Honayda, Designer

Even as a child, Honayda Serafi was a rebel, questioning the boundaries of society, notably as they concern women’s rights. At the same time, she has a profound love of the culture and traditions of her homeland, which is strongly communicated in her designs. Art, culture and craftsmanship are part of her genetic makeup. Born into a family of art lovers in Saudi Arabia – her mother is a renowned fashion and art historian – she studied Islamic art at university before moving to Paris to study fashion at Parson’s The New School. She has been working as a designer since. As well as creating her own label, Honayda Serafi is also an accomplished sculptor and poet.

She takes her inspiration from myriad sources, ranging from traditional Middle Eastern craftsmanship to Western pop music, from Asian handicrafts to ancient legends, from poetry celebrating women’s beauty and strength to female artists fighting for equal rights, and from legendary women like the Queen of Sheba to the humble woman laborer working the fields. She injects meaning and symbolism into every aspect of her designs with a strong undercurrent: empowering women of all origins and telling their stories through her designs.

She is the epitome of the fulfilled modern woman: a mother, artist and businesswoman, maintaining strong links with her heritage and culture while living resolutely in the present. “Honayda” is the Arabic word for a sword’s sheath, symbolizing the combination of strength and protection that appropriately sum up her outlook on life and business alike.

Honayda Serafi believes strongly in giving back to society and inspiring young women to fulfil their dreams. She is a fervent supporter of philanthropic initiatives as well as a guest lecturer at Saudi Arabia’s two leading universities offering fashion courses for women.