By Elsa Baxter
Despite some criticism the designer remains sure her collection will be popular.
A Saudi Arabian designer has launched a new range of World Cup abayas despite criticism from fellow designers in the strict Islamic country.
Rania Khogaer, who is also a design teacher at King Abdulaziz University, has created a range of abayas decorated with the colours and flags of international teams competing in South Africa, Arab News reports.
“My World Cup abayas are not un-Islamic. My abayas are traditional in that they are mainly black … they cover the entire body except the face, feet and hands. I’ve just added the World Cup teams’ logos and flags,” she told the paper.
However, the teacher has come under fire for crossing cultural and religious boundaries with the new clothes.
“I am shocked at how girls could wear such abayas at malls and café. I think they’re designed to show off and attract men’s attention,” said Sarah Ahmad Mazhar, a Saudi designer
Fellow designer Tuhami Al-Arabi told the paper he would not design World Cup abayas for women, but that he was prepared to design something for Saudi men.
Despite the criticism, Khogaer said her World Cup abayas are popular among her students and their families.
“I’ve designed abayas for all of the teams that are participating in the World Cup. Although Saudi Arabia has not qualified, I’ve designed an abaya especially for them. Many of my costumers have told me that they are going to wear Saudi abayas,” she told the paper.