Foregoing a slot on the New York Fashion Week calendar, Sukeina’s Omar Salam took his show on the road for spring 2024, presenting his collection—by invitation—in Africa and the Middle East, where his intricately worked, and dressed-up, designs have enthusiastic followings.
The designer works from a Brooklyn high-rise with huge windows that give the space a floating-in-the-air feeling, making the nominal theme of the collection, the sky’s transformation from dawn to dusk, a natural fit. But the truth is the only time these pieces would see the early light is if the wearer stayed up all night. Sukeina clothes aren’t for a just-rolled-out-of-bed schlep to the bodega; rather they are meticulously crafted designs that encourage, almost demand, that the wearer put her main character energy on full display. It would be impossible to wear the super-wide legged, feather-trimmed jumpsuit, for example, with anything but flair.
Salam is as committed on his end: “If you are designing and you are taking on people that are working for you, cutting fabric, all of that, there must be some level of responsibility, some level of commitment. It cannot be halfway done. It cannot be 80% done,” he said with passion. “You deserve to surround yourself with things that inspire you, move you, touch you, and make you feel such a way that every time you have it on you or around you, you deliver your best, you express your most, you are your most essential,” he continued.
Among the stunners in the collection were a linear, body-con wiggle dress with a folded neckline and “tabbed” waist and a collapsed cocoon-shaped coat dress with a deliberately caught up hem that fell in a wave around the body. Salam showed his mesh pieces over bodysuits, which emphasized their transparency rather than delivering modesty, a concept that doesn’t have much traction in fashion these days. Most unexpected were the slight early ’60s (deliberate or not) references, such as modular “diaper” shorts and miniskirts. Traditional smocking was changed out for Sukeina’s signature fringe on a baby-doll dress that was both sassy and sweet.