From vibrant costume jewels, feminine finds and the skirt of the moment, Emirates Woman discovers the UAE’s latest homegrown fashion businesses that we can’t get enough of, and neither will you …
“It’s simple, I love wearing skirts,” says Khyara Ranaweera, a 21-year-old PR executive and the brains behind online store karaskirts.com, which is dedicated to, you guessed it, skirts. “I found it difficult to find midi skirts that suited my petite frame and also didn’t cost the earth.” Enter Kara Skirts, which offers a personal service for skirt-loving ladies.
“I’ll meet with my customer, will find out what they’re after and measure them to ensure I find the perfect skirt for them,” says the former pageant beauty queen. After the initial consultation, which can also be done via email, Khyara sends the design off to a local tailor who will make the piece in less than seven days. The dirndl styles come in frothy tulle and matte satin and in a range of colours. Khyara recommends you wear your chosen design with “a fitted top, a statement necklace and flirty attitude”.
Skirt Kara Skirts | Top Topshop | Shoes Christian Louboutin | Earrings Topshop
OUT OF THE CLOSET
UAE-born Carla Douss spotted a gap in the market for online fashion retailers selling unique, whimsical clothes from a broad range of designers. “My aim is to bring something different to the Middle East, I’m introducing brands that are not even here yet, such as Alice McCall and Bec and Bridge, unexpected designers with a cool edge,” says Carla.
With a degree in business and accounting you may find it surprising that the 23-year-old Egyptian is so keen on fashion, but it seems she’s always been enjoying it on the sidelines. She admits: “I’ve always liked to style people, you would always find me dressing my friends and family up.”
For the moment, Carla, who’s an auditor in her day job, plans to keep it exclusive to the Middle East and almost exclusive to the customer, as Carla’s Closet will only stock two or three of each piece “so you’re not caught out wearing the same dress as you friend”. The online store is pretty much an extension of the founders wardrobe, hence the apt name. “My sisters are always borrowing from my closet, and when people ask where their look is from they would simply say ‘Carla’s closet’,” says the youngest of three siblings.
You will find the new fashion online haven at carlas-closet.com.
Dress Alice McCall at carlas-closet.com | Wedges Santoni | Earrings Oscar de la Renta at Boutique 1
ACCESSORIES ALL AREAS
“The Pretty Little Things (PLT) girl is young, fun and likes to completely change up her look come sunset,” says Kayleigh Foster, the founder of the brand that screams playful, bold and different. “It’s the ultimate holiday shop for expats – there’s bindis for the Blue Marlin girls, quirky sunglasses for the retro lover and plenty of neck bling for instant glam,” continues the full-time PA, who launched the idea of PLT by posting her inspirations through an Instagram account in her spare time.
Unlike other brands, Kayleigh offers a personal service by encouraging customers to email her pictures of an outfit that needs accessorising and she’ll find the perfect match. She says: “My trick is to keep things simple by changing up accessories, the perfect way to brighten up a look.”
Her vision is to launch a website in the near future, but for now the 28-year-old Brit sells solely at her stall at the popular Ripe Market in Safa Park every Friday morning.
Necklace, sunglasses and clutch bag all Pretty Little Things | Dress Kenzo at Boutique 1 | Shoes Zara
Photographer Vikram Gawde | Style Editor Jade Sprowson | Fashion Assistant Carmel Gill | Hair by Asmaa at The Doll House (04) 3854484 | Make-up by Sephora | Available at sephora-me.com