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!

7-middle-eastern-brands-that-are-redefining-luxury-in-fashion-industry

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?

Bougroug

 

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

 

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.

Conclusion

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.

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

7 Impressive Rebrands of The Decade That Got It Right

 

2020 marked the end of a decade – ten wonderful, bizarre, tumultuous years that will go on to shape the future. Today, we exist more in the virtual world than we ever had. News, views, and reviews are the criteria of success. Good, bad, true, or fake, people zip through several opinions, ideologies on social media channels alone that marketers today have to adapt to this relentless reality.

7-Impressive-Rebrands-Of-The-Decade-That-Got-It-Right

So, when brands decide to revamp their image through a rebranding exercise to be relevant and relatable, we understand. From the perspective of non-designers, rebranding would be just about a new logo or changing around the colour scheme; whereas for the designers, it is a strategic, insightful process that has the potential to change the brand persona and eventually the overall public opinion.

Personally, rebranding is a sign of hope and growth. It marks an evolution of the company in the right direction. It happens when a company grows out of its box and is ready to embark on a journey that allows it to relate with the new generations and satisfy the older fans who grew up with it. When done right, a rebrand can inspire new audiences, create positive conversations and increase sales. However, when a rebrand misses the mark it can do more harm than good.

Over the past decade, we all have seen a lot of rebrands. Sometimes it’s in the form of a small refresh like tweaking the logo. Other times it was a major overhaul where a company’s entire identity is redefined. In this article, we will talk about some of the successful rebrandings and what you can learn from them.

Burger King

 
Burger-King

In 20 years, Burger King has gone through its first rebrand. It is not done on a mere whim, Burger King has recently dialed up on quality and taste. Along with that, they have cut down on artificial preservatives and taken a pledge to be more environmentally sustainable.

The new visual identity captures the quintessential values of Burger King: big, bold, mouthwatering, playfully irreverent, and proudly true.

For the logo, they have taken a modern, minimalist approach but still pays homage to the brand heritage by sticking to the trademark vintage icon. For colour and typography, they have gone unapologetically rich and playfully bold.

This is reflected throughout their restaurants, packaging, menu design, crew uniform, decor, and the entire digital media channels.

Uber

 
Uber

Uber is a global and a local brand but in 2017 Uber found itself apologizing after several scandals that affected both its customers and employees. They changed leadership and brought in the new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, and tried to change their image of the macho, boy band, tech startup to a global mobility platform.

Apart from the internal culture, Uber wanted to create a brand experience and their redesign included logo, custom typeface, photography, illustration, the layout of advertising, and promotional materials.

This clean, simple yet global approach, helped Uber break away from their former CEO and toxic culture, pushing the company forward into a new era with a promise to be better and responsible.

Air Arabia

 
Air-Arabia

Air Arabia is the Middle East and North Africa’s first and largest low-cost carrier airline, launched in 2003. From serving just five routes with two aircraft in earlier days, the airline has currently grown and covers over 155 routes from multiple hubs spread across the UAE, Morocco, and Egypt. After working for 15 years, in 2018, Air Arabia unveiled their new corporate brand identity.

Based on the concept of ‘Modern Nomad’, the new brand identity aspires to connect with young, adventurous travellers who are eager to explore new places. For the new logo, the airline has chosen a modern yet elegant look. In regards to the colour, they moved away from the traditional red and have gone with an elegant shade of pink.

This rebranding effort highlights Air Arabia’s ambition, aspiration to please the younger audience.

Burberry

 
Burberry

Burberry is a luxury brand, founded in England more than 150 years ago. Famous for popularizing trench coats and waterproof gabardines, at one point in time it was associated with being gang wear.

To break away from the rumour, Burberry took an active initiative of reinventing itself. Along with their iconic trenches, they glammed up their product design and introduced utility clothing with a sexy spin. To improve public opinion, they approached high-profile celebrities like positive images like Emma Watson, and Kate Moss.

After the rebrand, Burberry’s sales rose by 27%. A successful rebrand is sensitive to the history of the brand and never compromises with the heritage and integrity of the brand.

Youtube

 
Youtube

Youtube was founded in 2005 and 2017, for the first time in 12 years, Youtube decided to rebrand. The reason being over the last few years, Youtube has launched an array of services like YouTube Kids, Gaming, Red, TV, and Music. The team wanted a singular brand identity that shifts the focus from Youtube being a website to an expanded family of apps that stretch across multiple platforms.

The redesign included the logo, typeface, colour scheme, and a bunch of major changes that are aesthetically pleasing and functional on every screen. For the logo, they experimented with several fonts ranging from modern to VHS, classic television, and print era. Even, the iconic shade of red is unique to Youtube, the team settled on #FF0000, a really pure red that goes to the RGB of video.

House Of Parliament, UK

 
House-Of-Parliament

The House of Parliament or the UK Parliament is the institution responsible for making new laws, examining and scrutinizing the existing ones, holding debates, form budgets, and levy taxes. They underwent a rebrand in 2016 to make it more suited to the digital platforms.

Although, the Parliament was criticized for using the public’s money for this project the pros outweigh the cons. Keeping the prime focus on being ‘simple and clear’, the new logo is a redefined version of the traditional, medieval-style gate symbol.

Instead of a kaleidoscope of colours, the team curated a core palette of dark purple, mint green, and white, For the typeface, they went with serif typeface Register, designed by foundry A2-Type, to be used across communications.

For the graphics, the focus was to keep the design minimal and use flat icons. The idea was to impart the information distinctively without being overwhelmed by the design.

Despite the outrage, the rebranding was a success. According to the GDS, 98% of driving tests are now booked online and 12 million people have used the website to register to vote.

Dunkin’

 
Dunkin

Dunkin’ has been selling donuts since 1950. While the brand is popular for its selection of donuts, the actual word ‘donut’ no longer resonates with their brand identity. With this rebranding exercise, Dunkin’ removed donut from its name and modernized the experience for customers while staying true to its heritage.

The rumoured reason behind this change is the fact that Dunkin’ wishes to move away from its identity as a glorified coffee – donut stop and expand its food and beverage menu.

This new redesign can be witnessed from inside the store to across the advertising and marketing channels. This rebrand included a logo redesign, packaging, store remodels, and brand messaging.

By this point, it is no secret that rebranding is expensive, time-taking and a high-risk affair that couldn’t be done on a whim. You have to be insightful about the market and your position in the industry to know when it is time to rebrand. However, if you have decided to rebrand, connect with a branding agency like Vowels, who with their team of expert strategists and designers, will give your company a brand new identity.

Some of our other services are logo design, a website development, tailored messaging, or a complete brand makeover. 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 – How Your Brand Receives More By Giving

Contact Us

Check out our work at Vowels

We are always available at hello@vowels.ae