After a degree in Business Administration, Nora studies fashion at Riyadh’s Arts & Skills Institute. Shortly after graduating, she presents her first collection in 2009 at Saks Fifth Avenue Riyadh and in 2012 she launches her namesake label Nora Al Shaikh. In December 2014, the designer receives the Leaders Inspiring A Kingdom in the Business World Award, given by Forbes Middle East in recognition of “individuals and visionary self-starters who have the power to initiate change and contribute to the Saudi Arabia of tomorrow.” “I’m sharing my culture with a global audience while showing one aspect of what it means to be a Saudi in the 21st century.
I was one of three Saudi fashion designers to be selected by the Ministry of Culture to think about the country’s 2030 Vision and how fashion can play a role in shaping perceptions of a people and its heritage. I thought about that a lot while putting this collection together. My designs are always inspired by my Saudi heritage, because it’s a pretty diverse country. I’m constantly inspired by its many regions and craft traditions, but never in a literal way. I’m also mindful that my clients are global and I try to create clothes that are contemporary and can be worn anywhere in the world. Even though I will use rich materials and embroideries, there is also a casual feel to the clothes. It’s that combination which defines chic modern dressing for me. I’ve also always been interested in playing with proportions and creating separates that can be worn in different ways.” For the collection on show in Dubai “I was inspired by my roots in Najd in central Saudi Arabia, but not in a literal sense. It comes through in some of the colors I’ve selected as well as the use of cording for embellishment.”