In the fashion world, one’s luck can change on a dime. From toiling in obscurity to worldwide fame, sometimes a designer’s leap into the public eye can be rapid and unexpected. For those who pride themselves on staying “in the know”, this list of five hot new labels will groom you for the moment when they inevitably become household names. While radically different in their design approach, they all offer shoppers something new and exciting and have been picked up by regional high-end boutiques like Per Lei Couture, D’NA, Boutique 1, and Maison Bo-M.
We asked five of the region’s most important buyers to explain their newfound obsession with these brands. Click through the gallery to find out more.
Katie Ermilio’s design pedigree descends from a grandmother who was Grace Kelly’s personal clothier. Elegant, feminine, and youthful styles are abundant in Ermilio’s collections, and Aysha Alsuwaidi, owner of Per Lei Couture boutique in Doha, explains their place in the Middle Eastern wardrobe, stating, “The Middle Eastern woman is looking for modern and classy pieces that remain simple, but elegant, and Katie is delivering that in her collections.”
Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz seeks to highlight new, emerging talent in her Riyadh boutique, D’NA, and found the poster child for luxurious casual sportswear in Baja East. “They describe their ideal woman as someone between 20 and 70, which I find incredibly refreshing for an industry fixated on youth,” she shares.
New Italian label Kittima exemplifies all that is great about luxury Italian-born design: extremely high-quality materials, eye-popping details, and glamorous silhouettes. Layla Alsheri, Buying Director of Maison B0-M in Saudi Arabia, gushes about Kittima, saying, “We fell in love with the contemporary design and the high-end Italian craftsmanship. It’s elegant, stylish, and innovative!”
Kéji by Katie Green
Basics are boring, but contemporary versions of basics are anything but. Kéji by Katie Green offers a unique twist on trusty classics, like denim pinafore jumpers and denim separates. “The strong denim pieces from her first collection are super versatile, wearable, and make a strong statement,” shares Aljwhara Mahdi, the owner of Boutique N in Kuwait.“They’re staple pieces that you can wear for years and are definitely great investment pieces to have.”
After years of running Merchant Archive, a vintage clothing boutique in the UK, founder Sophie Merchant finally decided to set up her own brand, which Dubai’s Boutique 1 is stocking exclusively this season. Fashion and Buying Director Bridget Cosgrave says, “It’s perfectly appropriate for the Middle East, as it is demurely covered, but has great attitude. It plays on a new spirit of laid-back eveningwear dressing.”