There is something that attracts you to this person hiding behind a white mask with rigid features! Perhaps it is the contrast between the man’s voice concealed behind it and his high positive energy. Nahar is a personality who shone in the Saudi fashion circles and became a celebrity because of his work with major fashion companies. In spite of the ambiguity swirling around his true personality, everyone knows about his passion and clear objectives. In order to know more about the man who lives behind the mask, we had a meeting with him.
- What is your biggest passion in life?
It is very difficult for me to specify one passion that I consider to be the greatest in life. I consider myself an artist and art itself is a passion. In fact, I see everything around me as a passion, and what actually leads me in my life is my desire to be happy doing what I love; whether my family and friends and my work in fashion.
- What does fashion mean to you?
The meaning of fashion changes for me constantly. Fashion was something I only enjoyed, now it is something I’m talking about. I grew up and learned how visions are formed and the identities of cities that unite through fashion. No one can deny the ability of fashion to give us that freedom of existence through which we express ourselves, and distinguish us from others.
- Where do you find fashion in your daily life?
I see it in my lifestyle; just like I eat and breathe. I find myself sometimes living in my locker. I think about all the clothes I own, looking for what I’m going to wear tomorrow and the day after. Some people consider me crazy, but I enjoy every moment I spend there.
- What is your message in life?
My message is to create the change that we need to understand fashion and art better and deeper. I spent the last years of my life looking and watching how the Gulf societies, especially the younger generations was headed towards creativity; creating their own identity. We need to invest in human minds, to change the perception of art and fashion.
- Do you aspire to change the outlook of Gulf men, especially Saudi men about fashion?
Despite my belief that everyone has the absolute freedom in the selection of clothes and the way they want to appear to the world, the change that I aspire to is not limited to look, but to correct certain beliefs and misperceptions held by Arab men in general and Saudi men in particular about fashion. We do not need to adopt all trends in order to understand fashion. We also do not need to imitate the West in everything. But we need to make our own fashion; to renew and develop our principles and our beliefs from what our ancestors were and what we are now. I began my career in this world through reading and observing until I formed my own character, and turned from a recipient to a source. I want to be a source of true fashion that reflects modern society.
- What is the story of the mask?
It’s a strange, mysterious and exciting story and that’s exactly what lies behind it. Behind the mask there is a creative and playful personality. For me it is a game I play with people every day when they ask me why I wear the mask. I do not deny that ambiguity has played a big role in my success and every artist or creative person must have his own personality. The message behind the mask is that the form in which God created us in is outside our control, so we have to focus on what we wear and the look we choose to present us in front of others.
- Is there a secret you are hiding behind the mask?
Maybe I’m hiding a disfigured or ugly or very handsome face! All of this does not matter. I get a lot of questions about what I’m hiding behind the mask and whether I have burned my face in an accident or if I have a congenital deformity. These questions and speculations make me laugh because, in the end, the mask is a choice. I do not want anyone to know me and love me because of my face; I want them to know me through my work and creativity.
- How did you find the reactions regarding your work in a conservative society like Saudi?
I believe there are several contradictions in the Saudi society. In spite of being conservative, recently girls and young people are expressing themselves through fashion on the streets. And fashion events appear frequently and fashion shows are increasing which indicates that the community is accepting fashion. I admit I faced a range of difficulties and resistance at the beginning of my appearance in 2007, where I was the only man in a world that was limited to women in Saudi Arabia. But now, after this long journey of work I feel the support, love and encouragement at every step.
- How do you define creativity?
Creativity is the act of transforming creative ideas into reality. The process of creativity involves two basic steps: the first is thinking and the second is execution. As long as you’re thinking creatively without turning your ideas into reality, you only have a broad imagination. You’re not creative.
- Who is an elegant man from your point of view?
An elegant man knows his body and works hard to reach the perfect shape for him. Thus he is studying what suits him and adopts it in his clothes and look.
- Who is your favorite designer?
It’s a very difficult question. There are many wonderful designers and I cannot limit my love of fashion to one alone.
- What is the piece of clothing that must be available in every stylish man’s wardrobe?
A white shirt.
- An accessory that you don’t leave the house without?
A ring and a watch.
- Which city has influenced you the most?
- A bag you always carry?
- A brand that represents you?
My mask is who I am and it does not matter what comes underneath, because I usually mix the brands I wear.
- Where will we see Nahar after 10 years?
Expect a lot of surprises. I have a lot of plans and projects, but you will definitely find me in the fashion world.
- You are preparing for a huge project that will be launched in Kuwait. Could you tell us a little about it?
This year, I paid a short visit to Kuwait, where I found that the charm of this city lies in its youth, especially in the creative world of fashion. So I decided to start my work in Kuwait through a new idea that I bring to Kuwait with the Saudi production company “Tkana”. Perhaps we could call what I’m going to do a revolution in the world of art and fashion coming from Saudi Arabia to Kuwait. Throughout my work I’ve support and encouraged brands and international fashion houses and now it’s time to encourage young local designers.
Define the following words:
- Style: exclusivity
- Fashion: behavior
- Beauty: power
- Spirit: the mirror of beauty
- Mask: Personality that has an idea
- Creativity: An idea that has never occurred to anyone
- Excellence: courage
- Achievements: desire
- Success: Happiness that pushes us to work more
- Youth: Does not fade if it lives on in the heart
- Saudi Arabia: A country of contrasting cultures
- Women: responsibility