Titled “Eastwave,” a new virtual pop-up supporting 16 established and emerging designers from the Middle East and North African regions launches today. Hosted by Maison Orient (founded by Ayse Arel), and the brainchild of Christian Daccache (Bureau des Créateurs, Beirut), Dana Mortada (Fashion Collective, Los Angeles), and Judy Daghestani (LFHM, Dubai), its curated selection of brands features bespoke and artisanal craft from the Arab world spanning ready-to-wear and jewelry. Global customers will be served via free international shipping. “Eastwave Concept was created during these tough times, to support and help our regional talents in reaching global audiences and customers,” states Daccache. Via the virtual pop-up, he expresses that along with collaborators it aims to grow and export the talents regionally and globally. Of their own personal approaches that are ever-more revolving around storytelling, designers comment, “I consider my jewelry as one medium for communicating what it means to be young, Arab, and proud,” considers Dubai-based, fine jewelry designer Bil Arabi designer Nadine Kanso. Meanwhile Yassmin Saleh, shares of her eponymous label’s ethos, “The love for storytelling, the need to raise awareness on taboo subjects in the Arab world, the art of craftsmanship, and the conscious for ethical garments.”
Discover all the brands sold through the Eastwave pop-up and their founders in the gallery below.
Amany Shaker. Ammanii
Carolina Chammas. Aura
Dima and Tania Nawbar. L'Atelier Nawbar.
Lama Riachi. BLSSD
Jeux de Mains
Jeux de Mains
Salim Cherfane. Jeux de Mains
Nadine Kanso. Bil Arabi
Mariam Yeya. Mrs Keepa
Founded in 2017 by Egyptian designer Leila Abo Tira, Aliel goes by the slogan “creative possessions expressed in art.” While attention to detail and fine finish are a constant of the Aliel brand, there is no standard signature in the designs, each collection is different and unique.
Ammanii Jewelry, Egypt-US
Raised with a passion and eye for jewelry design, CEO and chief designer Amany Shaker, who is of Egyptian heritage, has always been fascinated by the ancient Egyptian civilization. “Each design is an ambassador of peace to tell an empowering story of connection and hope,” she says.
Aura Headpieces, Lebanon
Founded by Carolina Chammas in 2012, Aura Headpieces revolves around a fusion of cultures. “If you look at important women in history, most of them wore jewelry on their head,” says Chammas.
Bil Arabi, UAE
As a noted photographer and award-winning high jewelry designer, Beirut-born and Dubai-dwelling Nadine Kanso is one of contemporary Arabia’s creative ambassadors. Be it her calligraphy-inspired precious adornments or gritty artworks depicting Middle Eastern life today, her message remains constant.
BLSSD is a fashion-centered design practice based in Dubai and Beirut. A daring, innovative spirit and fresh, experimental style lies at the heart of its creative approach. As a trans-seasonal, fashion-purpose label that supports individuals touched by cancer, it embraces streetwear’s take on originality and combines it with a sense of luxury.
Jessica K, Lebanon
A contemporary womenswear label, founded by Lebanese designer Jessica Khoueiri Achkar, Jessica K was created in 2010 with women of today in mind, wherever they may be. The label boasts a collection of confident feminine and refined silhouettes; urban elegance with a touch of rock n’ roll.
Jeux de Mains, Lebanon
Salim Cherfane sees the world in color. He collages bold hues, loud patterns, and clean cuts, creating versatile ready-to-wear compositions that are graphic and fun. Design makes him happy and he would like to pay that forward by creating pieces that make people shine. “Jeux de Mains” is his first fashion label.
L’Atelier Nawbar, Lebanon
All that glittered was gold for Dima and her younger sister Tania, playing in their father’s jewelry shop in London, crisscrossing between two continents. Their lineage of master jewelers dates back to 1891, when their great-great-grandfather opened the first boutique in Beirut’s famed gold ‘souk.’ The sisters are now the fourth generation of Nawbar jewelers, reinventing history and taking cues from their unique personal stories.
Mrs Keepa, UAE
Mrs. Keepa is a ready-to-wear brand launched in 2016 by Egyptian-French designer Mariam Yeya. It has since been captivating a growing audience with its contemporary and exaggerated silhouettes. The brand is known for its avant-garde approach inspired by vintage.
Born and based in Dubai, the Nemozena story has roots in the heart of Italy. From first sketch to final stitch, garments are designed and produced entirely in Milan from the finest fabrics. Through fine construction, transformable designs offer versatility while the newly launched Travel Edit is made for the woman on-the-go.
Rula Galayini, UAE
Rula Galayini is a reflection of the woman who wears it: strong, edgy, and sensual; a power-bag and a contemporary statement piece. Her collections are designed for the everyday, and tailored for the surprises that one never expects. With its playful metal work, buttery leathers, streamlined geometric designs and contrasting colors, her bags are as distinct and remarkable as the women who carry them.
Talar Nina, UAE
Talar Nina specializes in women’s ready-to-wear pieces using unique embroidered and woven textiles that have been crafted to create a garment that can transition from day to night over years to come. The Armenian designer also works philanthropically with a percentage of profits donated to the ‘Moving Forward’ Center for children in Armenia’s second largest city of Gyumri, Along with making sure her clothes are created by Armenians, from Yerevan to Beirut.
Roni Helou, Lebanon
A luxury ready-to-wear designer based in Beirut, Roni Helou was born in Lebanon in 1992. In 2016, and upon his graduation from Creative Space Beirut- a free, progressive fashion school that offers design education- Roni showcased his collections at Fashion Forward Dubai for two seasons with Starch Foundation. Today the brand is all about sustainability, free education, and animal rights.
Sara Melki, Lebanon
Gypsy in her soul, Sara Melki enjoys style mixing. She is known for her combinations of ethnic influences, refined materials, and graphic cuts. Her elaborate outfits, always enhanced by beautiful accessories and “couture” details, create smart yet very modern looks.
Yassmin Saleh, Lebanon
Yassmin Saleh offers luxury ready -to-wear for women who appreciate a good discussion behind a piece of clothing. Each season, a subtle narrative that tackles a modern-day socio-psychological phenomenon is translated into a collection of garments that appeal to women who value slow-fashion, high-quality sourced clothing, and craftsmanship.
Zaid by Zaid Farouki, UAE
Zaid Farouki is a creator by nature. Since all of his wearable art dresses are hand painted by himself, they are first and foremost pieces of wearable art. A spinoff of his creative house, Zaid Farouki, Zaid by Zaid Farouki is a contemporary label which is bold and unconventional and representative of a new, globalized world.