Behind the Scenes:
The London Bloke and Cali Girl
Many of you may already know their work. And if you read our last issue, you definitely know their work. Ibraheem Abbar and Nora Alhamraniare two of the designers whom make up the Noon team.
But they’re not fashion designers, their graphic designers, or as Ibraheem strictly asserts, “graphic artist!” Both of these Saudi designers(sorry, artists!) come from completely opposite sides of the globe, interims of artistic heritage, that is. Ibraheem, the main designer who has been with Noon since its birth, is a London street kid at heart, who loves everything urban.
“I’m really into graffiti and that type of street-style art,” explains Ibraheem, who besides being a graphic artist is also a self-confessed t-shirt junkie. This admiration for street art is made evident by his talent to manipulate Arab text into graffiti style images, “I want to present Arab culture with funk.” Ibraheem’s designs, such as Alm (Knowledge) and his emergency numbers shirt, display this double function of both awareness and art.
Ibraheem believes there is a lack in traditional Arab culture being represented in a contemporary fashion, “We need to tap into the Arab culture by speaking to people in their own language.” It is in this way that Noon shirts greatly stand apart from their counterparts.
His designs also communicate to the masses by being genuine. “It can be funny, emotional, or simply a camel [but] it needs to connect to people,” emphasizes Ibraheem. And the best way is through humor, he asserts. As a graphic artist, Ibraheem treats the t-shirt asa canvas, and is making pieces that we can all appreciate and finally relate to.
Nora Alhamrani shares this same passion and urban chic that places her perfectly within Ibrahim and Noon’s manifesto.
Except Nora is all Cali. From her love of vintage shirts, to her eccentric take on design, she is bringing the west coast of the West to the west coast of the Middle East. “I like the culture clashing and I want to see how far I can take it,” declares Nora. In LA, innovation is as common as peroxide-blonde hair and Nora is bringing such concepts to the drawing board in Jeddah.
From her won-nayt (one-eight) truck shirts to the bleeding Saudi emblem, she is applying her all-American demeanour with her Saudi cultural heritage to create a unique fusion that is as cool and relaxed as her blithe personality.
“In LA, I noticed a lot of designers were using t-shirts as an outlet to display their work,” observes Nora, “And that’s how I feel: I see myself as a graphic designer, rather than a clothing designer.” It is perhaps this shared self-perception that makes both Nora and Ibraheem’s work emerge as contemporary pieces of art rather than just mere graphic t-shirts. Either way, both designers are invading the (fairly) virgin world of Arab youth through their eccentric designs and mad funk.