Fashion Weekly

Hoodies of happiness

August 5 - 11 , 2020

Gulf Weekly Mai Al Khatib-Camille
By Mai Al Khatib-Camille

Gulf Weekly Hoodies of happiness

A group of talented teens have created a series of hoodie designs to inspire and unite people in Bahrain during Covid-19.

The cool creatives collaborated with sisters Reem and Thajba Najeeb, founders of Artology Bahrain in Saar, where they used to practice their art skills before schools, studios and centres were closed.

Thajba, a popular painter known for her vibrant art featured on canvases, abayas, perspex boxes and other materials, wanted to provide the youngsters with activities to keep them entertained whilst stuck at home.

The 39-year-old Ibn Khuldoon National School (IKNS) IB art teacher and head of the visual arts department for the high school, said: “It was our job as artists to document this time whichever way we could. At a time where our teens were staying at home and sleeping in during quarantine, we came up with Quarantology where we made them think of fun ways to express themselves using their hip and young lingo. We wanted them to create something they could use to communicate their age and reflect the times they are in.

“After a brief talk with the teens, the hoodie initiative was decided which was a true reflection of the hashtag era, their quirky comments and care-free attitude about life.

“What better way to raise awareness than this? When youngsters were resisting something as necessary as wearing a mask, we thought let’s bring a positive spin using fashion during a depressive and confined time in our lives. It was a great way to cheer people up, to document a pandemic in history and to support local businesses.”

The sisters, along with their mum and aunt, teamed up with IKNS senior student Ayesha Tyabji to guide the teens in the design concept.

Together, the team came up with six designs and colour options to suit all styles featuring embroidery made by local artisans and using local products to support Bahrain’s businesses.

Ayesha said: “Each piece was a mash up of diverse cultures to better suit the influences we have in our lives.

“Music, art and entertainment impact us greatly during these uncertain times and by wearing these hoodies, we unite.”

There is a white, black and red hoodie with the words ‘Stay Home Habibi’ written in English along with a white and ash grey hoodie saying ‘Stay at Home’ in Arabic, priced BD18. Ayesha added: “This hoodie symbolised us all standing together, united to support the community by asking everyone to stay at home to protect our front-liners as well as the elderly and our families.”

The ash grey gold, white and silver angel wing hoodies, priced at BD20, state that the wearer stands for kindness which is needed during this time. Reem, a 44-year-old mother of three who manages the art commune, said: “We should be kind and sensitive to others knowing that we are in the same boat but the ride is different for all.”

Another popular purchase is the Frida Khalo white and ash grey hoodies for BD20. This symbolises creativity and supports artists. Frida was a visionary in her time and the person adorning this hoodie represents her resourcefulness, talents and innovation.

At the moment, the team is creating new designs to be launched in the next few weeks. Thajba said: “The first set of hoodies proved to be quite popular and the initiative was successful in promoting our message which was to support local business and culture as well as showcase the beautiful products that can be made in our very own home Bahrain. At a time when our studio has become silent, our teens still made noise in a positive way. They truly shined and we can’t wait to see more of their colourful creations.”

For details, visit on Instagram.

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