PG Thinkers Program – Chapter 4
Purificacion Garcia is proud to announce the fourth chapter of it’s regional Thinker Program, aimed at reinforcing the brand’s mission to support regional emerging talents and inspire an organic connection between art and fashion. In this chapter, the initiative strives to highlight and support emerging talents from the GCC through a curated program engaging Saudi’s creative talent.
The program is designed to support and uplift society at the intersection of art, fashion and the concept of community to promote positivity. In line with this, the brand has collaborated with a selection of three regional emerging creatives – Alaa Balkhy, Malak Masllati and Osamah Maher, to showcase their work reimagined through the lens of PG.
The artists were asked to create a piece of art inspired by the brands icons. The renowned Homenaje Trenzado bag, an homage to the PG logo, the cube, recreating it through leather with a hint of irony and a wink of optical illusion to forge a false sense of weaving And by #PGOptimismo, an initiative that achieved more than 1,7 million dollars through the donation of a portion of the sales of bags and accessories from May to December 2020 to improve the lives of the elderly, which embodies the spirit of EID.
Alaa Balkhy is a Serial Entrepreneur from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, who works as a Creative Consultant, and Illustrator. A passionate people connector bridging continents with her work. She is based between the cities of Jeddah and New York, with culture being the focus of her artistic direction. Today, she is the Founder of Minnana, a collective focusing on Arab creatives and culture which includes a Podcast, as well as Alaa Bint Hashim, a slow fashion brand that is inspired by her back-and-forth travels between Jeddah, New York, and everywhere in between.
Alaa’s idea of optimism was engrained when she was a child, and thus she chose to create enlarged and playful building blocks that resemble what you might see in playgrounds and kindergartens. Inspired by her heritage, the cubes are made from the same material as an Arabian Majlis “Takaya,” comprised of recycled foam compressed into a cube shape. The playful combination brings back childhood memories using PG’s colours palette. The cubes were created in different materials and textures which are a reflection of the range of vastly different human emotions. Some are soft, while others are rigid the imperfections resembling the state of human mind. “Just like Children’s A,B,C cubes have letters, I wanted to have my own handwriting embroidered into the cubes. I chose to include verses on optimism from Arab poets.” Says Alaa.
Malak Masallati is a Saudi artist with over fifteen years of experience in Interior Design and Residential Renovation. With a background in Product Design from Central Saint Martins, she worked alongside artisans in Sleysla where she found her passion in what they create. She furthered this passion after graduating from JHTA (Jameel House of Traditional Arts) and began designing and producing 100% Saudi made products. ”I believe that Saudi has treasures of artisans and a vast heritage yet to be discovered and enriched, especially as our young Saudi force possesses the knowledge and creativity that is required.” Malak Masallati founded Dar Malak which is a space that brings together the Designer, Artisan, & Maker to produce a unique Saudi product.
For this unique project, Malak created an art piece which she refers to as “Celebrating the patterns of Saudi”. The art piece forms a cube which features architectural patterns lavished in PG’s vibrant brand colors, inviting emotions of cheer and joy. The patterns represent the Najdi hospitality from the Central Region, opening decorative doors, inviting us to see handwoven patterns of Al Sadu from the Northern Region tents.
As we make ourselves home, marveling at the Qatt Al Aseeri patterns native to the Southern Region home interior, we are mentally transported to the biggest oasis in the Eastern Region where we see the intricate plaster carvings. Delighted, we come to the heart of Jeddah in Al Balad where the ornate wooden windows spell out the Hijazi customs in wood-carved letters of the Mangour. “These familiar patterns evoke a sense of belonging upon our people. Standing proud and united. Nasana, The Saudi Wooden Dolls, honor and celebrate these patterns with hope, harmony and optimism,” Said Malak.
Osamah Maher, also known as Simsim, is a self-taught photographer from Saudi Arabia, who is highly passionate about conceptual and editorial fashion photography. Simsim strives to make his photos stand out through his dynamic, unique, conceptual lens.
For Osamah, the PG Optimism campaign comes at a very important time as communities experience a collective sense of uncertainty. For Osamah, being optimistic means looking at any given situation in a different way and from a changed perspective. As a photographer who works with different lighting and angles to bring his subject to life, and thinking about the use of optical illusion in PG’s Homenaje Trenzado bag to make the braided effect of leather, Osama states, “I remembered this optical concept about white light as actually being a combination of red, green, and blue light. In order to show that we can look at any given situation in a different and optimistic way, I wanted to show the shadows in colour, contrary to what our eyes usually see, which is black or grey shadows.”
Through these images we invite the viewer to discover what lies behind Purificacion Garcia’s story on optimism, unity, supporting the community as well as supporting artistic talents.
It is a journey which, once again, allows creativity and imagination to take flight and which is reflected in every photograph that captures the imagination of the brand’s devotees through colour, geometry and optimism.