A sea of red juxtaposed on black mannequins is the first thing you see when you walk into Sukeina’s Spring/Summer 2023 presentation at the Ritz Carlton Nomad Hotel. Founder and designer Omar Salam was inspired by the red cardinal hence the collection’s name. When asked how he conceptualized the inspiration from the red cardinal, Salam stated, “Many animals are known to adapt to their surroundings. The red cardinal is loyal to itself, not its environment—it has no desire to try and fit in. It’s truly inspiring because we, as a people, are all uniquely created. If we could radically accept ourselves, we could start to build and become a great gift to the world and ourselves. This collection is a story of radical acceptance.”
While the vermillion-colored collection is stark in appearance, the symbolization of what it represents in the line tells a story of self-preservation. The red cardinal has many mythological meanings. Some say it’s a sign from a lost loved one or a message of protection/ guidance. The monogamous bird, when mating in the wild, only courts one partner, so some say the bird stands for love and loyalty and that when seen, it means you should turn the focus back to yourself and your environment.
Though the impactful hue is the first thing you see when viewing the metaphorical collection, the details, and the sculptural shaping hold the viewer’s attention. Salam is no newcomer to craftsmanship and figure-flattering silhouettes. Many of the looks accentuate the mannequin’s womanly figure with closely fitted dresses and high-cut hemlines, allowing for a celebration of the female form. Salam’s silhouette choice includes a modern take on body-con dresses, pencil skirts, mini skirts, and elevated sheath dresses. All are executed in a versatile but eminent way of the designer’s delineation.
The 25 evening wear lineup is enhanced with 32 thoughtfully curated fabrics to enhance the monochromatic collection. Sukeina’s founder featured silk chiffon, Japanese neoprene, powder and honeycomb mesh, satin Duchesse, silk organza, and artisanal lace. These textiles were manipulated and paired to compliment the structure of the garment and those wearing it. While many of these fabrics are inherently feminine, Salam utilizes them in their power to embrace a woman’s sense of self. In that being empowerment of your curves, beauty, and rhythm. Salam says it’s also in adornment for those who get to see you in that way.
Ahead, explore the full Cardinal red collection.