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  • Hia Interview

    Fashion Designer Honayda Serafi to Hia: “I am working on a clear framework for my identity as a global Saudi designer”

    She has been described as a creative pioneer of a new generation of world-renowned designers in the Middle East. She has succeeded in presenting contemporary fashion inspired by past inspiration and stories that have made a lot of difference in the history of our civilization. Between the philosophy of design and its simplicity stands Honayda Serafi to translate to the Western world many of the qualities of Arab women who refuse their role to be dictated on them or to be imprisoned by traditional society in a traditional mold… In the following interview, she tells us about beauty and philosophy in her fashion.

    – We read a lot about you, what is the thing that we do not know about designer Honayda Serafi?
    Maybe not everyone knows that I am passionate about sculpture and poetry, and I consider them my hobbies following fashion design. I also take part in fashion seminars for two Saudi universities. Sharing my experience as a fashion designer with female students is as enjoyable as the fun I feel when designing and launching my collections.

    – Has your studying of Islamic art had an influence on your designs?
    Of course, a person who has no history does not have a present or future. The study of Islamic art opened my eyes to what is left of the Islamic civilization and the effect of our history on our reality today. Moreover, those who read the history of art discover that we have exported all the beauty industries to the Western world and that we are the source of many forms of art. As an appreciation to our history in arts, I have been interested in heritage and I use it and present it in a contemporary way through my designs. In the end, the rising generations must be connected to their origin and proud of it.

    – When did your passion for fashion begin?
    Since my childhood, every beautiful thing attracts my attention. And whenever I visit a country, I would love to know about its culture through its costumes and sometimes I would buy some of these costumes or take pictures of them, thus I grew this passion inside me with my love for my heritage and I am using it in my work now as I have mentioned.

    – What challenges have you faced as a fashion designer?
    The most important challenge was in designing pieces that combine modernity with a touch of loyalty to the past. I was thinking about how to translate my thoughts on the cloth. I say that these clothes are beautiful but they have a strong relationship with and is linked to culture and heritage of those who wear them. I present fashion that says that the woman wearing it is multifaceted and exceptional… strong, courageous, rebellious, and adventurous and at the same time elegant and such these qualities do not diminish her femininity.

    – Who is your favorite fashion model?
    My ideals are mastery, excellence, and success. There are many difficulties surrounding success but I believe that a person must be armed with perseverance and hope to reach the top.

    – Where do you seek revelation in your designs?
    From the legends or from the stories that have influenced me personally in which I found a useful reflection on the personality of the Arab woman. In my first collection, I was influenced by my mother as an example of the Saudi Hijazi woman and I used features of her face in the prints of some pieces. My mother is the best woman I know that represents Hijazi history, she is a living representative that can, when you meet her, help you know a lot about our identity and our history.
    In the next collection, which I named “Love and War”, I chose to draw inspiration from the story of Abla and Antar, a story that brought together love with perseverance, especially that Abla fought racism before fighting for her lover and I felt through the details of her story that she inspires women to fulfill themselves and seek the truth before seeking to achieve their dreams, regardless of the price. One has to resist and persevere until he/ she has his/ her rights and preferences.
    In the last collection that I am preparing to launch, I could not prevent myself from being influenced by the historic event in which we concluded last year’s news in Saudi Arabia, namely, granting women the right to drive vehicles. In light of this happy news, I took it upon myself to document it in a collected that carried many details and features of roads, cars, driving, and empowerment.

    – What is the title of your new collection?
    The title of the collection is “The Hoopoe Bird”, which was a hero in the story of the Queen of Sheba. It was the best and fastest messenger between the Prophet Solomon and the Kingdom. This bird, which was an example of strength and speed, is not very different from the potential given to women after allowing them to drive vehicles in the streets of Saudi Arabia.

    – What does UNESCO’s selection of some of your designs to be the official attire of the organization’s ambassador Vanessa Modley in Paris in 2018 mean to you?
    Choosing one of my designs to be her formal gown is undoubtedly a happy news, because it is proof that my collection gave them what they want to highlight in the appearance of their ambassador, whether this is at the level of elegance, authenticity, or exceptionality. Moreover, I learned from the letter addressed to me from the Organization that the selection of these costumes was because they express the independence of women and support their rights and call for peace; all of which are beautiful meanings I was happy that they have seen in my collection.

    – What about the fact that the same ambassador has chosen a dress from your first collection?
    Alongside the Organization’s choices for some dresses from my latest collections, a very special dress from the first collection has been agreed upon, which is expected to be sold for sale at a charity auction that goes to the Organization. This particular dress has a print that bears the face of my mother as a source of revelation. I believe that these agreements were based on a common approach between the Hunaida brand and many of the Organization’s goals. We agree on the need to support women’s rights and independence.

    – Tell us about these experiences and their contribution to refining your identity as a fashion designer?
    From the first day, I have been working on drawing a clear framework for my identity as a global Saudi designer, and although I put in mind the importance of preserving the national identity, especially the traditional clothing, I present it in a modern fashion that suites the tastes of the present era. I seek to preserve the documentation of the national heritage and heritage of our ancestors in the field of fashion in addition to integrating it with our contemporary reality.

    – What is special in launching your collection from the capital of fashion and high-end couture, Paris?
    Paris is the world’s capital of fashion and beauty, its market is not easy and competition is very inspirational and very complex. Moreover, in my opinion, anyone who wants to succeed has to start from the hardest point and not the starting point, and being able to organize my fashion shows there gives me the opportunity to impose my name on the global map and collaborate with the most prominent international fashion platforms.
    – What are your plans and future projects?
    Empowering and liberating women from traditional stereotypes is the cornerstone of all my future projects, in addition to educating new generations about the heritage, culture, and civilization of the Arab regions. In my opinion, this education depends not only on reading but on the use of other senses such as seeing beauty and looking through it at many of the ideas promoted by our heritage in the first place. In all of my collections, I am keen to present this ancient civilization through what I print and design in each dress.

    Link to original article

    Account of Designer Honayda Serafi: @honaydaofficial

  • Policies

    HONAYDA’s Delivery and returns policy

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    When making a purchase you will be guided through the process of placing an order by a series of instructions on the website. If you place an order, this will be your offer to purchase the item(s) from us.

    Once you have made your choice and your order has been placed, you will receive an email acknowledging the details of your order. This is NOT an order confirmation or order acceptance from HONAYDA, just a confirmation that we have received your request. We will be under no obligation to supply the products ordered. All orders are subject to acceptance and availability.

    If the items that you ordered are out of stock, subject to a delay or the price is higher than that shown on your order, we will try to contact you at the email address you provided when placing your order or by telephone. Unless we have notified you that we do not accept your order, our acceptance of your order and the completion of the contract between you and us will take place when you receive an email from us notifying you that we have dispatched the items ordered by you.

    We reserve the right not to accept your order if the item ordered is out of stock, the item does not satisfy our quality control standards, we are unable to obtain authorization for your payment or if we identify a product or pricing error.  If we are unable to fulfil your order following our order acknowledgement, we will contact you by email or telephone advising you of this.  We will try to keep our website as up to date as reasonably possible but cannot guarantee that any particular item will always be available.

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    All prices for items available via the website are shown in USD.

    Delivery outside Lebanon may be subject to local import taxes, which are the responsibility of the customer where they apply. www.honayda.com is not responsible for any delays caused by destination customs clearance processes.

    We deliver to over 200 countries around the world.

    The cost of the delivery depends on the size and weight of your order and the carrier used. The delivery price will be indicated on your basket page

    It will take 3-7 working days from the order date for orders to be shipped.

    If these items are made per customer order (customized item), it will take 2 weeks from the order date for orders to be shipped.

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    All orders will be delivered between 9am-5:30pm Monday to Friday and will require a signature upon delivery. We are unable to amend address details or redirect orders once your items have been dispatched.   Please note that we do not dispatch any orders over the weekend. Weekend orders will be dispatched on Mondays. We aim to dispatch your order as soon as possible after we have verified the availability of goods, your payment has been authorized and all our fraud checks are complete. Order cut-off times, dispatch estimates and transit times are provided as guidelines only, and do not take into account possible delays caused by payment authorization, adverse weather conditions, stock availability or other such events.

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    Delivery charges are calculated according to the size, weight and destination of your order. The exact delivery charges for your specific order will be listed at the end of the online checkout process before you submit your order.

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    • Returns

    • FOR NEW ARRIVALS:

    Merchandise can be returned for a full refund with 7 days of the delivery.

    Merchandise can be returned for a full store credit or exchanged within 15 days of delivery.

    Sale merchandise cannot be returned, exchange only.

    We do not accept returns on sample sale merchandise. All sales are final.

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    All merchandise returned for exchange, store credit or refund must be in perfect, sellable condition in its original packaging and accompanied by the original or gift receipt.

    Upon receipt of returned goods, HONAYDA reserves the right to deny return if the merchandise does not meet return policy requirements.

    Shipping and handling charges for returned merchandise are non-refundable unless we have made a shipping error.

    • FOR ORDERS AND PRE-ORDER:

    As each of these items are made per client order, it is a 50% non-refundable order.  If an exchange of size is required, this can be done at no extra cost.  If an exchange of style is required, only a difference in item price will be paid.  If a return is requested, only 50% of the order will be refunded back to the client.

    All merchandise returned for exchange, store credit or refund must be in perfect, sellable condition in its original packaging and accompanied by the original or gift receipt.

    • SHIPPING ERRORS OR DAMAGED PRODUCTS

    In the event that we processed an order incorrectly or you received a damaged or defective item, we will gladly exchange or take back that item for a full refund at our expense. To receive your shipping label and arrange to replace your product, please contact info@honayda.com.

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    Any HONAYDA items purchased from boutiques, departments store or any other location selling our merchandise cannot be returned to www.honayda.com.

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    We strive to process your refund within 14 days of the date of cancellation/return notice. All correctly returned products will be credited to the original purchaser’s credit card excluding international customs duties and sales taxes which are non-refundable for shipments outside Lebanon.

    Should you wish to return an item, given to you as a gift, purchased at our online boutique we regret to inform you that we are unable to offer you the refunded money as refunds will only be credited to the purchaser. However, we would be delighted to assist you with any exchanges and ask that you contact info@honayda.com.

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    Entitlement to the products is passed to you on the date we receive full payment for the products ordered. Legal ownership of the items will immediately revert to HONAYDA if we refund any such payment to you.

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    If you have questions concerning our privacy policy or about your personal data and how it is collected and processed during your visit to the HONAYDA Website, please feel free to contact info@honayda.com.

    • Online Content

    The author assumes no liability whatsoever for the topicality, correctness, completeness or quality of the information provided. The author shall be held harmless for any and all liability claims against the author for material or intangible damage arising from the use or non-use of the information provided, or from the use of defective and incomplete information unless the author’s intentional or grossly negligent fault is proven.

    All content is subject to change without notice and is non-binding. The author expressly reserves the right to modify, supplement or delete parts of the pages or the entire content without prior advance notice, or to suspend or terminate publication.

    • Referrals and Links

    With respect to direct or indirect referrals to third-party Internet pages (“links”) outside the author’s area of responsibility, liability would come into force only if the author were aware of the content and if he/she were reasonably and technically able to prevent the use of illegal content.

    The author therefore expressly declares that the respective linked pages were free from illegal content at the time the links were placed. The author has no influence whatsoever on the current or future design or on the content of the linked/connected pages. Therefore, the author shall be exculpated from any damages arising from the content of any linked/connected pages that have been modified since the link has been placed.

    The author has no influence whatsoever on the current or future design or on the content of the linked/connected pages. Therefore, the author shall be exculpated from any damages arising from the content of any linked/connected pages that have been modified since the link has been placed.  This applies to any links and referrals placed within the company’s Internet content as well as to postings or messages to guest books, discussion boards and mailing lists set up by the author.  Solely the provider of the page linked to shall be liable for illegal, defective or incomplete content and particularly for damage arising from the use or non-use of such information; the provider of the page merely linking to the respective publication shall not be held liable for any such damage.

    • Copyright and Trademark Law

    The author endeavors to respect the copyright of any graphics, audio files, video sequences and texts used in all publications, to use self-created graphics, audio files, video sequences and texts, or to make use of royalty-free graphics, audio files, video sequences and texts.

    Any brands and trademarks named in the Internet content that may be protected by third-party rights are fully subject to the provisions of the currently applicable trademark law and the Possessory rights of the respective registered owner.

    The simple mention shall not be interpreted as such that brands are not protected by third-party rights.  The author retains the copyright for any published objects that have been created by the author. The duplication or use of such graphics, audio files, video sequences and texts in other electronic or print publications is not permitted without the author’s express approval.

    • Privacy Policy Statement

    Protecting our users’ personal data is an important concern for our company. All of HONAYDA web activities comply with Lebanese legislation and the GBDe Recommendations (linked to: http://www.gbde.org/) issued in September 2001. This privacy policy governs the treatment of the information HONAYDA gathers on you when you visit this website.

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