Mounay gives the kaftan a contemporary update

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


Pakistani tailor adds former US president to star-studded list of clients

Updated 15 February 2019
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Pakistani tailor adds former US president to star-studded list of clients

  • The 36-year-old outfitter has built a customer list of famous names from the sporting, show business and political worlds
  • His family enterprise was established more than 100 years ago and operated from large shop premises in Kolkata, India

KARACHI: It is probably safe to say that tailor to the stars Sarfraz Akbar has the market for celebrity clients all sewn up.

The 36-year-old outfitter has built a customer list of famous names from the sporting, show business and political worlds through his reputation for making high-quality garments.

And now Akbar, who works for his family business at shops in an affluent neighborhood of Pakistan’s port city of Karachi, can add a former American president to his star-studded client base.

During a trip to the US in July last year, he was invited by an American-Pakistani friend to meet with George W. Bush.

“I was super-excited when along with my wife and daughters we boarded my friend’s private jet and flew from Houston to Dallas,” Akbar told Arab News.

After taking measurements of the former US president, he returned to Pakistan and made several suits for him, before dispatching them to Dallas in December 2018.

“My happiness doubled when I got a call from the US informing me that the former president had appreciated my work after wearing the suits,” Akbar said.

Akbar’s father Mohammed said his son had built up a distinguished list of Pakistani personalities he has worked for. 

“By earning praise from George W. Bush, my son has not only made me proud but it’s also a matter of pride for all Pakistanis.”

The youngest of three brothers, Akbar has brought fame to the family name and business, his father added.

The family enterprise was established more than 100 years ago and operated from large shop premises in Kolkata. The family moved from the Indian city after the inception of Pakistan.

The business now has two shops under the “Ambassador” brand name in the Zamzama district of Karachi. 

“We could have opened dozens of outlets, but we believe in quality. The materials we use are imported and we focus on precision,” said Akbar. 

“It’s handmade, customized work. We don’t sell readymade stuff.

“However, we’re now getting people coming to us from other cities wanting to have their wardrobes from the tailor of George W. Bush. Some clients even ask to have their photos taken with me.”

Akbar said he has always had big ambitions. Following matriculation in 1999, he continued his studies but opted at the same time to focus on the family business with a view to taking it to new heights after his graduation.

When the Indian cricket team toured Pakistan during 2005-2006, Akbar made clothes for all the Indian players. 

“Almost all the Pakistani players including Wasim Akram, Misbah-ul-Haq, Sarfraz Ahmed and Shahid Afridi — the latter being a regular customer – have worn our wardrobes too,” Akbar said.

He also designed kurta shalwar clothing for West Indian player and Peshawar Zalmi skipper, Darren Sammy, during the last season of the Pakistan Super League.

Akbar also has a long list of political clients including Pakistan’s former leader Pervez Musharraf, incumbent President Dr. Arif Alvi, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, and Sindh Gov. Imran Ismail. “I made a waistcoat for Imran Khan after he was sworn in as the premier of Pakistan,” he said.

Summing up his achievements to date, Akbar said: “You can be proud of yourself and your family, but you just need to focus on your work and work hard.”