With her signature marble style and jewel inspired collection of Perspex clutches carefully crafted in Dubai, Lilian Afshar has already made an impact internationally. Her Scarab Beatle logo merged with a Dragonfly encapsulates the designer’s journey of East-meets-West and previous collections feature Birthstone connotations and beguiling colours of emerald green and ruby red, ranging from oversized to mini.
One of Dubai’s best-known independent jewellery brands, multi-talented photographer, graphic designer and artist Nadine Kanzo’s feminine calligraphic designs are a complementary offshoot to her exploration of Arab identity. Bil Arabi, a literal translation of ‘In Arabic,’ uses 18-carat gold embellished with precious and semi-precious stones. Having exhibited at national institutions such as London’s Victoria & Albert Museum and commissioning a unique piece for Christie’s Dubai, Lebanese born Kanso takes inspiration from the Arabic alphabet, creating sweeping script rings, pendants, earrings and bracelets.
For more on Nadine Kanso go to our interview in Connoisseurs Corner.
Dubai’s first vintage boutique, Bambah was housing pretty party frocks when City Walk was but a twinkle. Maha Adbdul Rasheed has stayed true to Jumeirah, in the same boutique, with the difference being this standalone store now houses the graciously elegant designer’s vintage-inspired, ready-to-wear collection. A gutsy throwback to the 1950’s, Rasheed’s feminine shapes incorporating gargantuan bows and intricate detailing, have a knack for complimenting the female form, rounded off with a fun edge, gaining her famous fans locally and internationally.
Earning experience working for the likes of Alexander McQueen and Sass & Bide (both brands can be seen to influence her style), British designer, Deborah Henning, first launched her namesake collection in Dubai in 2014. Her playful mix of androgynous, casual tailoring in fine quality Italian jerseys, Swiss cottons and Japanese georgette's, is currently sold at Harvey Nichols Dubai. Henning's pieces make for integral, minimalist-chic wardrobe editions.
With their new Spanish collection just launched, this conscientious fashion label creates jobs for developing communities worldwide, focusing on brightly coloured embroidery using age-old textiles and craftmenship. A go-to Boho brand of some of the industry's biggest names, Palestinian founder, Ayah Tabari, continues to grow her tribal-chic, Dubai based label with vivacious creations in womens, childrens and home wear.
For more on Ayah Tabari go to our interview in Connoisseurs Corner.
The Emperor 1688
Brothers Babak, Farhan and Haman Golkar, have consistently established their ready-to-wear brand by notching up a string of accolades; including the 2014 regional International Woolmark Prize. Known for their classic-contemporary British aesthetic and tailoring, as well as two flagship boutiques in Dubai (set in Dubai Mall and Madinat Jumeirah) their mens and womenswear is stocked by worldwide retailers, Saks Fifth Avenue and Galleries Lafayette.