Emirati Designers


My journey with HASHIMI began in 2016 when I finally took the plunge after years of creating outfits for my family and friends. It was time for me to channel my love of minimalist and elegant designs into crafting pieces that will always find room in a woman’s wardrobe.

With overwhelming support and a growing client base, I’ve continued to roll out creations that pair modern and traditional design vocabularies, offering colour palettes that are inspired by my passion for travel and nature.

The spirit in the UAE is always festive and it offers us the chance to experiment with new styles and looks that would be perfect for every occasion, whether it’s Eid, an intimate gathering, or private events. Here are some of my favourite looks from the HASHIMI Spring-Summer 2022 collection that offer a lesson in ease and elegance.

Breezy and braided

For a daytime look, our classic open-collar dress with braided details is versatile and perfect for a summer day. Pair it with Dior Dway heeled slides and you’re ready to seize the day.

Why knot 

This crushed knotted jumpsuit with braided details, styled with fine jewellery and a statement clutch, would be a great choice for an afternoon tea.

Summer staple

The organza abaya with geode thread embroidery evokes effortless femininity, making it perfect to adorn from day till night.

Pared-down glam

Can we ever say no to puff sleeves? I think not. Pair this embellished silk column dress with statement earrings and Amina Muaddi Gilda heels, and you’ll be set for a night of glitz and glam.

Flowy and fabulous

Get into the mood of the season in this braided A-line dress and pearl earrings—pieces that will move along with you.

HASHIMI is available at Ounass, Threads Styling, Farfetch and THAT Concept Store; Follow @Hashimi_by on Instagram

Dubai-based contemporary fashion brand Pearla has launched an exclusive Ramadan collection titled ‘Salam’ that features kaftans, dresses, jalabiyas, and more, each of which has been paired with jewellery pieces by Tiffany & Co. The brand’s latest collection carries the message of love and peace for the world, which have been depicted through free-flying birds to reflect the beauty of the Pearla woman. The birds symbolise the journey of light, companionship, and peace.

“We’re very proud of how far Pearla has come in such a short time,” Hessa and Fatma AlJoker, founders of Pearla, said in a release. “The brand has received a warm welcome with each consecutive collection and our customers really enjoy the style and versatility of the pieces that are crafted.”

Pearla chose Tiffany & Co.’s ‘Knot’ collection to go with its signature items as the jewellery pieces’ entwined ends form a knot, which nods to the power of connections between people. “Jewellery and statement pieces add a glamourous touch to an outfit and with Tiffany & Co., we showcase what statement pieces would look perfect with an ensemble.”

Boasting a tasteful colour palette, the collection comprises 28 designs in fabrics like silk and cotton with the brand’s signature illustrations and unique prints. The line commemorates the freedom and beauty associated with birds, flowers, and the arts,” the designers explained.

The ‘Salam’ collection also offers a purposeful message through the use of the five senses—sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell, and reflects on how we reconnect with ourselves by testing them during the month of Ramadan.

The campaign was shot at the Austrian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. The pavilion’s cones were inspired by the Arabian wind towers, and Pearla utilised Moroccan carpets from the Moroccan pavilion to depict the beautiful coming together of cultures. Discover the collection on Pearla.ae or the brand’s physical store in Dubai Design District.

Follow @Pearladubai on Instagram

In the sprawling pavilions of Expo 2020 Dubai, trends are sparked, exceptional ideas are presented, and scintillating insight is offered into the world’s rich cultural production and technological innovations. Amongst them, one buoyant pavilion stands tall as a real tour de force that offers generous engagement with the role of women in shaping the future of the world.

It’s the Women’s Pavilion, in collaboration with Cartier, the first standalone at a World Expo since the 1900s that has been entirely dedicated to women, with a ‘New Perspectives’ exhibition that showcases the central role they continue to play as global changemakers. A big hook of the space is that it has brought together a diverse community of creators to contribute to its design and curation.

Part of its impressive roster is Emirati creative Kholoud Sharafi, co-founder and Director of Design Communication at Dubai-based multidisciplinary design firm Tinkah, who was roped in to develop the pavilion’s visual identity – the logo. “The brief was to develop a brand identity that embodied the values and narrative that had been established for the Women’s Pavilion,” says Kholoud. “A key element of the space was the façade and we had to be mindful of the placement of the logo on it,” she explains.

The pavilion preserves and conveys the important role women have played in the past, are playing in the present, and what we should look forward to in the future. We considered these aspects when defining the pavilion’s visual identity.

The project began as a design sprint towards the end of 2019 and the main logo was developed during the initial weeks of 2020. For the logo, Kholoud and the team at Tinkah took a cue from how the pavilion charts the milestones achieved by women, both known and unknown. “The Women’s Pavilion celebrates the seen and unseen women from yesterday, today and tomorrow, with a common purpose of changing the world. In response to the concept narrative driven by the seen and the unseen, the brand identity explores the contrast between femininity and impact,” she explains.

The design also includes references from Cartier’s own creative heritage. “The brand commits itself to preserving and conveying its heritage, and its approach and creativity are recognized in the cultural and artistic worlds. The pavilion preserves and conveys the important role women have played in the past, are playing in the present, and what we should look forward to in the future. We considered these aspects when defining the pavilion’s visual identity.”

Founded in 2012 by an all-women team that includes Kholoud, along with creatives Reem Al Ghaith and Abeer Tahlak, Tinkah boasts a distinct design language that nods to versatility. “Our firm follows a multidisciplinary approach. Every project comes with its unique challenges, so the solution also needs to be unique,” she states.

“It’s never just about the aesthetic. A brand can have a strong aesthetic identity, but the question comes back to what it’s trying to convey. Similar to how a sculptor takes away from a block of clay to reveal the final piece, we too need to take away from all the information that’s gathered as a part of our process in order to arrive at a brand identity.”

One of Tinkah’s recent milestones is creating the brand identity of the UAE’s ‘Year Of The Fiftieth’, which commemorates 50 years of the country’s formation this year. “We’re excited about many of our recent projects and when the time is right, we’ll reveal them to the world,” she reveals.

As a design practitioner, Kholoud is hopeful that Expo 2020 Dubai and endeavors like the Women’s Pavilion will open doors for global and regional creatives. “Our hope is that the platform will support the creative community by establishing standards and practices that recognize, promote and give credit to them for their contributions.”


In the whimsical universe of Emirati designer Maryam Al Selaich, clothes push the boundaries of form and function. A superb coming together of art and fashion, her brand Slouchyz has unveiled a new cosmos-inspired Fall-Winter 2021 collection titled ‘Citrine’ that features 25 futuristic abayas, cloaks and wraps that you can discover at a private viewing by appointment.

“This collection is a tribute to all the women who want to get dressed up and be comfortable at the same time,” Maryam tells Villa 88. “It’s a tribute to understated glamour. It’s for every woman who wants to take her fashion from the sidewalk to the catwalk,” she adds.

This collection is for every woman who wants to take her fashion from the sidewalk to the catwalk.

The ‘Citrine’ collection takes its name from the eponymous stone, which is a symbol of self-healing, improvement and positive energy. Each design is inspired by the astrological perception of planets and their symbolism, and references their color associations and meanings. “Since the onset of COVID-19, we’ve been researching a lot about astrology and signs, which have inspired this collection,” Maryam shared in a release.

Think about planetary hues, such as pale yellow and warm amber that reference Jupiter, which is a symbol of prosperity and joy; the bright azure blue of Neptune that nods to the notions of allusion and being aware; and the cyan hue of Uranus, which depicts innovation and liberation.

Then, there are pieces in blue, green, brown and orange, inspired by the Earth and Mercury, and embody love, balance, harmony and hope. The monochrome hues of Pluto and Saturn, which signify regeneration and change, are also a part of the color palette.

Slouchyz has long been celebrated for creating art-clothing hybrids that reflect the brand’s deeply imaginative spirit. The latest collection encompasses this forward-looking approach, as it includes unconventional cuts, natural draping, fringes, quilting stitches, and sculptural silhouettes in fabrics like French crepe, silk cotton and linen voile.

The line includes pieces with a modern take on the medieval-era cloak, and techniques like line and padded stitching, which have been a signature of the brand since 2015. Maryam notes that the pieces in short sleeves with elastic intricately stitched into the fabric for flexibility and airiness are among the highlights. Discover the collection now.

The ‘Citrine’ collection will be available at the Slouchyz store in Warehouse No 5 in Al Quoz and on Slouchyzmarket.com. Follow Slouchyz on Instagram.

Mariah Carey released a new video to celebrate 25 years of her iconic Christmas jingle, ‘All I want for Christmas is you’. The song, which released in 1994, made it to the top spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart this year. While the song used to shoot up the charts, every festive season (obviously), it has never before made it to number one.

The remake video of what we can call the most popular Christmas song is all things festive includes a winter wonderland with ice skating Santas! The singer can be seen sporting a Santa jumpsuit in the opening shot of the video. In the promo for the new video, the Christmas queen adorns a stunning emerald green, sequin dress by Dubai-based designer Alina Anwar Couture.

The Dubai-based label, launched just a year ago in 2018, has been popular with Bollywood celebrities.

Cover Image Credits: @billboard

Riyadh welcomed a number of international celebrities this weekend as they flew in to attend the MDL Beast festival. MDL Beast, a three-day-long EDM festival, saw some of the world’s biggest names perform over the weekend. Steve Aoki, David Guetta, Martin Garrix, were seen on stage along with regional artists.

Brazilian model Alessandra Ambrosio, was spotted wearing Dubai-born label, Romy Collection on the inaugural day of the festival. Sporting an all black leather jumpsuit, cinched at the waist with a thick belt, Ambrosio set some major style goals. The Victoria’s Secret model, paired the comfortable Verushka jumpsuit with a pair of block heeled black boots. The slightly unzipped jumpsuit revealed a black turtleneck underneath accessorized with a chain necklace and small hoop earrings.

Romy Collection, a label launched by Romy Hourani in Dubai is now based in New York. Since its inception in 2017, Romi Collection had a quick growth as it found its way into the wardrobes of international stars.

Comfortable and chic, this jumpsuit by Dubai-born, New York-based label, Romy Collection is a complete must have.

Cover Image Credits: @iamrenato

Dubai’s beloved creative communal space Kulture House is back with an exciting pop-up that celebrates local designers. Starting today, the Icons pop-up exhibition will go on till 14 December. Here, we round up a few brands to keep an eye out for at the showcase.

Give your traditional-wear a stylish spin as Emirati brands, such as Ego Abaya, Zay, Albatross, Twins Design and Three Dots bring to you the best of their collections. Think about modern detailing and silhouettes that are sure to pique your interest.

Where Dubai-based Moza brings to you comfortable travel wear, The Poet, a young Emirati brand  promises you an elegant show of intricately designed evening gowns. As you make your way through the pop-up, don’t forget to check out modest contemporary wear brands, such as By Maryam Aldosari, Glosh and From Shamsa.

That’s not all, Mas Jewels, another regional jewelry brand, will be showcasing at the pop-up. Lava, a UAE-based luxury candle brand is also among the highlights at the exhibition. Handcrafted candles mixed with customized scents is the centerpiece of these decoratives. We have your weekend shopping spree sorted.

Cover image credits: @thepoet.ae

Shatha Essa is a label that’s deeply rooted in the UAE—each piece is made locally by skilled craftsmen and its Emirati founder, Shatha Essa Al Mulla, started her career in the Dubai Mall—but the inspirations for the brand’s latest Noir 19/20 collection came from further afield.

“Whether it’s strolling through Le Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil in Paris or wandering around Kew Gardens in London, when something strikes my attention, I try to translate it into my designs,” says Shatha, who started the brand in 2016. “The Temperate House at Kew Gardens was a key inspiration for this collection. I always visit it when I’m in London; it’s a true gem, located a little outside the city, and the Temperate House is full of exotic flora and fauna,” she adds.

Shatha has translated a structure in Temperate House into the shape of her statement gowns and their A-line silhouette, and capes, which are flecked with floral embellishments that take a cue from the flowers that blossom in the botanical showhouse. “The different hues of the glasshouse inspired the color palette that’s filled with rose, green, ivory and cream shades.”

With their calming tones and clean lines, every look in the Noir 19/20 collection is ideal for destination weddings and summer travels. “In this collection, I’ve introduced a kimono-style cape with embroidered designs of leaves and birds that would be perfect for the summer. It’s such a versatile piece that can be styled many ways,” Shatha explains. “But for a destination event, I’d wear the blush rose-textured jacquard-blended long dress with a tulle cape. The tulle cape has subtle embellished details on the shoulder, which make it perfect for any indoor or outdoor event this summer.”

What’s Shatha’s summer sartorial secret? Keep it cool and light. “The most common mistakes I see involve dressing in dark colors and heavy fabrics,” she says. “These weigh you down and make you feel exhausted. Opting for light fabrics such as cotton or linen keep you feeling fresh and energetic, which is necessary on a hot summer day.” Her personal sense of style is marked by a wardrobe in neutral, light shades and relaxed shapes, which she rounds off with natural and subtle make-up.

As most of us gear up for our summer escape, Shatha shares what she can’t travel without. In her suitcase, you’ll find linens from 100% Capri, an Hermès scarf, and Dior Diorama mini cat-eye sunglasses, along with a pair of Chanel espadrilles and a Valentino envelope clutch. “No suitcase of mine is complete without Soleil Toujours sunscreen and Kiehl’s glow formula skin hydrator,” she concludes. Talk about being chic. Shathaessa

Shatha’s favorite summer…

Dish: Sushi

Drink: Lychee rose mocktail

Destination: New York City

Song: Anything classical and Yanni is on top of the list

Activity: Exploring upcoming designers and their local neighborhoods and cuisines in the cities I visit

Fragrance: Van Cleef & Arpels Orchidée Vanille

Outfit: Maxi linen dresses and espadrilles

Photography by Efraim Evidor