Lifestyle retailer Urban Outfitters opens first Middle East store 

The multinational brand has 200 outlets in the US, Canada and Europe. (Shutterstock)
Updated 05 September 2019

Lifestyle retailer Urban Outfitters opens first Middle East store 

DUBAI: Lifestyle retailer Urban Outfitters on Thursday opened its first Middle East store in the glitzy UAE city of Dubai.

With 200 outlets in the US, Canada and Europe, the multinational brand has also created an Arabic logo tailored to the region.

Well-loved by celebrity fans, the store stocks a range of on-trend women’s and men’s clothes and accessories, along with lingerie and vintage items.

Stefan Laban, the global head of parent company URBN International, said the fashion brand inspired customers through a unique combination of products, creativity and cultural understanding.

“Urban Outfitters is about curating looks for customers. One thing that is special about us is how we pull products together,” Laban told Arab News.

“I think nowadays, people are looking for inspirational retail. They get inspired when they see something new, and I think we bring that,” he said.

The American fashion chain offers more than just Urban Outfitters originals. The store features internationally renowned brands such as Adidas, Calvin Klein, Champion and many more.

“We always style brands with our own products. We never have a rack of all T-shirts. It is all mixed,” Laban added.

Urban Outfitters also has a “home” collection that includes furniture, bedding, tapestries, rugs and shower curtains. “In this store, the home section is large because we believe that is a really nice gap in the market (that we are fulfilling).”

As the first store to open in the Middle East – deemed a culturally conservative region – the fashion brand opted for separate men’s and women’s fitting rooms, which it usually keeps gender neutral in its international stores.

According to Laban, there were factors the brand had to consider before displaying its collection in the Middle East. “Seasonality is very different. It is hot outside so we wanted to find things that people would buy now, but you also have heavier items for people who travel.”

“All the fixtures in the store are made in the UAE. We also work with a local greenhouse in Dubai that supplies us with plants and eventually we would love to work with local fashion designers,” he said.

The brand is aiming to open more stores in the Middle East in the near future.


Image Nation Abu Dhabi’s ‘Free Solo’ sweeps Creative Emmys

‘Free Solo’ follows Alex Honnold’s attempt to become the first person to climb El Capitan. (Supplied)
Updated 15 September 2019

Image Nation Abu Dhabi’s ‘Free Solo’ sweeps Creative Emmys

  • “Free Solo’” has won seven Creative Arts Emmy Awards
  • The documentary picked up every award for which it was nominated at Saturday’s ceremony in Los Angeles

DUBAI: Co-produced by Image Nation Abu Dhabi, the critically-acclaimed documentary “Free Solo’” has won seven Creative Arts Emmy Awards, adding to a slate of honors that already includes a BAFTA and an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

The documentary picked up every award for which it was nominated at Saturday’s ceremony in Los Angeles, including outstanding directing for a documentary/nonfiction program, outstanding cinematography, sound editing, sound mixing, picture editing, music composition and best achievement in interactive media.

Presented by National Geographic, directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin and co-produced by Image Nation, “Free Solo” follows Alex Honnold’s attempt to become the first person to climb El Capitan – a 3,000 foot high vertical rock in Yosemite National Park – with no ropes or safety gear.

The documentary was co-produced by Parkes+MacDonald, Image Nation, Little Monster Films and National Geographic.

"I think it always comes back to Alex, the diligence and discipline and teaching himself over the years," Vasarhelyi told the Hollywood Reporter backstage at Sunday’s award ceremony. "I think in terms of the Creative Arts Emmys, Alex brought so much craft to what he did, that all of us, every member of our team got a nomination. So it’s incredible to see the Academy appreciates the hard work that went into it."

In February, “Free Solo” won an Oscar at the 91st Academy Awards. After the ceremony Chin told reporters, “Hanging off the wall, I couldn’t see Alex Honnold below, and I just had to trust that he was just being perfect. We also had to carry the weight of the entire production being perfect, because if we made any mistakes, it could have been catastrophic.”

UAE-based fans were treated to a special screening of the film in March and chief content office of Image Nation Ben Ross shared his thoughts at the event.

“From the incredible reviews to the Academy Award and BAFTA wins, we are so proud that Image Nation Abu Dhabi and the UAE can say it helped to support this incredible film…It has been an honor to work with the National Geographic.”