Go from sunset to suhoor with Serb Studio

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Serb Studio’s entire Ramadan collection is available for purchase via its online store, serbstudio.com, throughout the Holy Month. (Supplied))
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Serb Studio’s Ramadan/Eid 2019 collection. (Supplied)
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Serb Studio’s entire Ramadan collection is available for purchase via its online store, serbstudio.com, throughout the Holy Month. (Supplied))
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Serb Studio’s Ramadan/Eid 2019 collection. (Supplied)
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Serb Studio’s entire Ramadan collection is available for purchase via its online store, serbstudio.com, throughout the Holy Month. (Supplied))
Updated 06 May 2019
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Go from sunset to suhoor with Serb Studio

  • Serb Studio was founded by Emirati siblings Noor, Sarah and Budoor Al-Khaja

DUBAI: You may not have heard of Serb Studio yet, but the modest fashion brand has already dressed famous YouTuber Haifa Beseisso — the Palestinian-American force behind “Fly with Haifa” — as well as Saudi-born Lujain Abulfaraj, co-founder and designer of Twothirds Design Studio. One of its outfits has also been spotted on UAE-based modest fashion influencer Saufeeya Bint Goodson (aka @saufeeya). Both Beseisso and Goodson have nearly half a million followers each on Instagram alone. That’s pretty good going for a label that debuted exactly a year ago last May.

You may be wondering what the label’s secret to its excellent exposure is, despite having only launched in 2018. Well, there’s no doubt an element of women supporting other women — Serb Studio was founded by Emirati siblings Noor, Sarah and Budoor Al-Khaja. But above all that, the designs are simple, elegant and beautiful, with clean cuts that suit any silhouette.

This clean trend continues in Serb Studio’s Ramadan/Eid 2019 collection, which the sisters say presents their “signature clean cut designs, with new touches of delicate embroidery.”

Taking inspiration from the trends of the Spring/Summer 2019 season, the sisters have combined the cuts with bold, colourful tones to create pieces that are “contemporary, culturally conscious yet timeless (and) that exude calm confidence.” Add to that Moroccan-style embroidery and you’re left with a spectacular line of abayas, dresses, kaftans, trousers and more. We’re sure we’ve spotted a cape or two in there too.

Dress for the occasion

The beauty of these pieces is that they are extremely versatile. You can go from sunset to suhoor quite easily, and the free-flowing material will leave you feeling comfortable throughout the evening. Highlights include a striking embellished kaftan, offered in a colour palette of red, metallic, copper, teal, white or black. While the pieces make for a great outfit for a special occasion, some of them can also be dressed down for work engagements.

It’s exciting to see where this new label is headed, as the Al-Khaja sisters no doubt have a bright future ahead of them. Not only can we see them appearing at local events such as Dubai Modest Fashion Week, they have the potential to gain exposure beyond the Gulf too.

“Serb Studio’s collection truly brings out the finest in a woman, making her look and feel empowered and confident in every piece,” the designers said in a statement, adding that the Dubai-based studio specialises in “of-the-moment modest clothing, crafted using exceptional and exquisite textiles that exude quality (and) modernity.

“Serb Studio’s take lends women a novel perspective on modest clothing, with its trendy kaftans, modern formal wear, evening abayas and comfortable travel wear.”

Serb Studio’s entire Ramadan collection is available for purchase via its online store, serbstudio.com, throughout the Holy Month.


Startup of the Week: Coco Sabon’s natural skincare

Coco Sabon. (Supplied)
Updated 21 May 2019
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Startup of the Week: Coco Sabon’s natural skincare

  • Coco Sabon’s customers are mostly Arab women aged between 20 and 40, “though we have many loyal fans that span different age groups and come from all over the world”

RIYADH: The healing and relaxing powers of nature are at the heart of Coco Sabon’s philosophy.
Launched by Dr. Cynthia Mosher — an American living in Riyadh — the skincare firm is committed to sourcing high-quality, natural oriental ingredients that provide the skin with gentle care and nourishment.
“I launched Coco Sabon in November 2015 at Alfaisal University’s first bazaar,” she said.
Mosher, who completed a bachelor of science in natural health sciences, said she hoped to do something more than simply diagnose illnesses and prescribe treatments. She also wanted to have time for other important things and people, so now she is working as an educator, training a new generation of medical students.
She encourages people to make healthy choices when it comes to ingredients they use on their bodies.
“I fell in love with formulating and creating beautiful, natural skincare products. I continued my creative journey while pursuing my medical degree, which deepened my commitment to develop ‘do no harm’ skincare based on natural ingredients,” she said.
“Layered with my admiration of Arabian culture, the rich regional ingredients, and my passion for integrative medicine, I developed a deep sense of holistic self-care that guides my formulations. My love for the fragrances, natural remedies and skincare routines of the Middle East are the heart and soul of Coco Sabon.”
There is a growing demand for Coco Sabon products. “After years of requests from family and friends to make and sell my products, I tested the waters, so to speak. We sold out of everything that day.”
She added: “About six weeks later we were invited to participate at the Gathering in Al-Bujairi in January 2016. We had a crowd of customers nonstop for three days and again sold out of everything. It was a decisive weekend. Coco Sabon was born and we have not looked back since.”
Mosher’s family and friends offered encouragement, but one of her strongest supporters was her best friend, Audrey Wilkinson. She said: “Audrey was my supporter, helper and adviser. She now works with me, formulating and producing our candles, cremes and face care line.”
Coco Sabon’s customers are mostly Arab women aged between 20 and 40, “though we have many loyal fans that span different age groups and come from all over the world.”
The brand offers a wide range of products, including soap, bath bombs, scrubs, cremes, face and body oils, perfumes and candles.
“Everything is produced by hand in small batches here in Riyadh using natural, safe and organic ingredients, sourced locally wherever possible,” Mosher said.
Coco Sabon believes in supporting local businesses and in sourcing the best ingredients possible. The store also designs its packaging and hand packages, labels and wraps each item, selling through an online store (cocosabon.com), Instagram, WhatsApp, and local popup shop events.
Mosher has also started offering workshops on making her products.
“Some might think that to be unwise because I could very well teach a future competitor,” she said. “Well, that’s true for the medical students I teach now. Should I withhold my knowledge for fear of them becoming better doctors and doing better? Of course not. The more knowledge we put out there, the better our society will be. The workshops also help build community.
“I connect with people who are curious, who want to learn how to create and how to make good choices for their health. I welcome workshop students young and older (my youngest so far was just 6 years old), and I encourage them to take what they learn and use it to improve their lives and that of others around them. If they make a business out of doing so, then good for them. We all have something to offer the world,” she said.
Mosher is happy that she created a job she loves. “Sometimes I miss practicing clinical medicine, but I remind myself that I am helping people make healthier choices for their bodies, their minds, their souls and the planet,” she said.
“That’s a special kind of medicine that I believe can help heal the world.”