Faissal El-Malak is a Palestinian designer brought up between Montreal, Canada and the Qatar. Prior to moving back to the Gulf to launch his fashion brand in 2014 in Dubai, he trained as a fashion designer in Paris’ Atelier Chardon Savard.
El-Malak’s approach to self-expression and embodiment of contemporary Arab identity and diaspora is core to his central practice, which is agnostic towards genre and medium.
In 2017 El-Malak was announced winner of the Vogue Arabia DDFC Fashion Prize in the women’s ready-to-wear category with his Spring-Summer 2018 collection.
In September 2018 El-Malak was part of thirteen Gulf based designers attending a workshop at the Victoria and Albert museum in London where he presented his work to the public of the London Design Festival. This experience has inspired his work “Hallowed Threads” presented as part of Design Ras Al Khor at Dubai Design Week 2018.
A full look from the spring summer 2018 collection was acquired in 2019 to be part of the permanent collection of the Victoria and Albert museum in London in their Middle East department; this was the first acquisition of a Palestinian fashion designer made by the museum.
In 2019 El-Malak has participated in the Lisbon Architecture Triennale where he has shown a textile work part of an exhibition curated by Sam Jacobs. He has also exhibited at Amman Design Week where he has shown a multidisciplinary installation of cement tiles, ceramics and a tapestry. This work inspired his winning design for the Sabeel open call by Art Jameel and Expo 2020 Dubai, to create a drinking fountain that will be found all over the Expo grounds and become part of the public realm.
Motivated by a growing interest in art and learning, in 2019 El-Malak applied and was selected to be part of the Salama Bint Hamdan Emerging Artists Fellowship (SEAF) in partnership with the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Throughout the ten months programme he challenged his practice and interests which culminated in a multidisciplinary installation “Scene for Croissant” that was shown at Warehouse 421 Abu Dhabi in November 2020. Furthermore, El-Malak will start the MFA in fine art at Goldsmiths University of London in September 2021.
El-Malak is currently further exploring the body as a medium through movement and healing.