The Modist to launch UK Bicester Village pop-up in August

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Around 60,000 guests from the Middle East are expected to visit the pop-up. (Supplied)
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The Bicester Village team work hard to maintain an air of exclusivity in the outlet center. (Supplied)
Updated 04 August 2019

The Modist to launch UK Bicester Village pop-up in August

  • “The Modist is a game-changing retail concept, it has captured the attention of a generation,” Desirée Bollier said
  • Bicester Village is set to welcome 750,000 guests this August

DUBAI: Luxury modest wear e-tailer The Modist is set to open its first-ever European pop-up at the UK’s Bicester Village, an outlet shopping destination, between Aug. 12-Sept. 24, where shoppers can expect elegant pieces from its own brand Layeur, as well as a carefully-curated selection of attire from luxury brands.

Desirée Bollier, chair and chief merchant of value retail management at The Bicester Village Shopping Collection - a collection of 11 villages, with nine across Europe and two in China - spoke to Arab News about what the modest wear pop-up means for one of the UK’s most well-known outlet experiences.

“The Modist is a game-changing retail concept, it has captured the attention of a generation, with women across the globe embracing the elegance of dressing modestly,” she said, adding that the pop-up “represents the vital role of the physical experience in a digital world.”




Desirée Bollier, chair and chief merchant of value retail management at The Bicester Village Shopping Collection. (Supplied)

According to Bollier, Bicester Village is set to welcome 750,000 guests this August, with 60,000 guests from the Middle East, due to Its heady mix of luxury boutiques and pop-ups and entertainment, all set in picturesque Oxfordshire, a short train ride from London.

“While The Modist will undoubtedly appeal to our guests visiting from the Middle East, we firmly believe that guests from all over the globe will be attracted to this gorgeous boutique brimming with elegantly styled ready-to-wear, shoes and accessories from exciting international brands, some of which will be new to Bicester Village,” Bollier said, before going on to discuss the power of modest fashion.

“Modest fashion is on the rise due to the courage of figureheads such as Halima Aden and Shahira Yusuf,” she said, referring to the hijab-wearing models who have worked with international fashion houses, “who are embracing the industry on their terms and, of course, because the brands are waking up to the revenue that this market can generate.”

Bollier contended that millennials are driving this evolution of what she terms a previously underserved market because “when it comes to dressing fashionably, yet demurely, they… want choice.”

The Bicester Village team work hard to maintain an air of exclusivity in the outlet center to remind shoppers of the value of the goods they are buying.

“With brands under increasing pressure to respond to the demands for newness … we provide a sustainable answer, a ‘second life,’ to unsold stock, one that protects their brand image in a sophisticated environment to remind people of the brand’s intrinsic value,” she said.


Startup of the Week: Saudi baker and chef winning hearts of food lovers

Photo supplied
Updated 20 August 2019

Startup of the Week: Saudi baker and chef winning hearts of food lovers

  • Working over 15 hours a day and being self-taught was just the start; Essam is the interior and graphic designer, the marketer, the CEO and the chef at White Mountain

A Saudi bakery and restaurant business specializing in pastries is finding its way into Saudi hearts with a delectable selection of fine Italian, French, and Swiss foods.
Ahmad Essam, 28, a self-taught baker and chef, left a productive family business to create what is now one of the most prestigious bakeries in Alkhobar.
Essam set up his bakery and restaurant while working as a production engineer, selling tarts and cakes to his friends.
He was overwhelmed by the encouragement he received, and little by little Essam, his dream of running his own company emerged.
Working over 15 hours a day and being self-taught was just the start; Essam is the interior and graphic designer, the marketer, the CEO and the chef at White Mountain.
Baking French pastries such as croissants, macarons, mille-feuille, eclairs and tarts require a true artisan. Essam described the glory he feels when he bakes, saying: “Dealing with precise tips to get the real essence of French pastries and reaching a level to bake without recipes is a matter of experience and good knowledge. Being a real baker requires a lot of learning as it’s not only about mixing water and flour; its trick lies behind the process of fermentation that sometimes lasts for days.’’
Every once in a while, the young man distributes membership books to loyal customers. “On Valentine’s Day, we distributed 3,000 roses,” he added.
Essam is very passionate, and dreams of opening a cooking academy in Saudi Arabia so he can inspire other amateur bakers; he told Arab News about his future 12,000-square-meters cooking village project that he is aiming to create in Riyadh, “including a library that collects all cookbooks, a seasonal spice shop, a great lake garden, a pizzeria, glossary shop and more, all of which falls under one theme: Cooking.”
For him, business is an obsession and profession. “Chefs have their egos. They are dealing with a tricky job and they know what they are doing exactly. They do not accept comments or advice from other chefs,” he explained.
You can follow him for more information on White Mountain on Instagram: @wm.bakery.