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

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

Regional designers unveil latest lines at Arab Fashion Week

Updated 25 October 2020

Regional designers unveil latest lines at Arab Fashion Week

DUBAI: The 12th edition of Arab Fashion Week (AFW) came to a triumphant close in Dubai this weekend. The occasion was quite different than usual as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic meant that the four-day-long event was strictly digital, with brands showcasing their collections virtually. 

SemSem closed out the fashion week with a glamorous Spring 2021 collection that was presented as a five-minute video shot in the designer Abeer Al-Otaiba’s US residence. 

Speaking of her new collection, the designer explained: “SemSem’s Spring 2021 collection is a statement on women’s strength, illustrated through engineered lines and geometry. For spring, the brand focused on couture plissé techniques and graphic pyramid-inspired silhouettes.”

The result was a lineup of pleated dresses and glamorous evening gowns in emerald jewel tones and Mediterranean blue modeled by catwalk star Aminata Niaria. Meanwhile, soft and luxurious silks were hand-embellished with Swarovski crystals to create dramatic kaftan-inspired looks.

The designer drew inspiration from “women, who, when faced with the challenges of 2020, continued to persevere and thrive despite the uncertainty.”

Her engineering background and Middle Eastern heritage — the designer is Egyptian — also served as inspiration during the creative process. Her mood board consisted of clippings of The pyramids, Egyptian goddesses, the Mediterranean sea as well as geometric architecture by Zaha Hadid and Tadao Ando.

Dubai-based Iraqi womenswear designer Zeena Zaki also showcased her Fall 2021 collection during AFW. Inspired by “the inner beauty of women,” the new offering contains 16 distinct looks sure to suit every taste.

“The collection contains various types of fabrics to satisfy every customer’s taste,” the designer shared with Arab News, “Though, due to the pandemic, many of the needed materials were out of market and it wasn’t easy to source,” she added.


A post shared by Zeena Zaki (@zeenazaki) on

Known for her ultra-feminine, body-hugging designs, the designer chose “luxurious fabrics and harmonized colors that empower and reveal the beauty of every woman.”

Standouts include a white, off-the-shoulder gown with sheer long sleeves and a ruffled skirt that would look equally as chic floating on a red carpet as it would down the aisle. 

Other designers to present their new collections during the audience-less, digital-only event included Jordanian womenswear label Mada’En, Lebanese designer Aboud Jammal and Dubai-based couture house Amato, among many others.