Mounay gives the kaftan a contemporary update

Mounay’s 2018 Ramadan edit is all about eastern glamor. (Photos supplied)
Updated 13 June 2018

Mounay gives the kaftan a contemporary update

  • Regional contemporary ready-to-wear brand Mounay’s Ramadan edit for 2018 is all about eastern glamour
  • The brand is the brainchild of creative director Mona Ead Mikati

DUBAI: One of our favorite things about some Ramadan capsule collections is that they don’t go out of style once the Holy Month is over — they last well into the Eid period and beyond. One label has released some of the most versatile, timeless and easy-to-wear looks in its seasonal capsule that fashion lovers will no doubt be revisiting in the months to come.

Regional contemporary ready-to-wear brand Mounay’s Ramadan edit for 2018 is all about eastern glamor, with flirty, loose cuts and charming gathers, tailored looks and delicate piping that all stand out in its latest range of abayas, capes and kaftans. Comprising soft whites mixed with deep, darker tones — not to mention a dash of gold foiling here and there — each piece features sharp lines cut through beautiful gentle forms. The result is a sartorial collection full of contrasts in texture, color and volume. Impossibly feminine, a particular gem are Mounay’s signature oversized sleeves that are very flattering.

Mounay, which was launched in 2013, is, who juggles her work between Dubai and Beirut. The brand prides itself on its “carefully picked fabric, beautifully designed cuts and eye-catching colors,” according to its website.


Explaining the design process to Arab News, Mikati — who majored in business at the American University of Beirut before going on to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York — said: “The creative process going through this collection was challenging as I wanted to introduce a contemporary take on traditional, Arabic-style kaftans.”

For Mikati, Mounay is all about the “mélange of the feminine and the edgy,” creating a contemporary ready-to-wear label “that seamlessly embodies and empowers the woman of today.”

In an interview with blogger Lana El-Sahely, published on the influencer’s website, she elaborated: “Every collection has to offer something new while keeping the brand’s identity from one season to another. The ‘Mounay woman’ is modern and edgy, but is also very proud of her feminine side and not afraid to show it.”

She continued: “It is very important for Mounay garments to be as beautifully made on the inside as the outside. I am very lucky to have a wonderful, detail-oriented and very professional production team based in Beirut. We work on each piece as if it was our only one.”

As mentioned earlier, the word “timeless” is one that can be associated with this brand, and this is perhaps down to Mikati’s personal style.

“I usually prefer classic items as they are timeless, but make sure to give my outfits a more contemporary twist by paying attention to little details. I’d definitely rather look overdressed than be under-dressed,” she told El-Sahely.

And her fashion icons also seem to be timeless in their style.

“My all-time favorite is Audrey Hepburn, because I am a fan of classic beauty and elegance. I also always make sure to check out Queen Rania of Jordan’s latest outfits — the lady-like elegance she portrays is very inspirational,” the designer said, according to lanaelsahely.com.

The collection is available online via mounay.com, ounass.com or at the Tryano department store in Abu Dhabi, the UAE.


British hijab-wearing model Mariah Idrissi has it covered

Updated 17 August 2019

British hijab-wearing model Mariah Idrissi has it covered

  • “Saudi Arabia is a blessed land both physically and spiritually,” Idrissi said
  • “I would love to be a part of changing some of the stereotypes around the country through my work in fashion and film,” Idrissi commented

LONDON: Born in North West London to Moroccan and Pakistani parents, model Mariah Idrissi has made quite a name for herself – starring in campaigns for major high street retailers, hosting TED Talks and sharing snaps of her travels with her 88,000 Instagram followers.
The hijab-wearing model has been vocal about her preference for modest fashion and spoke to Arab News about her style, faith and achievements.
“I wear hijab to represent my faith, my culture, and because I genuinely love the idea of modest dress,” she said. “I think it’s important to feel comfortable in what you wear and also not lose a sense of your personality, hence why there is so much diversity in modest styles.”


Her breakthrough came when she was scouted in a shopping center. She did not think it would lead to anything; however, she was casted for an H&M ad. “The campaign went viral. From that moment I realized how little the media represented Muslims, and if they did it was often negative. That motivated me to continue to pursue a career in fashion and change the narrative around how hijab is viewed in the West,” she explained.
She also gave her first significant public speech in 2016, a TEDxTeen live-streamed to millions, about how modest clothing has now become a trend. Idrissi believes the fashion industry is catering more to women who want modest wear than it did a decade ago.
“I feel it is definitely improving,” she said. “Summertime can still be a little bit of a struggle in comparison to autumn and winter which is cooler, so there is still room for improvement.”


After her breakthrough with H&M, Idrissi went on to participate in projects with leading brands, including MAC Cosmetics and M&S in the Middle East. She also looks forward to working on projects in Saudi Arabia when an opportunity arises.
“Saudi Arabia is a blessed land both physically and spiritually. I feel there is so much potential and opportunity. I would love to be a part of changing some of the stereotypes around the country through my work in fashion and film,” Idrissi said.
She is now working on a few film projects, both features and documentaries, to continue challenging negative stereotypes around Muslims.


Moreover, she aims to inspire other potential modest models and advises them to always ask why before embarking on this path. Asking why has helped her on this career journey because even through difficult times, she was able to push forward.
As her upbringing has taught her, Idrissi is demonstrating that modernity and progression are not in conflict with tradition and customs: They are two sides of the same coin.