Updated: Feb 3
1. How was Sawwad conceptualised and give us a little insight into the world of Sawwad
In Arabic, Sawwad means darkness, used to describe the darkness of the desert night, or the depth of a woman’s seductive gaze. It signifies power and mystery. The root of it comes from the word “Black”, which is the king of colors in the world of fashion. In this case, it also happens to be an acronym for the designer’s name: Salma Awwad.
“From Your Darkest Moments,
Shines Your Brightest Light”
We are creating the first ever high-fashion virtual cult universe.
Sawwad is a multi-sensory fashion brand that creates an entire universe around every single product released.
Combining tech, sustainability and digital influence. It is a Character Driven Vs. Collection Driven fashion brand.
Middle East based and localized to the region’s unique demographics. The Vision is led by the former Editor In Chief of the biggest high fashion title in the region, who is also its first ever Arab female Editor In Chief, both locally and internationally.
2. We noticed you created some gorgeous avatars for the brand, how important do you think it is to have digital avatars and does it help create a distinct bond with the audience.
Sawwad is a Fashion-Tech company, first of its kind globally – fashion brought to life through a digital universe of Avatars, storytelling, comic strips, music, interactive augmented reality and animation technology.
Our Avatars are the building blocks of our character driven storyline. Custom made for our region – 3 heroines hailing from different parts of the Middle East and representing elements of its diverse nature and history. Together they form the Kingdom of Sawwad, which is set in a fictional parallel universe.
A heroe’s tale derived from our folklore and released in chapters, along with a new fashion line, animation artwork, music and Easter eggs. This Other-worldly fantasy universe has its capital and main heroine located in Al Ula, KSA, weaving an intricate tale that magnifies its beauty.
A new breed of fashion brands is born.
3. Can you tell us a little more about the current collection?
We don’t release collections we release chapters.
We start our journey through Sawwad by releasing Chapter 5: “Awaken the Dragon”.
Each chapter is centered around one of the three characters. “Awaken the Dragon” is an introduction of our main heroine, Nazrul “The Desert Warrior”, and her coming-of-age story through the Dragon Initiation.
This is a cyperpunk Arabian fantasy tale.
Nazrul’s secret weapon through her journey is her dragon scale bag. She retrieves it through a mystical source along her path. (details soon to be revealed). The bag is made up of three parts – a hand-crafted leather body and 3D printed sleeve details. It comes in three colour ways which can be mass customized resulting in 27 colour options.
4. We have seen your journey through the different arenas of fashion, can you tell us more about this and what you would advice young fashion students to pave a career path.
Yes, I started my fashion journey as a second career path! I initially worked my way up through the beauty industry before I found my calling to fashion. I went to study fashion design at Parsons New York exactly 10 years ago and from there the magic unfolded – Working with the designers who left me starstruck by their talent and humble nature – Ralph Lauren, Armani, Alexander Wang and Narciso Rodriguez – before coming here and leading Harper’s Bazaar Arabia.
We like to believe that it’s in our control, but that’s not always the case. Be ready and willing to pivot, follow the doors that the universe opens for you, trust it’s calling and only then will you discover your true purpose.