As the world’s most-visited entertainment destination (even more popular than New York’s Times Square. No, really), The Dubai Mall is a pretty decent platform to show off your wares as a designer, which makes its new pop-up boutique so exciting.
Anyone who’s anyone in the fashion industry has a store hiding somewhere in The Dubai Mall’s vast 5,400,000 sqft enclave – so for local designers trying to assert themselves on the fashion landscape, there are few better places. Step in DESIGN 971, a platform dedicated to the region’s young designers.
Located in The Village section, DESIGN 971 is The Dubai Mall’s first pop-up concept store, showcasing everything from fashion to furniture on a bi-monthly basis, starting with six of our favourite rising stars.
The brands will be selling a curated selection of their designs over the next month. Here’s the lowdown on what you should be buying from each…
Riyadh-born, Dubai-based designer Ayah Tabari’s multi-cultural point of view is clearly realised in her super-bright, ethnic-inspired creations. We dare you to try on one of her pieces and not smile.
Look out for: the pom pom shorts, embroidered two-pieces and mirror-sprayed, boho clutches. Perfect with a little white off-the-shoulder dress.
Dubai and streetwear aren’t two words you often think of as being used together. Amongst Few, however, has set out to change that since its launch in 2013. Think motivational slogans, snapbacks and sweatpants – mostly for guys, but there are a few bits in there for us girls, too.
Look out for: The Whatever It Takes sweatshirt, quilted duffle bags with a compartment for your trainers and any of the baseball caps – we can see us wearing one with a bikini on the beach, no problem.
We’ve been fans of designer Reema Al Banna’s handiwork for a few years now and are loving seeing her collections go from strength to strength. Her graphic, ultra-modern pieces speak to city living and her jaunty motifs add a fun, irreverent spin.
Look out for: Beautifully-cut culottes, the perfect boardroom-to-bar dresses and her food-print skirts – inspired by those ubiquitous Instagram breakfast flat-lays that we’re all guilty of.
The brainchild of three sisters – Lamya, Shaima and Fatma Gargash – House of Fatam’s strength lies in its whimsical prints. A fearless use of colour (always welcome on these shores) and a dedication to super-feminine cuts means that the sisters are onto something.
Look out for: who can resist a cloud print on a blue sky backdrop? Dreamy.
Graduating from Dubai’s ESMOD Fashion Institute, Emirati-born designer Ali Al Usaimi launched Osaymi a mere four months ago. We can’t think of anything more Dubai than to see talent fast-tracked quite so expediently. Impressive.
Look out for: the very literal ‘I am the future’ sweatshirts. We like a top that works on many levels.
We must admit, Elena’s brand is pretty new on our radar. And what a treat it was to discover her! Founded in 2009, her philosophy of ‘it’s all about love’, poppy, exciting colour combinations and brilliant grasp of the cuts modern women want to wear mean we’ll be stocking up on her collections in a big way.
Look out for: embroidered fabrics from her native Uzbekistan, made modern with sleek cuts.
The six designers will be showcasing at DESIGN 971 until the end of February.