Sukeina was founded in 2012 by Senegalese designer Omar Salam, and is known for its high-drama pieces that feature intricate origami folds, elaborate detailing, and statement silhouettes. Though its creator initially pursued screenwriting, he soon realized that fashion was a better mode of communication for him, leading him to Parsons School of Design in New York where he studied Fashion Design. Named after Salam’s mother (Sukeina means “bright light”), many of his brand’s collections, some of which feature oversized capes and sequined gowns, are full of cultural references, including nods to Malian traditional dress, Kenya’s Maasai tribe, and the Bassari people of the West African region.
The designer’s (who’s experience has crossed global fashion houses such as Sonia Rykiel and Christian Lacroix) goal is to open up the conversation around fashion, employing his clothing as a vehicle for challenging traditional notions of femininity and ways of dressing. Although he may be known for his form-fitting cocktail dresses, the designer also experiments with extreme power-silhouettes, seen through eccentric tailoring with bold details such as oversized ruffles. “He can make a slinky cocktail dress,” noted Vogue in 2018, “but Salam is increasingly drawn toward creating wearable art that empowers his customers.”
Over the years, Sukeina’s artful designs have appeared in publications like Vogue Italia and L'Officiel Ukraine, and the brand has been known to show its collections at Lagos Fashion Week and GTBank Fashion Weekend. In 2019, Salam was invited to become a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the same year was nominated for Essence Magazine’s “Black Fashion Designer Of the Year” Award. In 2020, Sukeina made its international runway debut at New York Fashion Week with a collection filled with form-fitting attire, bold hues and playful touches of faux feathers ruffling.
- CFDA, Member, 2019