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10 Under The Radar Middle Eastern Designers You Need To Pay Attention To

Meet the new frontrunners of fashion

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1. Amir Hassan of Twelvepieces

A concept like no other, Twelvepieces only guessed it 12 pieces. Each capsule collection only has 12 looks to choose from so the likelihood of somebody else rocking the same sweatshirt you have is very slim. Founded by Amir Hassan in January 2017, the streetwear brand combines beautiful, graphic Arabic calligraphy with modern, minimalist design. For the debut collection "The Spring", Hassan was inspired by the Arab Spring rebellion in the Middle East. Although Hassan is based in Denmark, his Egyptian roots are evident throughout his work and makes us look forward to what else he has in store.

2. Arwa al Banawi

Saudi Arabian designer Arwa Al Banawi is helping women step up their suit game, one embroidered jacket at a time. Launching her initial collection in 2015, Al Banawi started with ready-to-wear suits and shirts but has since added dresses and more. Hailing from Saudi Arabia the womenswear designer started out as a banker who took fashion design courses from the London College of Fashion before pursuing her calling, luckily for us! Since her debut she’s shown significant growth and has been garnering well-deserved attention in the region.    

3. Faiza Bouguessa of Bouguessa

Clean lines meet minimalist refinement with a feminine touch is what you get with designer Faiza Bouguessa’s Bouguessa brand. Since its launch, the luxury ready-to-wear brand has been noticed by the likes of Beyonce, Farida Khelfa and Saudi princess Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz. French-Algerian Bouguessa is self-taught though she has an eye for structure inspired by architecture and art that she implements seamlessly within her work. Produced in-house in Dubai, the stunning pieces, including abayas, prove that effortless and modest are the way to go.

4. Zayan Ghandour of Zayan The Label

Straight outta Lebanon, Zayan Ghandour is a great representation of the design talent the Middle East has to offer. Ghandour started out with a limited edition t-shirt line that paved the way for a life in the fashion industry. Not only does she have a successful label on her hands but she’s also the co-founder of local multi-brand concept boutique, s*uce for which she is also the Creative Director and head buyer. After its debut at Paris Fashion Week in 2011, Zayan the Label opened up in Dubai where the fashion forward and eye-catching feminine designs can be found.

5. Andraya Farrag of Bedouin

Inspired by nomadic tribes of the desert and the woman on the go, designer Andraya Farrag created her contemporary fashion brand Bedouin in 2014 at the ripe old age of 25. Within the span of the past 3 years the brand has made its way into notable department stores such as Selfridges and Browns. Spending her time between London and Dubai, the Central Saint Martins graduate designs for the global woman who loves nuanced print, luxe detailing with a touch of minimalism. Bedouin has shown at Fashion Forward Dubai but seeing the way Farrag has developed it over the past few years, the next step is world domination.

6. Aya and Mounaz Abdelraouf of Okhtein

Handbag designer siblings Aya and Mounaz Abdelraouf from Cairo, Egypt are taking over the accessory market with their stunning work. Okhtein translates to “sisters” in Arabic and is a labor of love from the Mounaz girls who felt a gap in the luxury handbag market within Egypt. The duo launched their brand in 2013 and have been exhibiting their work in galleries in Egypt and Paris ever since. Not only does Okhtein create gorgeous handmade bags with cultural relevance, they also combine philanthropy with style as they provide work opportunities to local skilled female workers, a mission we can get behind!

7. Hessa Falasi

Established in 2011, Hessa Falasi came on the scene and cemented her brand as a Dubai staple. The Emirati designer takes inspiration from Arabic culture while giving it a modern twist through her distinct cut and construction. It’s modern meets modest fashion that is the future of style in the Middle East as many women want contemporary garments that align with their faith. Bringing a new feel to the traditional abaya, Falasi updates it with fringe, new tones and tasteful embroidery that anybody can rock with confidence.

8. Maram Aboul Enein of MARAM

Representing high-end eveningwear, Egyptian designer Maram Aboul Enein is not playing around when it comes to craftsmanship and unconventional design. Having studied at Parsons Paris, Enein knows a thing or two about construction though it’s her ability to elevate contemporary simplicity that makes her one to watch. Launched in 2014, MARAM offers well constructed garments that are inspired by mythical and theoretical worlds. Translating to “aspiration” from old-Arabic, MARAM provides fashionistas with the refined uniqueness they've been searching for.

9. Palestyle

A brand with an ethical mission, Palestyle gives refugee women the chance to provide for themselves and their families while creating striking embroidery. It started after founder Zeina Abou Chaaban visited refugee camps in Lebanon in 2009 as a chance to help women in poverty. The luxury handbags are made in Italian workshops that are then adorned with the unique handmade embroidery to create pieces that are not just striking but helpful to others. Palestyle garments have been on display at the British Museum of London and has garnered recognition from MIT and Harvard for their work towards female empowerment.

10. Hussein Bazaza

Lebanese designer Hussein Bazaza brings you femininity with an edge with his eponymous line. Ever since his debut collection in 2012, Bazaza has been on an upward trajectory as he garners the attention of the region. Along with a line of local craftsmen, Bazaza creates ready-to-wear ensembles that infuse classical whimsy with modern design for the woman with a style compass all of her own. From his rich embroidery to his delicate use of sequins, this designer knows how to accentuate a woman's figure to give her the feminine allure she desires.

Are there any Middle Eastern designers you love that didn't make the list? Comment and let us know below!

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