Even though “Nabil Nayal” as a fashion brand is strongly influenced by the past, it does not mean that as a designer he is stuck in the dusty annals of history. “There’s zero sense in regurgitating the past. For me, looking at historical dress is no longer about learning from the past. It’s about seeing the potential in things.”
As well as an obsession with historically-informed design, Nayal also specialises in technical sportswear. Forget hoodies and sweats — Nayal develops experimental sportswear utilising the latest techniques, such non-sew technologies, 3D scanning and 3D printing methods. He first became interested in this side of things in his final year at the Royal College of Art, where he came across the Rapid Prototyping department. “At the time, 3D printing felt at such a remove from my obsession with anything Elizabethan, but with the encouragement of my design tutor, I explored this further, eventually researching the concept of ‘disruption’ in my practice-based PhD a few years later,” explains Nayal.
Having collaborated with The School of Historical Dress and The British Library for his latest autumn/winter pre-collection, Nayal is excited to be launching it exclusively at Selfridges. “It’s a big deal. Selfridges is a landmark in London and it’s a huge honour to be working with them,” says Nayal. “We have ambitious plans for an installation that will be unveiled, which builds on the presentation we did at the British Library last September.”