The Saudi designer Arwa Al Banawi champions female empowerment and Arabic culture- The collaborative sneaker blends Eastern and Western influences
This season, adidas Originals and Arwa Al Banawi have come together to launch a carefully considered take on the iconic Forum silhouette. Over the past few years Arwa Al Banawi has made a name for herself as one of her generation’s most impactful designers. Through her Saudi Arabian brand she has consistently inspired Arab communities by empowering women and communicating authentic cultural touch-points. Known for the way in which she elevates each of her collections with original storytelling, Arwa Al Banawi blends traditional tailoring with contemporary perspectives, working out of her design studios in Jeddah and Dubai in order to seamlessly bring together Eastern and Western influences.
The collaborative sneaker brings a suite of personal touches to the timeless Forum silhouette, blending multiple perspectives — East and West, Past and Present — in order to reinterpret the designer’s personal heritage for the future. Seeking to empower women from her home region and beyond, while demonstrating a firm commitment to communicating Arab culture to the world, the Arwa Al Banawi Forum silhouette, pays homage to the designer’s Gulf roots; reimagining them in a new context.
Drawing on Arwa’s spirit animal, the “Ibex”, the sneaker’s unique details are partly inspired by “Capra” — which translates to “Mountain Goat Family”. Composed of a canvas upper with suede overlays and matching leather stripes with hand-stitched embroidery, the Arwa Al Banawi Forum Lo sneaker is rendered in desert-esque pantones. Serving as an ode to the designer’s roots and identity, the unique silhouette boasts a woven red and white heel cap which is inspired by the checkered pattern of traditional Arabian fabrics. This meaningful detail was carefully crafted by Arwa in order to champion her Gulf heritage, bringing Eastern emblems to a shoe that has a rich Western history, and representing a subtle nod to a new generation of creative talents who are blending hybrid perspectives in unconventional ways. Rounding out the look, the Arwa Al Banawi Forum Lo sneaker features branded lace jewels, a graphic footbed with contrast binding, and gold foil co-branded details.
The sneaker is then brought to life through a striking campaign which juxtaposes contemporary style codes with natural landscapes and farm goats. Seeking to remind audiences to remain connected with the planet, the campaign quintessentially captures the designer’s immense respect for nature and the environment within which we live.