October 10, 2013 12:00 AM | by Diana Farid
A Star Among Us: Fahad Al Obaidly
Fahad Al-Obaidly is not your typical Qatari fashion designer, he is the first Qatari male fashion designer and stylist and considered one of the leaders in the fashion industry for men.
My name is Fahad Al-Obaidly, the first Qatari male fashion designer and stylist. I have completed my degree in fashion design specializing in casual menswear from Institute Marangoni, Milan’s leading fashion school. I sensed my craze for fashion design at an early age asI have always felt like adding my personal touch to any garment I bought. I was very interested in anything that has to do with garments, clothes, fabrics that I used to go with my sisters shopping to observe their buying patterns, how they chose their fabrics, listened to their thinking process and so on.
In 2012 I introduced my menswear brand “Fahad Al-Obaidly” which thankfully has managed to stand out in the market and capture the hearts and attention of many people. Being an Arab combined with a European vision style in fashion is reflected in all my collections, and contributes greatly to my school of thought and philosophy behind my work. Having a Qatari brand with an Italian spirit is the reason why I dream one day to compete on an international level and represent my country. I also favor supporting the fashion industry internally by encouraging rising Qatari fashion designers. I also hold various introductory workshops on fashion design, fabric selection, and technical requirements needed for a fashion show.
I highly enjoy each step in my designing journey preceding every collection; the most lovable part is the fabric choice and design. My passion for learning made me study fabrics where I design my very own signature patterns to work with.
What inspired you to be the person you are today?
Many things around me contribute to the person I am today; one of the earliest things was having both parents talented in drawing which I believed enriched my talent. Secondly, comes my profound love for heritage and architecture which also plays a pivotal role in inspiring many of my collections.
The reason why I chose this direction was when I saw there is a big gap in the Qatari market when it comes to menswear. There is no awareness of how glamorous and fashionable a man can look. Since my education focused on menswear, I began to research the market and see what I can offer to fill in this gap. I even made a research study where I asked my own team to go ask guys while shopping about their perception on menswear collections available in Qatar, what they like, what they don’t, what do they wish to buy yet don’t find easily. Then I decided it was about time to launch my brand which is the first Qatari menswear label.
Success is receiving positive feedback about my collections, as well as seeing people happy wearing my pieces. Captivating people with my designs is the most delighting reward I can have. I design pieces that should talk about the person wearing it, make him feel unique and says something about who he is. This fuels my motivation and makes me feel I want to do more.
Best advice ever given to you?
My father used to tell me not to exhaust myself in many things and focus on one thing, but my mother believed I have the energy to do more. Earlier before I started my brand she used to advise me to try different things, because only then can I find my true passion and what is there for me to be successful. I am happy I listened to her because this was the starting point to my self-discovery and success afterwards.
What motivates you?
Being an achiever and being productive keeps me motivated. I really enjoy creating things, and love to have my own fingerprint on everything I do. I want my personal touch to make a difference & leave a mark so people will always remember my work and my brand.
Another thing that keeps me motivated is my circle of friends and family who give me the utmost support. I feel lucky having them around me; it feels like God lights my life with their presence.
For me the most severe mistake is listening to the wrong people or being misguided by them. I have always gone wrong when I didn’t believe or listen to my own inner voice.
Three random things about you...
I love sports. I enjoy spiritual activities like yoga. I have a deep profound love for heritage and culture, it is the reason why I studied history and became a history researcher. I am planning to do my PHD in GCC tribes.
You know you have made it when...
I know I have made it when I have a new dream. I will never stop because my passion for designing is endless so only the sky is the limit for me.