Ahmed Serour is a non-conforming genderless brand playing with cultural aesthetics, while trying to upcycle Egyptian heritage along with street style and pop culture visions. The clothes are infused with high-end, yet playful garments that remain true to their origins, traits, and values, while being ethically and environmentally conscious. More importantly, the Ahmed Serour label captures the MENA region’s youthful Western outlook through funky, playful, genderless attire, with clothing that respects differences and embraces bold choices. “I’ve always been trying to use my skills and practices, which I learned as a multidisciplinary artist and designer, working with both male and female bodies, to blur the line between genders,” says Ahmed. “I create my garments using different techniques, pattern cutting and design details inspired from both menswear and womenswear, in order to construct these bricolage attires.”
AHMED SEROURDebut talent
Ahmed Serour is a non-conforming genderless brand playing with cultural aesthetics, while trying to upcycle Egyptian heritage along with street…Read More
Alexandra Hakim is a British-Lebanese jewelry maker and designer whose innovative craftsmanship, thought-provoking designs and dedication to sustainability have gained her an international cult following. She completed an art foundation at London’s Central Saint Martins before earning her BFA in jewelry and metalsmithing at the Rhode Island School of Design, where she specialized in design innovation. She launched her eponymous brand in Beirut, Lebanon, in 2016 making waves on the jewelry scene, infiltrating and gaining the respect of the predominantly male industry of craftsmen and metalsmiths thanks to her technical prowess and unique methods. Each Alexandra Hakim collections centers on found materials and objects, which would otherwise go to waste – often straight from Beirut’s bustling markets themselves – but which in her hands are given a new lease of life and meticulously repurposed into striking, contemporary pieces of jewelry, of which no two pieces are the same.
Alexandra Hakim is a British-Lebanese jewelry maker and designer whose innovative craftsmanship, thought-provoking designs and dedication to sustainability have gained her an…Read More
Kuwaiti designer Bazza Alzouman was born in Charleston, South Carolina and discovered her interest in design early on, taking up sewing classes while studying for a degree in business administration at Boston University. In 2011, she moved to New York to pursue her passion at Parsons School of Design and earned an AAS Degree in fashion design while working alongside Naeem Khan to develop her skills and forge her own path in eveningwear. In 2014 she moved back to Kuwait to launch her eponymous label and establish her atelier. Bazza aspires to bridge the gap between evening ready-to-wear and couture by adopting advanced construction techniques for the creation of each piece. Season after season, her understated aesthetic foregoes overt opulence in favor of ethereal, pared-down silhouettes that exude modern elegance through texture, shape and color.
BAZZA ALZOUMANEvening wear
Kuwaiti designer Bazza Alzouman was born in Charleston, South Carolina and discovered her interest in design early on, taking up…Read More
Launched in 2017 by Muna al Othaiman, contemporary womenswear brand Beige fuses clean silhouettes with impeccable tailoring, evoking timeless modernity. Sophisticated yet effortless, the brand seamlessly blends versatile shapes with minimalist details, exuding understated elegance. With a focus on luxurious fabrics and the perfect fit, Beige continually finds new ways to reinvent tailored separates.
After studying fashion design at ESMOD Dubai in 2013 and 2014, Muna channeled her vision of relaxed yet luxurious style into the creation of Beige. Inspired by her background in graphic design and art, she experiments with intricate embellishments, voluminous shapes and fresh colors. Mixing couture details with modern separates, Beige has an understated sensibility transcending seasons.
Launched in 2017 by Muna al Othaiman, contemporary womenswear brand Beige fuses clean silhouettes with impeccable tailoring, evoking timeless modernity.…Read More
BORN IN EXILE
Inspired by Libya’s rich and unexplored culture and traditions Born in Exile is a luxury ready-to-wear label created in 2018. The name represents the designer and founder of the brand, Ibrahim Shebani, who as the brand name suggests was himself born in exile. The brand speaks to women with a strong sense of style and unparalleled aura. The story behind Ibrahim’s creations is to embed the complex political history of his motherland, Libya, in modern interpretations of traditional silhouettes and exceptional craftsmanship. “As a designer of the brand, I aspire to interpret the heritage of my country through strong designs and statement pieces that define the undiscovered beauty of Libya, my eternal muse,” says Ibrahim.
BORN IN EXILEReady-to-wear
Inspired by Libya’s rich and unexplored culture and traditions Born in Exile is a luxury ready-to-wear label created in 2018.…Read More
ÈLBÉ is a Franco-Tunisian brand that offers a wardrobe of accessories designed and handmade in Mediterranean countries, using mainly upcycled materials. The brand, which was created by Nour Ben Cheikh and Clémentine Lecointre, combines multicultural inspirations, simple forms and artisanal know-how. The two women design accessories that combine simple shapes and a graphic identity of multicultural inspiration with luxurious craftsmanship. ÈLBÉ means my heart in Arabic and stands for the two founders’ initials. The logo consists of an L and B joined together to form a heart.
ÈLBÉ is a Franco-Tunisian brand that offers a wardrobe of accessories designed and handmade in Mediterranean countries, using mainly upcycled…Read More
Eric Mathieu Ritter launched Emergency Room in Beirut in 2018 as a clothing brand with a mind of its own. Stemming from the belief that fashion production processes urgently need to change, Emergency Room utilizes a sustainable and ethical alternative to clothing creation. The label uses unique vintage materials and dead-stock fabrics that are locally sourced to create one-of-a-kind pieces, providing an ethically conscious and authentic ready-to-wear-line. All items are produced in different workshops and cooperatives throughout Lebanon, inviting skilled artisans with varied skills to participate in the process, all the while lobbying for grassroots changes in the industry.
Eric Mathieu Ritter launched Emergency Room in Beirut in 2018 as a clothing brand with a mind of its own.…Read More
Fatima AlBaker, who hails from Qatar, always dreamed of being a fashion designer. She's a 2019 graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, in the United States.
FATIMA ALBAKERDebut talent
Fatima AlBaker, who hails from Qatar, always dreamed of being a fashion designer. She's a 2019 graduate from Virginia Commonwealth…Read More
Algerian designer Ilyes Ouali launched his eponymous brand in 2016. The label was born out of Ilyes’ love for 1970s styles and the “it” girls of that era. The brand offers classic styles with a splash of glamour – a collection of statement pieces that are special enough to stand out, while also sporting timeless flair. The Ilyes Ouali customer is an independent, successful woman who boasts strong family values, while appreciating the designer’s focus on diversity, inclusivity and sustainability. Ilyes founded the brand with support from his family: his mom runs the embroidery studio in Algeria that makes every custom order and the embellishments of every sample, and his sister is in charge of sourcing fabrics and embellishments. She also supervises production units around the world and travels to factories to check quality and make sure that all clothes are made in an ethical manner. Initially focusing on eveningwear, the designer plans to build a lifestyle brand and to diversify into other product areas.
ILYES OUALIEvening wear
Algerian designer Ilyes Ouali launched his eponymous brand in 2016. The label was born out of Ilyes’ love for 1970s…Read More
Moroccan fashion designer Intissar Baiz creates experimental, wildly colorful clothes that capture North Africa's dynamic fashion aesthetic. A graduate of Casablanca-based Casamoda Academy, she represented Morocco in the 11th International Festival of African Fashion (FIMA) in 2018.
INTISSAR BAIZDebut talent
Moroccan fashion designer Intissar Baiz creates experimental, wildly colorful clothes that capture North Africa's dynamic fashion aesthetic. A graduate of…Read More
Libyan sisters Mariam and Dania Sawedeg are the design duo behind Kamushki jewelry. Together, they created the brand as a reflection of their multicultural upbringing and inherent love of jewels. Having grown up between Zurich, Dubai and Tripoli, the sisters possess a natural cosmopolitan flare, merging concepts from all corners of the world.
Mariam studied jewelry design at Gia in London, and she heads the design side of the brand, visualizing the playful models at the core of the Kamushki philosophy. Dania holds a degree in media and communications and has her finger firmly set on the fashion pulse. The relationship between the sisters shines through Kamushki, with their personalities infused into the distinctive designs.
A desire to tell stories is deeply embedded within the Kamushki brand. The Russian word Kamushki means “precious stones,” and the choice of a Russian name for the brand reflects the sisters’ fascination with the Romanovs and the spectacular crown jewels of the Russian royal family. Russian lore aside, Kamushki’s signature design, the fishbone, links firmly back to the designers’ Libyan roots, where the iconic motif represents goodness and is believed to protect the wearer from the evil eye. Cultural heritage may be at the heart of the Kamushki brand, but it is the modern twist on traditional symbols that gives the jewelry its edge.
Libyan sisters Mariam and Dania Sawedeg are the design duo behind Kamushki jewelry. Together, they created the brand as a…Read More
Liudmila was founded in 2014 by young Kuwaiti designer Najeeba Hayat. The project began as a translation of childhood obsessions with the aesthetic of shoes in cartoons, miniature paintings and Victorian drawings into wearable objects. She saw a gap in the market for birthday shoes: shoes that surprise and delight without moving into the realm of obvious sexy or kitsch.
Liudmila brings the Italian artisanal techniques, innovative materials and attention to detail lavished on high heel evening footwear to a lower heel category. Najeeba believes that the future of footwear lies in creating desire and fantasy, while respecting a woman’s mobility.
Liudmila was founded in 2014 by young Kuwaiti designer Najeeba Hayat. The project began as a translation of childhood obsessions…Read More
Hailing from Syria and based in Paris, Maya Chantout is a graduate from the French capital's prestigious Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. She's had stints at Hermes, Chloe and Celine, where she worked directly with Hedi Slimane. She also won the LVMH fashion graduate prize in 2018. Under her eponymous label, Maya creates feminine, sensual clothes inspired by the femme fatales from classic Arab films.
MAYA CHANTOUTDebut talent
Hailing from Syria and based in Paris, Maya Chantout is a graduate from the French capital's prestigious Chambre Syndicale de…Read More
Nafsika Skourti is a directional upper contemporary womenswear brand that embraces both glamour and anti-glamour. Collections are built around an eclectic mix of references, research and textile development. Nafsika and Stephanie Skourti, two Greek-Jordanian sisters with a balance of fashion and business savvy, are the duo behind the label.
Nafsika Skourti has presented eight collections at Paris Fashion Week in international showrooms. Since its inception in 2014, the label has received much recognition from press and celebrities alike and has gone on to be featured in i-D, W Magazine, Wonderland Magazine, Dazed and Vogue. Nafsika Skourti was also a finalist in the 2015 Dubai Design Fashion Council’s Style Arabia Prize. The label is stocked at department stores and boutiques across the Middle East, Europe and Asia, and has secured seed-round investment.
Nafsika, the designer and creative director, 31, has a BA in fashion design from London’s Central Saint Martins, and trained in couture embroidery techniques at the prestigious École Lesage in Paris. Before launching her own label, she also spent time working at Marchesa, Jasmine Di Milo and Kumbaz (the renowned Jordanian couture house).
If Nafsika is the creative, right-brained sister, Stephanie is the vital left brain of the operation. Stephanie, the commercial director, 29, has a degree in law and five years’ experience at Goldman Sachs in London and Dubai. She manages the business side of the brand: overseeing production, handling clients, keeping an eye on finances and more. Despite the lack of an established fashion landscape in Jordan, Nafsika Skourti has helped create a community of like-minded artists through their passion for design and has had the honor of dressing one of the most stylish women in the Middle East: Queen Rania of Jordan.
Nafsika Skourti is a directional upper contemporary womenswear brand that embraces both glamour and anti-glamour. Collections are built around an…Read More
Anas Alomaim, the talent behind the OÅªMÄEM brand, is an architect, artist, jewelry designer and professor of architecture. He developed a passion for jewelry design during a critical moment in his career. After the death of his father, Anas stepped into a new phase of his life: he awakened anew to the relationships that connect him to the women in his family. He designed rings for his mother and sisters as a gesture of gratitude for their support during those difficult times. It was then that he realized his passion for jewelry design and its multifaceted beauty.
After finishing his Master’s in Architecture from Columbia University, Anas moved to California to pursue his PhD at the University of California, Los Angeles. He worked on analyzing the geometries of structures that respect the larger laws of nature, constellations and planets. He participated in and co-curated several exhibitions in Dubai, New York, Los Angeles and his native Kuwait. He also worked for academic institutions, corporate design firms, independent architectural offices, and he interned with fashion designers, including Diane von Furstenberg.
Anas Alomaim, the talent behind the OÅªMÄEM brand, is an architect, artist, jewelry designer and professor of architecture. He developed a…Read More
Reem Hamed is an Egyptian designer who was born and raised in Cairo. She’s the founder and creative director of Ramla, a local footwear brand founded in 2017 that aims to revive a lost culture and empower women artisans. While studying for her Bachelor’s in interior and architecture design and Master’s in luxury business in Florence, Italy, she was inspired to start her own line, which she would eventually produce exclusively in Egypt. She delved into her passion for architecture and modern design to create a sustainable, timeless, clean and minimalistic footwear brand named Ramla, meaning sand in Arabic.
Reem Hamed is an Egyptian designer who was born and raised in Cairo. She’s the founder and creative director of Ramla, a…Read More
Born and raised in Beirut, Sara Mrad discovered her love of fashion at age nine. When her parents became aware of her bent for fashion, they worked on nurturing her talent by involving her in various artistic activities, including photography and painting.
In 2009, after graduating from ESMOD in Beirut, she worked as an intern for Lebanese fashion designer Rabih Kayrouz. In April 2011, Sara was invited to present her first collection at Dubai Fashion Week in the emerging talent category, and she then joined the team of Lebanese fashion designer Zuhair Murad as a designer. She credits her time at Zuhair Murad, where she got involved in the international couture world, with having helped her created her own Beirut-based brand in 2013.
The Sara Mrad label celebrates elegance and femininity through a modern, romantic silhouette distinguished by sumptuous materials with soft draping and lush embroideries. The Sara Mrad mission is to brighten the feminine aspect of every woman with a dreamy modern twist.
Sara Mrad was an FTA Prize finalist in the Eveningwear category in 2020.
SARA MRADEvening wear
Born and raised in Beirut, Sara Mrad discovered her love of fashion at age nine. When her parents became aware…Read More
Shahira Lasheen is a luxury fashion house founded in 2015 in Egypt. The designer label specializes in hand-embellished couture, as well as majestic bridal designs, with a dreamy color palette and sumptuous fabrics. Shahira Lasheen herself has had an undeniable love of fashion since her early childhood. She was trained by Lebanese fashion designer Tony Ward and recognized by Lebanese fashion designer Zuhair Murad as one of the 10 best upcoming Arab designers of her generation. Shahira Lasheen has dressed a number of influential women around the globe, including Mona Zaki, Dorra Zarrouk, Arwa Gouda, Samira Saeed, Saba Mubarak, Tara Emad, Mahira Khan and Guawhar Khan. She also dressed the first lady of Egypt Entissar El-Sisi during the second presidential ceremony, as well as Queen Rania of Jordan. Aside from her strong base of clients in Egypt, Lasheen's designs are widely loved among the regional royal families of Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait.
SHAHIRA LASHEENEvening wear
Shahira Lasheen is a luxury fashion house founded in 2015 in Egypt. The designer label specializes in hand-embellished couture, as…Read More
Oumaima Tamarzizt was born and raised in Tunis. Driven by a passion for creation and beauty, she first studied design before specializing in jewelry. She worked in Paris as a freelance designer for prestigious brands and then launched her own brand, Tamarzizt, in 2014. Her fine and original creations are inspired, among other things, by a rich heritage and a thirst for travel and freedom that nurture a very fertile imagination. The roots of the designer and her influences collide in a mix of colors and shapes: her collections sometimes evoke the traditions of the East, sometimes the modernity of the West, like colored latticework alongside sleek skyscrapers. Oumaima lives and works between Paris and Tunisia. Her creations are manufactured in small ateliers in both cities.
Oumaima Tamarzizt was born and raised in Tunis. Driven by a passion for creation and beauty, she first studied design…Read More
Moroccan bag designer and artisan Zakaria Bendriouich was born and raised in Marrakesh. A former student at Casablanca’s Collège LaSalle, he spent most of his teenage years with the craftsmen of Marrakesh’s Medina, where he acquired his skills and inspiration. In 2012, Zakaria had a major accident that resulted in him losing a kidney. This was a major turning point in his life. The loss of his kidney required him to drink three liters of water per day, so he had to carry water bottles at all times, and his friends joked about him needing to carry a jerrycan. This led him to create the Bidou Bags, which were conceived in order for Zakaria to hold his water bottles in a stylish manner. The designer produced his handmade leather bag using recycled plastic jerrycans (in a satiric take on his health condition). Fans of the Bidou Bags include supermodel Naomi Campbell.
Moroccan bag designer and artisan Zakaria Bendriouich was born and raised in Marrakesh. A former student at Casablanca’s Collège LaSalle, he spent…Read More