Nabil Nayal A Name to Know
Where do you go when on the hunt for fresh talent? There are of course the prestigious LVMH prize and British Fashion Council recipients. The difference between the two is perhaps in the timing mostly. The LVMH highlights talent that are unfamiliar and quite avant garde. It’s literally like nothing you’ve ever seen before. These new talents pave the way for the future of fashion.
Most distinguished of the LVMH recipients in recent years are fashion brands Jacquemus and Marques’Almeida in 2015. When we reported on them then their work was as alien as their brand names. Three years later and they rule the catwalks. The British Fashion Council identify fashion talents that are perhaps more familiar. Recipients include Mother of Pearl, Rejina Pyo and Palmer Harding for example.
This year Aleppo-born Syrian Nabil Nayal has been awarded further funding by the British Fashion Council’s charitable initiative BFC Fashion Trust. He was also short-listed for the LVMH prize in 2015. This unique name in the world of fashion is very focused in his creative aesthetic. Nabil, who moved to the UK at the age of 14, is obsessed with Elizabethan craftsmanship, and considers Elizabeth I his style icon.
When describing his childhood and how he he crossed paths with fashion he recounts, “I was brought up in Syria and from a very early age, I was surrounded by beautiful fabrics. My idea of fun was to play in my father’s fabric shop; I would climb up the hundreds of rolls of fabrics and look down to a sea of colour, print and metallic embroideries.”
His trademark ruffle shirts have become the favorite of fashion celebrities such as Sarah Mower, Tania Faris, Nicolas Ghesquiere and Karl Lagerfeld who selected/commissioned a shirt from the collection for his muse Amanda Harlech. When asked about this much discussed story Nabil is quick to explain, ‘Actually, I didn’t make the shirt for Karl! Karl saw the shirt at our stand in the LVMH showroom and exclaimed “I love it, I love it, I love it” followed by “We must buy this for Amanda Harlech”. It was such an extraordinary moment I still can’t quite believe it actually happened.
Karl Lagerfeld continued his support of the brand by photographing Jerry Hall in Nabil’s pieces as part of V magazine’s V100 issue. In an interview with Wonderland magazine Nabil described his meeting with Lagerfeld.
“I was talking Karl through the collection and explaining the story and the concepts behind the garments. There was a pause and then he said: “this is magical”. I was shaking! We share the common belief that a collection begins with a white shirt. “You cannot hide behind a white shirt!” he exclaimed. I nodded and thought “he gets it…this is a dream right?”
Nabil Nayal also showed his collection at Fashion Forward Dubai last season as part of a collaborative effort between the platform and the British Fashion Council.
If pervious British Fashion Council recipients are anything to go by we can expect Nabil Nayal to become more mainstream in the coming year. We can also expect a wider variety of categories within his brand. Marques’Almeida and Jacquemus both now have handbag lines to supplement their clothing lines. Just remember you met Nabil here first!!