Hind Hilal, teaching assistant at Birzeit University, publishes designs in world-renowned ‘British Vogue’ 

Hind Hilal, a teaching and research assistant at Birzeit University’s Faculty of Art, Music and Design, has had her designs published in three issues of the world-famous “British Vogue” fashion magazine. 

Graduating in 2016 from Birzeit University with a degree in architectural engineering, Hilal taught herself the skills and techniques of fashion design and, with a unique taste and aesthetics inspired by Palestinian traditions and culture, launched her first collection in 2018.

For each issue, British Vogue’s editors handpick up-and-coming designers whose work fits the magazine’s tone, style, and most importantly quality, and highlight their designs for the magazine’s more than 1 million readers worldwide. In a testament to the quality and depth of Hilal’s designs, her work was featured in the magazine’s July, August, and September 2020 issues.

Not only do Hilal’s works aesthetically fit the magazine’s high standards, but they also mesh well with the messages that each issue attempts to highlight and address. In the August issue, for instance, the magazine highlighted the beauty of the natural environment and called for a “reset” to how humans conceive of their relationship with nature.

Similarly, Hilal is a staunch believer in the importance of protecting and preserving the environment, and this belief shapes the decisions she makes in every step of the way, from idea to actual product. Hilal works with local craftsmen and craftswomen to create sustainable, high-quality designs that incorporate dead stock fabrics and items from factories and stores. Additionally, Hilal collaborates with Palestinian designers and artists to promote and encourage local production.

“I believe that it is essential to pay attention to what’s happening and what could happen in the world when designing and building a brand, as fashion is not only a tool that could be used to deliver a message or advocate a cause, but it can also exist as an actual solution to the problems we create.”

Hilal’s designs are defined by their sharp lines and modern cuts, a trademark feature of sorts that can be traced to the designer’s training as an architectural engineer. Her degree in architecture, Hilal argues, gave her a strong critical base through which she could produce contemporary designs inspired by Palestinian heritage and traditions. Now as a faculty member in the arts and design college, Hilal is always meeting designers from various disciplines and drawing lessons from their experiences, creating networks and connections for future collaborations. 

Another area that Hilal focuses on in her designs is empowering women in Palestine and the world. Her designs are created for and inspired by women through their structure, layers, flow, and volume. 

As for her future projects, Hilal says that her brand evolves with each new design that she creates, but her main focus remains on producing designs that showcase Palestinian culture and heritage in a new light and empower women.