Style & Grooming

A Tribute to Khalid Al Qasimi

Ted Stansfield remembers the founder and creative director of eponymous brand, Qasimi

I can’t say that I knew the designer Khalid Al Qasimi well, but I did know him and had the pleasure of working with him over the past six months.

During our first meeting, which I remember clearly, we spoke about life, our experiences of school (which were quite similar) and our shared love of art and photography. Robert Mapplethorpe, for instance, and Mel Odom, with whom he collaborated on his A/W19 collection. We got on really well.

Over the following months, we met a few more times and on each occasion, I found him to be a kind and generous man; interesting and interested; deeply thoughtful and with a philosophical and poetic outlook on life.

This of course filtered into his work, which I grew to respect more and more. As well as his artistic and photographic references, I loved how delicately but doggedly he explored social and political issues pertaining to the Middle East, and the region’s relationship to the West. It was something, he once told me, he felt like he had a duty to do.

Khalid’s work was deeply political – long before it was trendy to be so – in a soft, gentle way. Whispering, never shouting, his message was always one of positivity; of peace and of hope – something that was especially poignant because of his personal relationship to the area.

While our time working together was short, I’ll remember those moments and those conversations, as well as the kind and generous man himself.