The fashion world is in mourning following the announcement on Tuesday of the death of Sheikh Khalid bin Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, the son of the emir of Sharjah and a talented fashion designer.
The Court of Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, on Tuesday confirmed Sheikh Khalid had passed away on Monday in London.
A three-day mourning period was announced in Sharjah, during which UAE flags will be flown at half mast beginning with the arrival of the body of the deceased and the funeral prayer.
Sheikh Khalid had strong links to the United Kingdom. He was educated at Tonbridge School in Kent, where he was awarded an art scholarship, read French and Spanish and completed an architecture degree at University College London, before moving to London’s Central Saint Martins, where he won a place on the college’s prestigious BA Womenswear course.
In 2008 he launched his own fashion label Qasimi Homme and was a highly respected designer. Sheikh Khalid’s aim was to “create a world of beautifully crafted products infused with cultural, social and political undertones to inform and inspire’,” the Qasimi website said in a statement on its website.
“I have to be political, it’s not just on trend. Coming from the Middle East, I have a duty to discuss politics. Fashion is my kind of material to work with and expressing it,” he told the prestigious industry website Women's Wear Daily (WWD) about his latest collection unveiled in June.
“Qasimi channelled his inspiration into a beautiful collection of deconstructed, military-influenced detailing in crisp cottons, crinkled seersucker and smooth leather. It all played out on a catwalk made of ground coffee – a footnote, perhaps, to wake up and smell it,” The Guardian said in its review of his latest showcase.
News of his death has been met with many tributes from those in the fashion industry in the UK and the Middle East.
Caroline Rush, chief executive officer of British Fashion Council, told WWD: “Khalid Qasimi was a talented young designer whose collections were modern, elegant and forward thinking. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues.”
Saudi Arabia’s Princess Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz, a boutique owner, fashion blogger and former editor in chief of Vogue Arabia, said: “You always brought joy to everyone around you and you will be missed.”
Fashion stylist Tom Van Dorpe added on Instagram: “Khalid. I’m heartbroken. I never lost a friend before. You were so gifted, so bright, so kind! What we [built] together was so meaningful! Sending strength to your family and many friends. We lost someone really special. Rest in peace Khalid.”
Photographer Andrew Barber, who said he was preparing to photograph Qasimi’s latest show, said: “Deeply saddened to hear about the loss of another talented designer.”
“Khalid was a true renaissance Arab man of the 21st century…. All of his elements and palettes had truly highlighted the multifaceted and forward-thinking visionary that he was,” GQ Middle East said in its tribute.For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.