The orbit of Simi and Haze Khadra (aka Simi Haze) is a wild, wonderful, wavy and worldly one – the Palestinian identical twins represent a simmering moment in not just fashion and music, but in an expanding community of diasporic Arab talent.
Growing up between Riyadh, London and California, it’s not hard to see how and why they fast became an intercontinental creative force.
“I think connecting with people is all about understanding that we all come from such a complex arrangement of experiences and cultures,” says Simi. “We need to have an appreciation for that and I think that understanding is the glue.”
On Simi: Jumpsuit, price on request, Fendi. Jewellery, talent’s own
The pair started attending fashion weeks young – like, 14 young – as buyers for their mother’s Riyadh-based boutique, before moving to the States to study. There, they went from friends asking them to DJ house parties to taking shoot requests from Vogue Italia between classes. All things luxe followed, shaping Simi and Haze to be amongst the world’s most stylish purveyors of electronica sets – weaving-in influences from Aphex Twin to Die Antwoord.
From left on Simi: Jacket, trousers, price on request, Dunhill. On Haze: Jacket, trousers, price on request, Dunhill
But they won’t hesitate to remind you that despite the globetrotting and the collaborations, the mood-filled Hollywood sets and Milanese photo shoots, they’re Arab, first and foremost.
“When someone asks where I’m from, I always say I’m Palestinian first,” says Simi. “Even though it’s this nebulous kind of thing at a distance, it feels very close. We’re very close to our Arab heritage. I speak Arabic to my family and I go to the Middle East a lot... It’s exciting because it feels like there’s something happening over there. It’s bubbling up with creativity and energy and I want to be a part of it.”
On Simi: Shirt (over), shirt (under), trousers, prices on request, Nadya Dzyak
In the hyper-commoditised world of influencers, the duo are something else: they’re truly, deeply influential. You’re as likely to see them doing a set at an after-after party at Coachella as you are in the late hours of a hedonistic Louis Vuitton gathering in the Hollywood Hills. Then, suddenly, they appear behind the decks in Dubai, each step of the way bolstered by a circle of friends, brands and collaborators that together form the pulse of what’s happening in pop culture.
“The word influencer has gotten so diluted, it’s overused in a way that now, I never really want to be in that category,” says Haze. “We’re very careful about it now and anything we do, has to be really authentic. We don’t tag brands that we don’t have a campaign with or are working closely with or are obsessed with.”
From left on Haze: Shirt, trouser, prices on request, Versace. On Simi: Shirt, trouser, prices on request, Versace
For their GQ debut, Simi and Haze embraced one of their favourite obsessions: menswear.
“Menswear has become more and more exciting for us. We grew up doing women’s collections and then we saw menswear become a little more accessible, through people like Virgil [Abloh], Matt Williams and Kanye,” says Simi. “These are the people who were giving the keys to the next generation – where you can be a part of the luxury space, even though you didn’t come from that place at all.”
On Haze: Shirt, trouser, prices on request, Louis Vuitton. Jewellery, talent’s own
The duo have long made a habit of raiding vintage stores for flex-worthy archival menswear fits – from Jean Paul Gaultier to Margiela.
“I kind of gravitate more towards the men’s section, because I love the tailoring and I love the contrast of doing menswear with a sexy, kind-of-feminine thing,” says Haze. “The duality of men’s- and womenswear is where we stand. It’s perfect for us.”
Photography: Charlotte Rutherford / LMC Worldwide
Styling: Jordan Booth
Make Up: Samuel Rauda at UNCMMN
Hair: Dallin James at The Wall Group
Executive Producer: Becky Hearn
Producer: Daria Suvorova