Regional Designers Share How The UAE Has Played An Important Role In Their Lives And Business

Lindsay Judge   |   12 - 12 - 2018

For emerging designers it really does seem as though anything is possible in the UAE. The country’s outlook to dream big and achieve greatly is a concept that many creatives are inspired by when it comes to achieving their own goals.

 

Dubai in particular is a hub for fashion, the city’s malls, stores and constant immersion in the creative world make it the perfect destination for aspiring designers. The opening of Dubai Design District (D3) and the development of the Dubai Design and Fashion Council (DDFC) has created exciting platforms for creatives to develop and build their brands. The growing opportunities in the region are an inspiration to locally based designers. Here we hear from some of those who have built their brand in this country.

 

MADIYAH AL SHARQI

FOUNDER OF MADIYAH AL SHARQI

“We’re very grateful to have such an established and consistent market in the UAE. I think a huge part of that can be attributed to the fact that all of our production takes place in the UAE, based out of my atelier in Fujairah that has been creating the collections for 16 seasons. I’m so proud that we’re able to do that, and to maintain an international standard through local production with a highly skilled team. While we source all of our fabric, lace and embroidery from Italy and France, it has always been fundamental to the brand that the pieces are produced here.”

 

LAMA JOUNI

FOUNDER OF LAMA JOUNI

“After studying and living in Paris, I’ve found not only a home in Dubai but a great place to settle down and establish my ready-to-wear label and have all my collections designed and tailored here in my own atelier. The UAE’s diversity has allowed me to reach women from different backgrounds through my designs. It is the perfect location because it’s such a young, vibrant city that connects everyone through so many opportunities and platforms. Allowing young design talents like myself to grow our business.”

 

 

LATIFA AL GURG

FOUNDER OF TWISTED ROOTS

“The UAE is not only my home and my roots, but it’s my inspiration. It’s a place where the whole world is welcome, where different cultures come together to learn and grow. Twisted Roots was born from the idea of exploring and learning from different cultures and how this knowledge helps you grow. So it is only natural for my business to be based here. I am deeply grateful to be based in a country that wholly supports me and my business and enables me to reach out through support systems like the DDFC to not only the design community, but every sector.”

 

 

YAGO GOICOECHEA & RICCARDO AUDISIO

FOUNDERS OF TALLER MARMO

“The UAE has played an important role and was the launchpad for the growth and success of Taller Marmo. Fresh out of leaving Istituto Marangoni, we moved to Dubai to established Taller Marmo. We have a strong influence of Middle Eastern charm combined with European elegance in the stories of our collections – from the way we choose our fabrics to the signature silhouettes we design. Inspiration is drawn from the conversation between the nostalgia of the UAE’s past and contemporary culture, intersecting with exquisite Italian tailoring, making the UAE a vital part of our brand identity.”

 

 

ARWA AL BANAWI

FOUNDER OF ARWA AL BANAWI

“The UAE is my second home after Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. I fly back and forth between the two for work and family and the Dubai Design District is where I opened my showroom. It’s a beautiful engaging community that I am proud to have been a part of from the beginning.”

 

 

BASMA ABU GHAZALEH

FOUNDER OF KAGE

“For me the UAE is home. When I decided to start KAGE my business partner and I were living in Dubai and wanted to start a fashion label, so it made sense to set up our brand here. Dubai has provided the perfect launchpad to start and grow my brand. The Middle East is an important market in terms of international fashion. It’s an incubator for regional talent with great initiatives such as DDFC and Dubai Design District, which has now become the cities fashion hub.”

 

 

YASMIN AL MULLA

FOUNDER OF YNM

“We are so blessed, and fortunate to live in this beautiful country; where women take their chances in all aspects, and their voices are being heard. Growing up in the UAE is a privilege, a beautiful, and inspiring thing, as the rapid developments urge us to work hard to keep up and develop ourselves, and achieve our goals too. We are very driven in representing our country in a very optimistic way – as His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s famous quote says: “Dubai will never settle for anything less than first place” And that’s exactly what I am aspiring to. I want to be recognized globally as a successful designer and entrepreneur from the UAE.”

 

 

REEMA AL BANNA

FOUNDER OF REEMAMI

“For me the UAE is home. I was born and raised here and this is the country where I discovered my love for fashion and graphics. When I first started in 2010 there were very few ready-to-wear fashion designers and the community was so thrilled to see new creativity and talent. It’s the best country to have ever grown Reemami.”

 

 

 

NOORA HEFZI

FOUNDER OF NOORA HEFZI

“For me the UAE is a home away from home. I have been living here for the past 10 years so it was natural for me to set up my business here. There is so much support and help for small businesses and start ups that it makes the UAE the perfect place to start a business. I feel that UAE is a regional hub for all kinds of talents weather it is tailors, suppliers, or the media. They are all ready to work with designers and support them.”

 

 

SHAIKHA AMAL AL MAKTOUM

FOUNDER OF AZZALIA

“The UAE has always been very supportive to its own youth in any industry but as the UAE has been a number one tourist shopping destination the fashion industry started booming and overall the people here started being very aware with the latest fashion trends. The talents in the UAE started surfacing and supported by our blessed government. A whole fashion and design infrastructure was set to support these talents such as D3 dubai design district and DDFC dubai design fashion council. With the great support of our government I was given an opportunity to participate in a competition and win and got the opportunity to showcase my collections in London Fashion Week which gave me great experience and enhanced my brand profile. Moreover, our blessed leaders don’t stop they continue inspiring us to reach the upmost highest achievements and levels.”

Sheikha Amal Al Maktoum, Creative Director.

 

 

NADINE KANSO

FOUNDER OF BIL ARABI

“The UAE is a place of inspiration and dreams. I started Bil Arabi twelve years ago and I feel that the UAE was a big part of its growth, Itwas and still is a platform for new businesses , where things can happen. The UAE is not only home but also an Arab Nation we are so proud of.”

 

 

SHEIKHA MARIAM

FOUNDER OF MKS

“The UAE is home and my identity. It’s my first memory and my favorite story, my muse and starting point. My brand is a story I tell to the world and the UAE is the the basis of my story.”