Fashion with a Soul

By Hana Bushnaq


On a raft where the ocean blue meets the sky, there is hope for life, meaning and dignity. The raft represents the survival of refugees, their quest for a new beginning. This is the dream that Shahd Al Asali, founder of Blue Meets Blue, had: to aid the refugee epidemic and she couldn’t think of any better way to do it than employing her own lifelong love of fashion. When you think of fashion, you think of beauty, extravagance, elegance and finesse. Other associations do come to mind as well like consumerism, gluttony and the fast life. Shahd, however, had a different plan. She disrupts the model of fast soulless fashion and brings about a deep, ‘slow’ fashion with a cause.

However, you won’t be loving this brand for purely ethical reasons. When it comes to esthetics, you will fall for the exquisite tulles and chiffons, the slow fashion involved clearly evident. With Asaly’s Fashion and Psychology background, the idea was to employ refugees to create a fashion line. With 65 million refugees and internally displaced people around the globe- according to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees- Asaly sprang to action. She got in touch with the refugee community in Chicago through the Syrian Community Network and was able to find women who were highly skilled in beading, pattern making and sewing. This skill comes to life in the pieces they create, inspiring ambition for a better tomorrow and telling a story of survival. Asaly teamed up with experts in the fields of refugee work, media outreach and fashion to help her strategize, design and spread the word, or the hope. All the way from Chicago, they come to IFDC’s Pret-a-Cover Buyer’s Lane in Citywalk Dubai to give you more choices, with the added benefit of uniqueness and guilt free spending.

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