More about Alaa Balkhy

Creative/Cultural Consultant -Entrepenuer

Alaa is a Serial Entrepreneur from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, who works as a Cultural Consultant, Art Director, and Illustrator. Her work focuses on brand development, art direction, business development, and design strategy. A passionate people connector bridging continents with her work, she is based between the cities of Jeddah, New York, and Dubai.

Born in Jeddah and raised in Montreal, Alaa grew up with a keen awareness of both the versatility and constancy of culture. Upon receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design from Dar Al-Hekma University, Alaa launched whimsical illustration brand “Fyunka”. With culture being the focus of her youthful artistic direction, Alaa’s brand quickly became a success both locally and internationally. Under her creative direction, Fyunka went on to collaborate with names like Rimmel and Netflix. One leap of faith after another, Alaa made the big move to New York in 2012 to pursue her MPS in Design Management and Strategy from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, graduating in 2015.

With Fyunka flourishing, Alaa’s journey continued in the worlds of fashion and business. She went on to be featured as Best Dressed in Harper’s Bazaar Arabia (2015), and was also featured in renowned magazines Vogue Arabia and Marie Claire. She was a nominee for Ernest and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2013), a finalist for Forbes Middle East Saudi Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2015), and a finalist for Vogue Talents Saudi (2016). In recognition of her achievements, she received the Dar Al-Hekma Alumni Achievement Award in 2018.

Alaa established Alaa Bint Hashim, a slow fashion brand that is inspired by her back-and-forth travels between Jeddah and New York, and everywhere in between.

Alaa’s adaptable curiosity results in ever-flowing originality that makes her a faithful visionary. Always ready to go for new ideas or to new places (quite literally––she’s always jet-setting for business!), Alaa is ready to activate and reinvent any project she is involved in.