come to life as beautiful couture creations.

This foundational experience birthed a desire to create and execute my own designs; and at the age of 19, I moved to the U.S. to study fashion design at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia.

After graduating, I gained experience in the fashion field by working as a senior buyer for Harvey Nichols’ first international store in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Following some years of working there, I’ve honed my skills for understanding the nuances of fashion markets across the U.S., Europe and the Middle East. In 2009, I returned to the U.S. and earned a Masters degree in Design Management from Pratt Institute in New York City.

What sparked your interest in sustainable design?
Sustainability and Ethical Design practices were inspired by my schooling at Pratt Institute in NYC. The curriculum for the Design Management program revolved around the U.N. Development Goals.

It was there that I realised that everything around us has a designer behind it. As designers, it is our duty and obligation to create things ‘cradle to cradle’.

We all need to be aware of how materials are sourced, we have to consider where they will end up, what their life cycle is, and most importantly, what impact they will have on our environment and society.

How can fashion make a positive impact on the planet?
Awareness, Awareness, Awareness! It is very sad to learn that the fashion industry is the second most damaging to our ecosystem, after the gas/oil industry.

The production and processing of textiles are polluting water, air, and soil. It is also wasting energy and depleting natural resources. People around the world are suffering as a result of being in direct contact with toxic substances…

Words Marisa Cutillas /

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