Zaid Farouki – Cutting Cultures

“We are deconstructing what it means to be Middle Eastern and representing it in a gender-neutral, modernised manner.”

Zaid Farouki – Cutting Cultures
This Is Yung

Zaid Farouki (Instagram) is re-weaving his heritage, stitch by stitch, in a gender-neutral contemporary approach that’s quickly earning plaudits.

Zaid Farouki

How do you find a sense of calm and healing through your practice?

It’s a mode of self expression. I find healing power in embroidery, it’s a way for me to express myself using a tactile language scripted by a needle and thread. Also, as a seasonless and gender-inclusive brand, mindfulness is part of our on-going sustainability practice. I think that by adopting a slow fashion approach – with practices centred around product quality, longevity, production transparency and local resources – we have more capacity for consciousness and awareness.

Your Palestinian heritage is instilled in your designs, talk us through that.

My heritage and experiences are part of the weaving of my identity: I draw inspiration from the fashion of cultures and it plays out in unique designs, such as inscribing my cloth with motifs and writing. It’s impossible to separate my view of the world and the details I notice, from the detail which subconsciously appears in our designs.

Zaid Farouki

How do you find a balance between the modern and the traditional in your designs?

We believe we’re cross-cultural ambassadors, combining eastern and western traditions. We are deconstructing what it means to be Middle Eastern and representing it in a gender-neutral, modernised manner, transcending borders.

And the balance between fashion and art in your work?

We began by developing wearable art pieces, which were a series of personal discoveries. It wasn’t until I attended Istituto Marangoni in Milan that I realised I could channel my love of art into the fashion world; there were so many pieces I envisioned as art pieces and knew I had to blend with fashion. I still find myself pushing the limits and attempting to reinvent the meaning of fashion.

Zaid Farouki

If you were standing in front of your younger self today, what would you tell him?

Celebrate and love yourself and your heritage. Most importantly: the journey you’re embarking on will work out in the end.

Who are your inspirations?

It’s impossible to name just a few, as people across the board inspire me. Every day is a quest to gain inspiration or influence from someone, or from my surroundings.

Do you believe in a perfect design?

I believe that you put out the best possible design and that in that moment of time you believe it’s perfect. But on the quest of knowledge, you’ll have to look back and critique yourself. This is how you advance.

How did you come across your fascination with headpieces?

My full family name is Taji Farouki. In Arabic the word Taji literally means “my crown”. My fascination for headpieces began with that. I love 3D printing head pieces, encrusting them with crystals, or using traditional embroidery blended with crystals and motifs.

Zaid Farouki

In your opinion, what is the most underrated fashion item?

A white T-shirt and denim trousers. If you can style and wear a simple white T-shirt, with a pair of jeans (and wear it well!) it means you can style yourself in anything.

How do you keep yourself hopeful for the future?

Believing in a better future and aiming to leave the world a better place.

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