Designer Khalid Al Qasimi has died at the age of 39.
Officials from London’s Metropolitan Police received a report of “a sudden death at a residential property in Knightsbridge,” on Monday. A post-mortem examination carried out the following day has proved to be inconclusive.
Al Qasimi was the crown prince and second son of the ruler of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, and three days of mourning have been declared in the country.
His father, Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, has ruled Sharjah since 1972, and expressed his sorrow in an Instagram post, where he stated that his son was now “in the care of God”.
A spokesperson for the designer’s label, Qasimi, added in a statement that Al Qasimi had died “unexpectedly,” but did not provide any further information.
“Khalid was praised for his tenacious yet sensitive exploration of social-political issues, particularly pertaining to the Middle East and its sometimes-strained relationship with the West, a subject very close to his heart and upbringing,” they commented. “His goal was to create ‘a world of beautifully crafted products infused with cultural, social and political undertones to inform and inspire.’ The design world has lost a great philosopher and artist, and we ask that the privacy of the family and brand are respected at this difficult time.”
Khalid moved to the U.K. at the age of nine and launched his brand in 2008 with designer Elliott James Frieze.
His showcased his spring 2020 collection in June and expressed a sense of hope and positivity to the war-torn Middle East.
Frieze said of his business partner and friend: “I’m shocked and saddened by Khalid’s passing. My thoughts and prayers go out to his entire family and his design team. He lives on in all of us and will never be forgotten.”
While Caroline Rush, chief executive officer of British Fashion Council, praised the “talented young designer” and offered her condolences to his loved ones.
“Khalid Qasimi was a talented young designer whose collections were modern, elegant and forward thinking,” she added.
© Cover Media