Arab World Luxury 2019 focuses on diversity in retail

The fashion industry is alive with buzzwords such as ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion’ and those pushing them want conversations to lead to meaningful change. (Courtesy Arab World Luxury 2019)
Updated 13 June 2019

Arab World Luxury 2019 focuses on diversity in retail

DUBAI: If there is one industry that loves its buzzwords, it is fashion, and right now “diversity” and “inclusion” are definitely trendy. Those pushing these buzzwords want conversations to lead to meaningful change.

“Diversity in the Luxury Retail Industry” opened the afternoon session of Arab World Luxury (AWL), moderated by Candice D’Cruz, vice president for luxury brands in the Middle East and Africa at Marriott International Inc.

Panelists included Alexander Schmiedt, regional brand director for the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent at Vacheron Constantin; Chantal Khoueiry, chief culture officer at the Bicester Village Shopping Collection; Dima Ayad, PR and marketing consultant at 11 Honoré; and Samar Habayab, CEO of Silsal Design House.

“Diversity means so many things,” said D’Cruz. Audience members at AWL were polled as to what they believe companies should focus on — gender and generation came top. Schmiedt said: “For a luxury brand, what’s most important is its relationship with the client, and the client has never been so diverse.” He added that in the Middle East, “the whole industry is run by expats,” yet the clientele is mainly local; this needs to be corrected.

Ayad, who is also a fashion designer, said her focus is “finding a solution for women across all sizes.” One of the ways she has made her voice heard is through her “You As Is” collection, which encourages women to celebrate themselves as they are. She recently collaborated with another Dubai-based designer, Nadine Kanso, for the Arabic version of the “You As Is” t-shirt.

Collaboration seems to be a major tool for addressing diversity, whether it is home-gown design brand Silsal, which has worked with students from the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation to ensure their products appeal to younger customers, or the Bicester Village Shopping Collection’s “reverse mentorship” program, which helps ensure it remains a millennial-friendly employer.

Ayad said: “It’s naive to think we can only be mainstream. It’s important to stay inclusive and be diverse.”

Priyanka Chopra steps out in Jordanian-Romanian designer

The label shared a picture of Chopra wearing Muaddi’s feather-trimmed Adwoa sandals. (AFP)
Updated 20 August 2019

Priyanka Chopra steps out in Jordanian-Romanian designer

DUBAI: Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra was spotted wearing a pair of sandals by the Jordanian-Romanian designer Amina Muaddi at US pop star Joe Jonas’s recent James Bond-themed birthday party.

The label shared a picture of Chopra wearing Muaddi’s feather-trimmed Adwoa sandals. Chopra paired them with a sheer feathered mini-dress with a beaded boat-cut neckline. Her husband, Joe’s brother Nick Jonas, looked very 007 in a black tuxedo.

Chopra, wearing sandals by Amina Muaddi, with husband Nick Jonas at his brother’s James Bond party. (Instagram)

Muaddi’s up-and-coming label is known for its bright hues and razor-thin stiletto heels that often widen out into a squared block at the base of the heel. 

Muaddi, whose footwear label is designed in Paris and produced in Italy, has also been in the spotlight, with the likes of Kylie and Kendall Jenner, Rihanna and British model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley showing off her heels earlier this year.


Kylie @aminamuaddiofficial

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Back in April, beauty mogul Rihanna was spotted in New York – reportedly out and about with her Saudi beau Hassan Jameel – wearing a black coat with strappy white sandals by Muaddi, while Huntington-Whiteley has been an avid fan for quite some time and regularly takes to Instagram to show off Muaddi’s latest designs.

Joe Jonas, who turned 30 on Thursday, celebrated with his family and friends at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. According to E! News, he and his wife, Hollywood actress Sophie Turner, arrived at the party in an Aston Martin, which is the car James Bond drives. 


It’s in the air..

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This is not the first time Chopra has shown off the works of Arab designers. When Turner married Joe Jonas in June, Chopra wore multiple ensembles by Saudi fashion label Honayda. She went casual in a button-down lilac shirt dress from the label’s Spring-Summer 2019 collection, but she ramped things up for the rehearsal dinner with an ivory strapless satin gown that featured a sweetheart neckline from the same collection.

Earlier this year in Los Angeles, Chopra was spotted wearing a mustard yellow trench coat by Dubai-based modest wear brand Bouguessa.