Throw your support behind regional designers this season with the help of the newest activation in the region.
This month, Bloomingdale’s Middle East unveils a Love Local initiative with 14 homegrown designers to highlight the diverse talent and to get you a little more familiar with their collections.
Brands to look out for include KAGE from the Palestinian Emirati designer Basma Abu Ghazale, minimalist abaya brand Serrb by Emirati sisters Budoor, Noor and Sarah Al Khaja, as well as celebrity love handbag brand Okhtein brought to you by Egyptian sisters Aya and Mounaz Abdelraouf.
Dubai-based designer Faiza Bougessa founded her brand Bougessa in 2014 and has since taken it global. Below, EW chats with the designer about the growth of her brand, her future ambitions and what she would recommend up and coming designers.
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How has Bouguessa evolved since you launched it in 2014?
Bouguessa has evolved pretty consistently I would say over the years, slowly trying to find its place in the local and international market. Over the past few months, we took a big decision at Bouguessa and decided to move towards a more sustainable approach in the way we produce our clothes and the way we run our business because I feel it is important for us to make the best choices we can as a brand.
Has anything about your journey as a designer surprised you?
I would say that initially, I was surprised by the quantity of work it takes to build a brand and the way designers who own their brands have to wear so many hats.
Your brand has a global following, was that always your ambition?
When I launched my brand, I had the ambition to grow within the Middle East, but when we were noticed by Vogue Italia for their Vogue Talent program early on, my vision changed and I thought I should aim to grow beyond my region.
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How have you seen the fashion scene evolve in Dubai?
I am happy to see that more and more cool brands are appearing and what is great is that each one has their own individual voice.
Would you ever consider yourself a mentor for young designers?
I am already working as a business coach for a few clients who are launching their brand or have recently launched their brand. I try to guide them in finding their path and to define a clear vision and then mapping out what they need to do to achieve their goals.
What do you hope to do at Bouguessa that you haven’t done yet?
Too many things, I am planning to launch bags next, then shoes and then maybe menswear as so many friends of mine have asked for this.
What are the highlights of your Fall 2020 collection?
I would say the way it highlights the profile of women who made a difference in their time, but also women of today who make a difference every day in their life and sometimes forget how much they achieve. But also, the richness of the colours and cuts, this is my favourite collection to date because it flatters every woman I’ve seen wearing it.
Why did you decide to showcase at Bloomingdale’s Love Local pop-up?
I love Bloomingdale’s, it is a beautiful store that caters to the diverse clientele of the region. Everyone can find something for themselves at the store.
The Bloomingdale’s pop-up will take place between 1-28 October at The Dubai Mall and 360 Mall in Kuwait.
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