These five labels will elevate your off-duty dressing into new realms.
The lowdown: A new name on the design circuit, this Oman-based brand is making waves in the streetwear industry thanks to a simple yet effective formula of unisex sweaters and T-shirts splashed with motifs and conversation-starting Arabic text.
As the name suggests, through each piece of clothing they create, be it a slogan sweatshirt or T-shirt, the creative forces behind the company are keen to challenge society’s views of what is considered to be ‘character flaws’. The brand has also collaborated with local Omani artist Widad AlHarthy on a lion illustration (which can be seen on tees and an iron-on patch) with the hope to encourage and support individuality.
The lowdown: It was only after completing his studies in advertising, business, and international relations that Bunyamin Aydin realised his dream of becoming a designer. The young talent soon launched his own menswear label Les Benjamins in 2011, based out of an atelier in Istanbul.
After slowly introducing unisex pieces and having a strong female force following the fashion label, Bunyamin’s debut women’s collection was finally revealed during his menswear showcase at Paris Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 2018 – and it is well worth the wait.
Each season his sophisticated spin on urbanwear draws on the rich cultures, tribes, traditions and rituals of a different part of the world. Previous seasons saw him look to the East for inspiration: “I love unfolding stories from the East that are untold and redefining culture by moving it forward. It’s like giving an update on culture,” Bunyamin explains.
For Spring/Summer 2018, the Turkish designer looked to Australia’s Aboriginal heritage through painted techniques, thread embroidery and print collages mixed with traditional symbols.
In addition to selling online, his line is now available at boutiques across the world, including the UAE where you can find his creations at Bloomingdale’s Dubai, Harvey Nichols Dubai and Robinsons department store.
The lowdown: Founded by college friends Abdallah Bagalb, Ahmad Al-Wohaibi, and Maan Al-Qurashi back in 2015, 2D2C2M (an abbreviation for Too Dark To See Tomorrow) is a Riyadh-based street label billing itself as “unisex streetwear”. So far the boys behind the brand have released just two (yet highly successful) collections, the first “The Resurrection” and most recently a second line titled “Dark By Popular Demand / 1st Delivery”.
To ring in the latest range, the designers opened a pop-up shop at a concept store in Saudi Arabia followed by an interactive installation at General.3am in Dubai Design District. The casual collection is mostly monochrome and features graphic tees, boxy worker jackets, screen-printed hoodies, tube socks and caps.
The lowdown: The brainchild of Canadian-Iraqi designer, Hind Adib, this up-and-coming streetwear brand needs to be on your radar. A rising star in the regional fashion scene, her UAE-based line offers a variety of casual staples that includes army vests, oversized jackets and overalls.
“To me, fashion is a whole experience. The visuals, the sound, the colours and the way it feels on you are what make it special,” says Hind.
The young designer also customises vintage jean jackets (which have been known to sell out) emblazoned with empowering feel-good messages such as ‘Who’s been making you so happy? Myself!’ and ‘I’ve got my own back’. Hind has even created bespoke hand-painted pieces via a number of collaborations with leading retail destinations in the region – most notably Gap and Bloomingdale’s Dubai.
The label similarly caters to men with unisex pieces – American rapper G-Eazy rocked a denim piece recently.
The lowdown: Launched earlier this year, LOCAL UAE is a brand new name on the block selling a curated selection of urban streetwear items for both women and men online. The easy everyday pieces consist of printed hoodies, jackets, tank tops, T-shirt dresses and more.
Having lived in Dubai for over 14 years, founders Abdul Qadir Kassam and Sumaiya Kassam are conscious to only sell items made in the UAE with the aim of supporting local craftsmanship and products.
The entire production process is handled locally, from the original concept down to the graphic designing and all sewing and manufacturing. With a focus on the latest urban streetwear by emerging talent in the region, the site ships across the MENA region, and is now making your online shopping experience even easier with their convenient cash on delivery service for addresses across the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
Top image: Local UAE
Words: Annah Fairservice