Saudi designer Hatem Alakeel  was honored with an award for the best regional men’s designer at the recently held Esquire Man at His Best Awards 2013 hosted by premier men’s magazine, Esquire Middle East.
“I am delighted to see that an international magazine like Esquire Middle East also embraces traditional style. The Toby and Hatem Alakeel brands are no longer just about thobes but also extend to men’s ready-to-wear shirts and jackets. It was truly an honor to be nominated and I am truly overwhelmed and excited to win this award,” said Alakeel on receiving the award.
Known as the Tom Ford of the Gulf region, Alakeel’s brand Toby specializes in traditional men’s wear with a progressive twist. He is one of the few designers in the Kingdom and the region specializing in men's wear. Alakeel has dressed celebrities such as Snoop Dog and Christian Louboutin and is popular for his peace bracelets that has been worn by celebrities including Eva Longoria, Diane von Fürstenberg, Jermaine Jackson, Nancy Ajram and Haifa Wehbe . Recently, the designer also made a foray into women’s wear and launched his women’s collection, titled Hatem Alakeel Femme.
“Its nice to see that a magazine such as esquire recognizes local talents. I’m grateful for this award and I believe the reason why I was awarded was because I got out of my comfort zone. I encourage all designers to push themselves further,” he said.
“It's also nice to be recognized as a designer, not just a thobe designer, as I have recently launched my shirt collection and men's wear collection at Saks Fifth Avenu in Dubai. I look forward to creating men's ready-to-wear collections and continue with my women’s line,” he added.
By RIMA AL-MUKHTAR