7 Middle Eastern Brands That Are Redefining Luxury In Fashion Industry

“Luxury to me is not about buying expensive things; it’s about living in a way where you appreciate things.” – Oscar de la Renta

When Oscar Wilde famously said,” let me be surrounded by luxury, I can do without the necessities!” He was pointing towards a human’s drive that goes beyond basic emotional and physiological needs – a search for prestige and satisfaction. Marketers to cater to this desire now probe their psychological makeup to develop products, brands and experiences focused on obtaining intangible values like self-respect, equality, sense of belonging, excitement, fun, or a sense of accomplishment; That is luxury!


To understand it better, buying a handbag is not an uncommon purchase but buying a Gucci handbag is another story. The appeal of luxury goods is undeniable—the leather is soft, the design is unique, the logo is flashy, and allure is heritage. When paired with the hefty price tag, it becomes all the more important. That’s what luxury brands do. They connect with customers at the value level, promising them something deeper and abstract.

While luxury brands have always lived amongst us, somehow the global media has considered western brands as the epitome of luxury, while it couldn’t be farther from the truth. To test this notion, there are certain segments of Middle Eastern and Arab labels that rose to the challenge, reclaiming their rich heritage and transforming the face of luxury and haute couture forever.

We will dedicate this article to some of the new labels that have recently gained fame and few timeless brands that have enjoyed exclusivity and glory for decades.

Jeux de Mains


Founded by Beirut-based graphics and art director turned fashion designer Salim Cherfane, who sees the world in pulsating colours.

In contrast to the common stereotype that people in the Middle East like solid colors and muted tones, Jeux de Mains creates bright, playful, and poppy clothes for men and women alike.

While you can witness the designer’s love for bold graphics, the silhouettes are clean and structured. Most importantly, with his designs, Salim wants to bring out the inner child and add a touch of colour to people’s lives! Wonder who’s the fan of his perspective and designs? It’s Beyonce, the queen herself.

Maya Eco


Co-founded by two powerful women, Yasmine and Muneera, Maya Eco is a Kuwait-based brand established in 2016. Although the products they sell are functional and practical, Maya Eco uses eco-friendly textiles, sustainable designs, and ethical trade practices. The goal is to go against the trend-crazy momentum and promote slow fashion that supports a local skilled community.

In a world that is obsessed with money, trends and pace, slowing down and giving back to the community is a luxury.

Along with their minimal, feminine, and beautiful approach to designs, they have positioned themselves as an environmentally-friendly brand that supports the same locally owned factory in Egypt since their launch to help sustain the lives of the local artisans and provide them with job opportunities. How empowering is that?



Established by Anwar Bougroug in 2017, bougroug is a contemporary genderless fashion, accessories, and fashion label influenced by Scandinavian-Moroccan culture.

Handmade in Morocco by skilled and committed artisans and craftspeople using age-old techniques passed down to them for generations. Anwar’s collection aims to focus on exquisite quality and timeless designs that can stand the test of time.

At the same time, the brand strives to push forward conversations around sustainability, gender equality, and sexuality through its product and brand positioning strategy.

May Balacci


Launched in 2016 by luxury bespoke designer May Balacci who embodies a unique blend of British and Arab heritage and cultural sensibilities. Her label is redefining the Middle-Eastern fashion industry by combining British fabrics with elegant Arabian silhouettes.

May Balacci aspires to position her brand as a solution to thousands of multicultural millennial women who are struggling to find the perfect clothing that both suited the western climate and lifestyle while still maintaining their inherent Arab identity.

Nathalie Trad


Launched in 2013 by the Lebanese designer Nathalie Trad, the story of paving her road to success is sort of a classic in the region.

Known for redefining the boundaries of traditional aesthetics by deconstructing and radically transforming them into clutches-cum- art-sculptures. Nathalie Trad is famous for her ability to seamlessly incorporate chiselled contours, geometric shapes, and sharply contrasting colour, texture, and pattern into a cohesive fashion accessory.

However, modern and cutting-edge the designs might get, this contemporary brand looks for inspiration and space for innovation into the heritage monument of Middle-Eastern culture.

This eponymous clutch label over the years has gained love and international claim. Celebrities like Nicole ­Kidman, Olivia Palermo, and Sienna Miller among others have proudly lauded and sported the clutches many times.



Bougu­essa is a Dubai-based luxury, ready-to-wear brand spearheaded by Faiza Bougu­essa. While the rest of the world thinks Middle Eastern fashion is all about traditional abayas and kaftans, Bouguessa was one of the first brands that took up the challenge to put forward a different perspective in front of the world, and they did it by reinventing the iconic abayas.

Although the fit is modern and the tailoring of the products is impeccable, one can witness the inherent grace that the traditional abayas emulate.

In fact, their designs are so compelling that Melissa McCarthy, Sophia Bush, and even Beyoncé is a fan.

Bil Arabi


Unlike the other fashion labels on this list, Bil Arabi was established in 2006 by artist, photographer, and designer, Nadine Kanso. With her jewellery line, she aspires to show the true identity of the contemporary Arab.

This homegrown brand, creates every piece in the UAE, aiming to express appreciation and create awareness about the elegant art of Arabic calligraphy.

Every piece they create celebrates the shape of the alphabet, and poetry inherent to the Arabic language. Bil Arabi aspires to be more than a jewellery label, it wishes to be a brand of self-expression.

Their work is so exquisite and unique that from regional celebrities to supermodels like Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner, everyone wishes to own a piece.


In recent years, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and UAE have emerged as the hotbed of experimentative and innovative fashion hubs. From couture to streetwear, the emerging designers have used fashion as an art of self-expression, promoting social causes, creating political statements, and pushing a unique perspective. However, unlike their western counterparts, they have remained attached to their roots, proudly showcasing their heritage while making international waves. Their brands are not just about premium products and the essence of luxury, they are voices.

If you are an emerging brand in the search of their unique identity or an established regional brand looking to rebrand, it’s time to get in touch with Vowels.

Contact Us

Check out our work at Vowels

We are always available at hello@vowels.ae.

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Also read – Brand Strategy – What It Is? Why Is It Important? Where It Can Take You?

How F&B Brands Can Develop A ‘Signature’ Brand Identity?


Foodies have been around forever since the age of fire to microwave, but today the competition in the food industry has reached newer heights. With so many restaurants and F & B brands competing to establish a premium brand and snatch the number one spot, what can you do to stand out?

For anyone working in the food business – launching your brand by creating the buzz around “insta-worthy” food items, pretty pictures, and tv shows-inspired interior may help jumpstart the business but novelty eventually wears off and people move on. To create a sustainable relationship with your customers it is important to go beyond the quality and services and craft exquisite brand experiences that stay with them and help forge an emotional or even better gastronomic connection.

While the nuances of food branding aren’t obvious and are a bit tricky to pin down, in the article, we will discuss ways to make the right impression and eventually create a signature brand identity.

1.    Concept


For an F & B brand, a concept is defined by its culinary style, prices, interior design, service, seating, and ambiance. So, are you a premium dining restaurant, pop-up bar, pub, fast-casual, food truck or online order only spot? Your concept basically dictates how your product and services work.

Choosing a unique and appealing concept will make your brand stand out and give prospective customers an easy way to find your business with unique keyword combinations. In this digital age of highly targeted campaigns and keywords, your customers are likely to define their food preferences in their searches using the key phrase “vegan chocolate ice cream” instead of generic “ice cream.” Your concept has the potential to become your brand’s USP or Signature. Apart from everything, the concept will act as a primary tool for branding and work efficiently with word-of-mouth strategy, ideal to find your perfect set of audience.

2.    Brand’s Philosophy and Vision


Your brand’s vision and philosophy lay the foundation of your values that your eatery hopes to achieve. A mission statement will allow your brand to connect with your customers, staff, and stakeholders. Your philosophy will also act as the element that will differentiate you from your competition. More often than not, brands with undefined mission and vision tend to struggle to find their brand identity and later the position in the market. Work on your mission statement, you can use it as a guide for the rest of your decisions regarding the visual elements of your brand. 

3. Work On Logo & Tagline


You have heard it a million times that logos are the face of the brand but when it comes to food brands, it becomes the centerpiece of your entire branding strategy. Still not convinced? Suppose you are driving in the city, you will recognize the golden arches on a bright red background of McDonald’s’ in the sea of brands.

Also according to colour theory, warm colours like red, orange, and yellow work best for food branding. Green on the other hand is associated with natural and organic brands. And blue is recommended to be avoided as it has the least effect on the appetite.

While the logo visually represents your brand, the tagline on the other hand sums up the defining feature of your brand in line and is meant to strike a chord with your audience.

4. Tell Your Story


Everyone loves a good story. Storytelling is critical, it connects people and helps form new connections. So, if you are still contemplating or haven’t figured out how to tell your brand’s story well, you’re missing out on the huge revenue-boosting potential of your content marketing strategy.

How does it work with F&B brands?

The food and beverage marketplace is crowded with brands fighting for the attention of tech-savvy and socially connected customers, delivering great taste and optimal nutrition is no longer enough. To win a share of your consumer hearts and wallets, your brand must deliver an experience driven by emotions – design and content are the perfect channels to wield a story’s true magic.

5.    Create A Website


The world is amid a pandemic, social media channels and online deliveries are the saving grace of the food and beverage industry. With contactless delivery and social distancing norms in place, your prospective guests and loyal customers might want to check out your website for your product range, menu, opening hours, or to simply learn more about your brand.

For an industry as dependent on visuals as f&b, we recommend you invest in a high-quality website and photoshoots, it will help you set the tone, voice, and aesthetics for your brand. While you are at it, keeping an active Instagram is highly recommended as a medium to express your aesthetics, new additions, and essence of your brand through images and videos. Being consistent with socials is worth it.

6. Invest In Visual Identity


The term visual identity imposes a huge selection of elements such as logo, typography, colours, shapes, images, etc. Though each element is crucial in design, when it comes to food branding, the packaging is the cohesive effect powerful enough to attract the customers.

While food is a sensory experience, your customers first experience your product through their eyes, not their taste buds, so the way you house your food or drink matters a lot. While it is easy to get swayed by the creative freedom, it is important to ask yourself: who is my customer? Will my customers have expendable income or are they on a strict budget? Are they eco-conscious or experimental? It is essential to understand your product and the people who will be purchasing your products, packaging them accordingly will increase the sales.

While we are at it, packaging also helps customers distinguish your product from the zillions of other options crowding shelves. Distinguishing yourself from your competitors is a great way to pave the way to signature brand identity.



By this time, you’ve settled on the major components of your brand, after they are made it’s important to make sure they make sense together. Though experimentation is a strong suit of the food industry, it is wise to tread delicately as it might miss the mark and leave your audience confused. When you aim to create a signature brand identity, take your time, and put thought into it, a great effort is always appreciated consciously and subconsciously by patrons and loyal customers.

If you wish to rebrand your own business whether it is a logo design, a website design, refreshed messaging, or a complete brand makeover, it’s time you get in touch with professional branding agencies like Vowels to make your vision come true. We specialize in brand consultancy, strategy, brand guidelines, CI manual, brand presentation, and corporate branding.

Extended across multiple countries like the Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, and Bahrain, we believe in providing exclusive solutions to all your brand problems.

Also read – Brand Storytelling is Your Sales Team Head

Contact Us

Check out our work at Vowels

We are always available at hello@vowels.ae.

Want to get in touch over a call?

(+91) 97858 40004