When it comes to fashion, we are looking to the East for inspiration right now.
Associated with opulence and a love of haute couture, the Middle East is often overlooked for its modern, elegant approach to design.
The rise of Instagram has been transformative in the region, offering a platform for emerging designers to share their creativity with the rest of the world. In recognition of this, Sloane Street concept store Boutique 1 are hosting a special Middle Eastern fashion pop-up running until 31st August.
Showcasing emerging brands from Dubai, Iraq and Lebanon, the unique edit focuses on designers with a trailblazing attitude and ethical approach to production. Here are five of our favourites:
All Things Mochi
Palestinian designer Ayah Tabri grew up between Amman and Riyadh, eventually settling in Dubai where she founded All Things Mochi in 2013. Known for its distinctive embroidered pieces and accessories, Mochi was born to support and create opportunities for stitching communities across the world. Each piece in the collection is handcrafted by niche artisans using traditional techniques.
Hind Adib transforms vintage denim jackets with bold statement prints and empowering messages. The Dubai-based, Iraqi-born designer distinctive ‘X’ print is a symbol for self-love – “crossing off everything and everyone who ever made us feel like we are not good enough”.
Sarah’s Bag is a Lebanese fashion house and social enterprise that creates one-of-a-kind luxury hand crafted bags and accessories. Founder Sarah Beydoun launched the brand after working with Dar Al Amal, an NGO that rehabilitates women at risk and female ex-prisoners. In 2000, she decided to set up a business that would employ the women she worked with, creating vibrant, individual pieces that empower both the creator, and the wearer.
Huda Al Nuaimi
A graduate of the London College of Fashion, Huda Al Nuaimi’s designs are a balance of East and West. The Dubai-based designer finds inspiration from her dual Emirati and British heritage (her mother is a designer, based in London), bringing a modern and fresh approach to the traditional abaya.
Interior architect turned jeweller Donna Hourani creates modernist-inspired pieces using ethically sourced, natural gemstones and 18 karat gold. The Lebanese-born Dubai-based designer works with local, highly skilled craftsmen and finds inspiration from contemporary art, dance and her grandmother who was a well known seamstress in Beirut.
Boutique 1’s Middle Eastern fashion pop-up runs until 31 August at 193 Sloane Street, London
13 March 2019