Kent State School of Fashion to Induct Fashion Designer Omar Salam Into Hall of Fame
Global. Sophisticated. Highly respected.
Those words describe Omar Salam, founder and creative director of the global fashion house Sukeina. The fashion designer will make a special trip from the runway to Kent State University’s Rockwell Hall as Salam has been named the 2023 inductee of the university’s School of Fashion Hall of Fame.
“Omar is a fashion storyteller, an innovator who transcends boundaries,” said Mourad Krifa, Ph.D., interim director of Kent State’s School of Fashion. “His deep-rooted commitment to cultural inclusiveness and to the diversity of the human condition with respect to age, race, gender, sexual orientation and figure is an inspiration to our students.”
In its 34th year, the prestigious Kent State School of Fashion Hall of Fame award celebrates the outstanding contributions to fashion made by an individual. The accolade honors the unique qualities of their leadership. It champions the aspiration and inspiration they and their business of fashion offer the next generation of fashion graduates at Kent State. Salam joins an illustrious group of inductees that includes Kenneth Cole, Estee Lauder, Oscar de la Renta, Dana Buchman, Leonardo Ferragamo and Josie Natori.
“I am humbled and honored to be inducted into the Kent State University School of Fashion Hall of Fame,” Salam said.
Salam spent his childhood traveling and living throughout Europe. Initially believing that words were the best way to communicate with the world, he started studying film but later realized that he could tell more intricate and vibrant stories through fashion.
“Clothing is a language within itself,” he said.
Salam graduated from Parsons School of Design with a degree in fashion. In 2001, he started working for Sonia Rykiel in Paris and became visual director for the New York City office. He spent seven years with Rykiel fostering a meaningful relationship with the designer. In 2010, he joined Christian Lacroix and spent two years with the house.
In 2012, Salam established his own fashion house called Sukeina after his late mother, meaning “bright light.”
“Light is what reconciles us with the value of everything, and without it, all goes missing,” Salam said.
Salam’s passion for making women look and feel special along with a unique worldview shaped his approach to fashion in a way that is progressive, innovative and powerful while still elegant.
The designer plans to exhibit a selection of the Spring/Summer 2023 collection, titled "Cardinal," this spring at the Kent State University Museum, home of extraordinary collections of historic dress, fashion, textiles and decorative arts. A full exhibition of work will follow in January 2024.
Salam’s induction into the Kent State School of Fashion Hall of Fame will take place Friday, April 28, at Rockwell Hall as part of the school’s Annual Fashion Show. Featuring an eclectic mix of styles, materials and concept, the Annual Fashion Show showcases the work and talent of Kent State seniors and graduate students. For tickets and more information, visit www.kent.edu/fashion/annual-fashion-show.
For more information about the Kent State School of Fashion’s Hall of Fame, visit www.kent.edu/fashion/school-fashion-hall-fame.
About Kent State University’s School of Fashion
Established in 1983 as Kent State University’s Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising, the school is a research-led teaching institution that fosters industry excellence and is grounded in real-world industry experience. Through its programs and initiatives, it is developing the next generation of fashion thinkers to build a sustainable and fruitful industry that supports creative employment for years to come.
Kent State is in the top 25 fashion programs in the world and No. 6 in the United States. Additionally, the graduate program for fashion is No. 5 in the United States. Kent State’s School of Fashion boasts three undergraduate degrees in fashion design and merchandising, and a variety of programs for all students to grow creatively. Located in Kent, Ohio, the school offers several education-away programs, including New York City; Florence, Italy; Paris, France; and Hong Kong, China. From the school’s location in the Garment District, students studying in New York have a unique opportunity to work with industry leaders, explore the marketplace and gain experience with internships.
For more information about Kent State’s School of Fashion, visit www.kent.edu/fashion.
About the Kent State University Museum
The Kent State University Museum contains important collections of fashion and decorative arts. Its eight galleries feature changing exhibitions of work by many of the world's great artists and designers. Closely linked to the Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising at Kent State University, the museum provides students with first-hand experience with historic and contemporary fashions, as well as costumes representing many of the world's cultures. An extensive collection of American glass, fine furniture, textiles, paintings and other decorative arts combine to give context to the study of design.
The museum serves both the university and the community through exhibitions, public programs and research appointments in the collections.
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Top: Fashion designer Omar Salam is named the 2023 inductee of the Kent State University School of Fashion Hall of Fame.
Center: Pictured are Look 5, Look 6, Look 17, Look 19 and Look 27 from Sukeina's Spring/Summer 23 Collection, "Cardinal."
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