Startup of the Week: Saudi startup adds bags of choice to popular fashion items

Startup of the Week: Saudi startup adds bags of choice to popular fashion items
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Updated 02 February 2021

Startup of the Week: Saudi startup adds bags of choice to popular fashion items

Startup of the Week: Saudi startup adds bags of choice to popular fashion items
  • Saudi startup adds bags of choice to popular fashion items

The innovative ideas and creativity of Saudi youth have contributed to a huge growth in the number of business startups in the Kingdom.
And among them is Mine Bags, which has found success in the highly competitive handbags market with its interchangeable products that allow customers to alter the look of items by switching between different brooches and straps.
Accessories for its leather bags are designed and made by other Saudi startups, NGOs, and charities.
Noor Zahid, of Mine Bags, said: “We thought of adding something to the bags to make them attractive to Saudi youth. Originally, we looked at embroidery, but it was difficult to embroider on leather.”
However, after further research they came up with idea of personalized brooches and leather bags designed specifically for the purpose. The handbags are supplied with single or multiple holes for the attachment of decorative brooches which are either machined or hand embroidered.
“Mine Bags’ motive was to involve as many local NGOs and charitable organizations as it could. We aim to bring the right pin with the right bag, with the right hole, while maintaining elegance and coherence,” Zahid added.
The startup’s main challenge was to find a regular supplier of quality leather but when the raw materials it required could not be sourced in Saudi Arabia the search shifted to Tunisia.
The company’s first line used off-cut leather from mass-produced, high-end brands.
Zahid said: “The atelier we contacted to make our bags told us they had no use for the (leftover) leather, so we decided against buying excessive amounts of it and used what they provided.” This helped the brand to be sustainable and affordable, and reduced the amount of waste.
Mine Bags also offers embroidered straps, tote bags, small pouches, laptop bags, and other items and has expanded its range to include on-demand T-shirts.
Zahid pointed out that products were designed with versatility, uniqueness, slow fashion, and practicality in mind while ensuring that components were multipurpose.
“You can change the brooches to fit wherever you are going and can use the straps with other bags. The brooches can also be used on clothes and as headpieces,” she added.
Although the brand is currently only sold in Saudi Arabia, the company has signed a contract to start supplying to Bahrain.
“Because of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic we have noticed that people are more interested in local brands and designers, which is enabling new designers to emerge.
“So, during the lockdown, we focused on our made-in-Saudi line and once everything was open, we were ready with production,” Zahid said.
She also revealed that the brand was collaborating with fashion designer Nasiba Hafiz. Mine Bags products are available on Instagram at @mineofficially.


Middle East Fashion Week announces dates for inaugural edition

The event is set to take place at Atlantis The Palm in Dubai. Instagram/@middleeast.fashionweek
The event is set to take place at Atlantis The Palm in Dubai. Instagram/@middleeast.fashionweek
Updated 17 sec ago

Middle East Fashion Week announces dates for inaugural edition

The event is set to take place at Atlantis The Palm in Dubai. Instagram/@middleeast.fashionweek

DUBAI: There’s a new fashion week in the region to look forward to. Middle East Fashion Week has announced its inaugural edition in a statement today. The six-day event is scheduled to take place at Dubai’s Atlantis The Palm from May 14-19. 

Unlike the traditional fashion week format we’ve all become accustomed to, Middle East Fashion Week is adopting a unique schedule, with a three-day sustainable fashion forum featuring high-profile international speakers, followed by three days of in-person fashion shows from international and regional designers, a gala dinner and a slew of other VIP events.

CEO of Middle East Fashion Council Simon J Lo Gatto, said in a statement: “Middle Eastern Fashion Week has been created as a platform to allow designers to come together with a unique opportunity to showcase in Dubai and to reach audiences not only across the GCC, but also the larger Indian subcontinent and Europe.”

He added: “Our goal is for the Middle East Fashion Week to become a biannual Fashion Week that acts as a reference point for designers from all corners of the world. Since inception in 2020, MEFC has positioned itself as the world’s first fashion council with sustainability as its core value and long-term objective. The platform was born from an inspiration to tackle climate change and pollution brought on as a direct result of the industry we love.”

The participating designers have yet to be revealed.


Beauty mogul Huda Kattan donates one million meals to new UAE campaign

The beauty mogul urged her followers on social media to donate to the campaign. File/Getty Images
The beauty mogul urged her followers on social media to donate to the campaign. File/Getty Images
Updated 18 April 2021

Beauty mogul Huda Kattan donates one million meals to new UAE campaign

The beauty mogul urged her followers on social media to donate to the campaign. File/Getty Images

DUBAI: Dubai-based beauty mogul Huda Kattan took to Instagram on Saturday to reveal she has taken part in a food drive campaign launched by the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum.

The 100 Million Meals mission was launched to provide food parcels to disadvantaged communities across 20 countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa in an effort to combat hunger and malnutrition, exacerbated by COVID-19. 

Kattan announced that she has donated one million meals to those less fortunate via her cosmetics company Huda Beauty.

“It’s hard to believe that in today’s world, in 2021, we’re still dealing with issues of malnutrition and that every ten seconds a child dies because of hunger. This initiative is so incredible and it’s just a reminder of how each and every single one of us has the power to make a change,” said Kattan in a video posted to her Instagram account.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Huda Kattan (@huda)

“I’m so proud to live in a country that prioritizes world hunger,” she said, urging her 2.2 million followers to donate to the charitable initiative.

The 100 Million Meals campaign is an expansion of the 10 Million Meals campaign, which was launched in 2020 to help those worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Within a week of its launch, the initiative has raised over $21,200, equivalent to providing more than 78 million meals, as massive donations continue to pour in from individuals and companies inside and outside the UAE.

Kattan is an avid humanitarian and often steps up to help those who need it most.

In June, her cosmetics brand, Huda Beauty, donated $500,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, a civil and human rights organization that provides legal assistance to low-income African Americans, during the height of the Black Lives Matters protests that swept through the US last year. 

Before that, the US-Iraqi beauty mogul pledged to donate $100,000 — to be split between 100 different freelance makeup artists providing them with $1000 each — in a bid to help people in the industry stay afloat financially during the pandemic.


Lebanon’s Zuhair Murad creates custom gown for iconic Egyptian actress Sherihan’s Ramadan comeback

Sherihan wore custom Zuhair Murad for her on-screen return. YouTube
Sherihan wore custom Zuhair Murad for her on-screen return. YouTube
Updated 14 April 2021

Lebanon’s Zuhair Murad creates custom gown for iconic Egyptian actress Sherihan’s Ramadan comeback

Sherihan wore custom Zuhair Murad for her on-screen return. YouTube

DUBAI: Iconic Egyptian actress Sherihan is back. After a 20-year-hiatus, the famed television star, who is beloved the world over for her “Fawazeer” series that traditionally aired during Ramadan, returned to our screens in an advertisement for Vodafone Egypt that marked the first day of the Holy Month.

In the ad, the trained singer and dancer wore a design by Lebanese couturier Zuhair Murad who created a bespoke look for the actress. 

Directed by Ahmed Shaker Khudai, the nostalgic, four-minute ad tells the story of Sherihan’s career, starting with her very first Ramadan fawazeer in 1985 –  a riddle show that started on Egyptian radio in the 1960s, which soon moved into television–  until her car accident in 1989, followed a years-long battle with cancer.

Murad took to Instagram to share his excitement over Sherihan’s on-screen return, writing: “After more than 20 years @sherihanofficial makes an impressive comeback with an ad for @vodafoneegypt that leaves a strong impression and takes the social media by storm,” adding “The star is wearing custom made @zuhairmuradofficial. The ad portrays her resilience in a journey that was filled with ups and downs.”


UK Model Mariah Idrissi gets charitable for a good cause this Ramadan

Mariah Idrissi took to social media to share the charity Help Yateem's latest campaign. Instagram
Mariah Idrissi took to social media to share the charity Help Yateem's latest campaign. Instagram
Updated 14 April 2021

UK Model Mariah Idrissi gets charitable for a good cause this Ramadan

Mariah Idrissi took to social media to share the charity Help Yateem's latest campaign. Instagram

DUBAI: This Ramadan, UK-based charity Help Yateem will be selling Ajwa dates harvested in Madinah with all profits going toward the charity, which raises funds for orphans and widows across the Middle East and Africa. Pakistani-Moroccan model Mariah Idrissi, who is a brand ambassador for the charity, took to her Instagram account this week to support the good cause.

“I’ve been working with @helpyateem for just over two years now and I’ve seen the amazing work they do for orphaned children across Africa and Yemen,” she wrote to her 92,4000 Instagram followers. “This Ramadan, they are selling Ajwa dates straight from Al-Madinah and 100% of the profit will go back into the charity. Please enjoy the dates and support the many children who need it this year,” she added.

It’s not the first time that the UK-born model has worked with the UK registered charity.

Back in March, Idrissi and the Help Yateem team flew to Kenya to visit the Al-Walidayn centre, a mosque, hospital and girl’s orphanage that Help Yateem helped fund via donations made through its website.

“Landed in Kenya safe and sound with the @helpyateem familia! (sic),” wrote the hijab-wearing model at the time. “Can’t wait to visit the sites that you helped to build and share with you the difference that you’ve made.”

The 28-year-old, who made headlines when she became the first hijab-wearing model to front a major fashion campaign for H&M in 2015, documented her trip to the African country on social media, sharing pictures and videos of herself visiting different parts of Kenya on Instagram.

Idrissi uploaded a smiling photo of herself with two little girls who are seemingly from the orphanage that Help Yateem helped build.

She captioned the picture: “Some of my new friends over at @alwalidayncentre. On my first day arriving at this center, I couldn’t believe how big it was. This place is more than an orphanage, it’s an entire complex that doesn’t just benefit the children but also the neighbors in surrounding villages. It has an orphanage, madrasa, mosque, school, hospital and youth center. This is the first of its kind in the entire country! Keep following the journey, there’s so much I have to share with you guys.”


Bella Hadid fronts Fendi’s latest collection

Bella Hadid graces the Fendi limited-edition capsule collection. Supplied
Bella Hadid graces the Fendi limited-edition capsule collection. Supplied
Updated 13 April 2021

Bella Hadid fronts Fendi’s latest collection

Bella Hadid graces the Fendi limited-edition capsule collection. Supplied

DUBAI: This week, British designer Kim Jones unveiled a limited-edition capsule for Rome-based brand Fendi and tapped part-Palestinian model Bella Hadid to front the campaign.

The 23-year-old is joined by fellow model Lila Moss in the lookbook photos. The catwalk stars are seen in elegant draped white satin gowns, form-fitting black dresses, crisp cotton shirting, ballerina slippers embossed with Karligraphy beaded monograms and knee-high satin boots that make up the capsule.

When it comes to the accessories, new iterations of the Baguette and Peekaboo handbags have been added to the line, which are either accented with pearls or boast prints influenced by the Bloomsbury Group — a 20th century group of English writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists —and their Sussex home, Charleston House. 

Bella Hadid graces the Fendi limited-edition capsule collection. Supplied

Inspired by the legacy of the influential literary cohort, the Bloomsbury Group and Virginia Woolf’s novel “Orlando,” the capsule will be exclusively available for only two weeks at select boutiques around the world starting on April 15.

The British designer was announced as the new artistic director of Fendi, seven months after the passing of the late Karl Lagerfeld, in September. He assumed his new role while remaining at the creative helm of Dior Men.

Jones presented his debut collection as artistic director of Fendi in January 2021 in Paris during Haute Couture Week.

Bella Hadid graces the Fendi limited-edition capsule collection. Supplied

For the Spring 2021 couture show, the designer invited the modeling world’s brightest stars to bring his clothes to life, including Dutch-Palestinian Bella Hadid.  

Hadid featured in the video-streamed show in a diaphanous cape. Moss also starred in the show, alongside her mother, iconic supermodel Kate Moss. For the presentation, Lila wore a beaded sheer gown over a cream bodysuit, while her 47-year-old mother was dressed in a silver maxi dress with capelet sleeves.

Hadid’s involvement with Fendi’s latest capsule collection comes just after she appeared in French maison Mugler’s fashion film, which debuted recently on the brand’s Instagram and YouTube accounts.

The short film showed Hadid, alongside other models Hunter Shafer and Irina Shayk, jumping and flipping their way down the runway in death-defying stunts.