Dubai

America’s Next Top Model to launch in the Middle East, new report claims

America’s Next Top Model to launch in the Middle East, new report claims

Fashion

by Olivia Morris
4 mins ago

Iconic fashion and model-based reality show America’s Next Top Model is reportedly launching in the Middle East.
According to The National, the show is set to be entitled Arabia’s Next Top Model, with a teaser clip reportedly in the works ahead of the official announcement.
The outlet also reported that no judges or host have been appointed yet and it’s also not known if the reality show will be open to both male and female contestants.
The Next Top Model franchise was first launched in 2003 in the USA under the direction of Tyra Banks and Ken Mok who handpicked aspiring models to take part in the competition to become ‘America’s Next Top Model’.
The competition consists of a series of challenges and a weekly photo shoot, all judged by a panel of experts. A model is eliminated each week, with an eventual winner being named who receives prize money and a modelling contract.
Over the years, the franchise has expanded globally with versions in the UK, Asia, Africa, Germany, Australia and more.
Many reality television franchises have made their way to the region over the years including Project Runway Middle East, Arabs Got Talent, The Voice and most recently The Real Housewives of Dubai.
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Images: America’s Next Top Model 

Kuwaiti influencer Ahood Alenezi is now the face of this luxe jewellery brand

Kuwaiti influencer Ahood Alenezi is now the face of this luxe jewellery brand

Fashion

by Sarah Joseph
4 mins ago

Parisian jewellery brand Djula has unveiled Ahood Alenzi as their regional brand ambassador.
Known for her graceful yet unconventional elegance, Alenezi effortlessly aligns with the brand’s core values, as she projects their cutting-edge jewellery.
With her strong presence in the GCC, this Kuwaiti content creator has garnered close to two million fans on Instagram after establishing herself on social media and collaborating with large-scale global brands such as M.A.C.
Embodying her own sense of individuality, Alenzi joins hands with Djula allowing women to take adopt a rule-bending approach in the world of fashion. With her distinctive style, she continues to be a respected tastemaker who is laying the foundation for future generations to come.

As Djula continues to design minimalist yet sophisticated pieces, the brand has adopted its own aesthetic through its avant-garde approach. With a modern take on artisanal jewellery, the styles continue to cater to those who dare to think differently.
From pieces reminiscent of the 20th-century French decorative art style to a collection emphasised through barbed wire bracelets, bangles and earrings, the brand is always experimenting with innovative styles that are breaking the mould.
For those who wish to get pierced by a team of dedicated experts, Djula Paris in Dubai Mall has its very own piercing atelier ensuring a commitment to luxury lovers in the region.

Since Djula’s introduction to the Middle East in 2021, the brand is now at several MENA Stores in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
The latest collections are available at the Djula Boutique in Dubai Mall, and Damas Boutiques in the UAE and online. To view, the full collections visit damasjewellery.com
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Images: Supplied 

How I got my job as… Founder of The TRUENUDE & Head of Marketing at FoodFund

How I got my job as… Founder of The TRUENUDE & Head of Marketing at FoodFund

Welcome to the Emirates Woman weekly series ‘How I got my job as…’ where we speak to some incredible entrepreneurs and businesswomen both based in the UAE and globally to find out about their career paths that led them to where they are now; what their daily routines look like; the advice they’d give to those starting out; and the hurdles they’ve had to overcome.
This week we chat with Nawel Aderghal, head of marketing at Foodfund International and Founder of THE TRUENUDE. In her marketing role,  Aderghal oversees some of the most well-known food and beverage concepts in Dubai –  SAN Beach Club, Clay and The Meat Co., just to name a few. Alongside her full-time role, Aderghal has founded her own fashion brand, THE TRUENUDE,  a project which she started to “fill my own needs”. Noticing there was nothing on the market to work as transitional streetwear pieces post-workout, the idea for THE TRUENUDE was born.
Emirates Woman sat down with Aderghal to find out more about launching her own brand, her role at FoodFund International and how she’s able to balance the two.

What was your favourite subject at school?
My favourite subject at school was history and social studies. I have been always attracted to history and focusing on the people involved in history as well as human contributions that lead to historical events. Even if I did find it hard sometimes to understand because history involves looking into the past by reading texts and thinking tirelessly, trying to piece bits of historical data together. I love learning and discovering new languages, and cultures… I am kind of an explorer.
What was your first job?
My first job was when I was 16, I had the opportunity to do a paid internship with a National Bank located in the south of France. It was a great experience and an interesting introduction to the work industry.
What eventually brought you to Dubai?
I have always been fascinated by Dubai. Working in the hospitality industry and willing to make a career of it, it was clear to me that I would have to move to Dubai at some point.
This hospitality sector plays a major role in the region. The opportunities to be part of a large group and have a successful career can only be offered in the Middle East. The hospitality sector of Dubai is considered one of the fastest-growing industries in the UAE and contributes almost 6.2% of the country’s GDP. A budding industry and emerging opportunities are two important factors for me. Within four years I have gained so much experience and learned so much. I am so grateful that I moved to Dubai much earlier.

What inspired you to enter the fashion space?
THE TRUENUDE actually started as a project to fill my own needs. Being a woman who doesn’t necessarily love to wear sweatpants or hoodies, I struggled to find my go-to layering options post-workout. I’ve had these thoughts floating in the back of my mind for a few years. I wondered for quite some time whether that void was unique to me but soon realized that there was in fact a significant opportunity to address women’s needs post-workout.
Streetwear has evolved through the decades and has become a part of the fabric of everyday life. Through the influence of various subcultures such as activewear, athleisurewear, and urban wear, I decided to create a line for every woman’s every day, something that was dedicated to women which fit them in their daily routine. I want to encourage versatility and balance in women’s wardrobes, keeping their style contemporary while also being classic. Clothing is not only a necessity but a way to express yourself, elevate your confidence, and brighten up any mood.
Talk us through the concept of THE TRUENUDE.
THE TRUENUDE is a female-first brand inspired by Nature and earth tone colours, defining natural beauty and cultivating femininity amongst real women.
The latest athleisure range to land in the region isn’t only an aesthetic concept, but a brand that explores the depths of women, going beyond the surface, prompting them to look within and celebrate their individuality.
THE TRUENUDE provides a contemporary feel with a multi-faceted collection while integrating new and trend-driven designs, that showcase innovation, making each piece a ‘must-have’ for every closet. The collection includes interchangeable pieces in neutral color tones to ensure timeless classics that will last.
The essence of the brand is to develop pieces that are versatile by incorporating everyday pieces that can be translated to workwear essentials as well.
What are the key elements of your role at FoodFund international?
As head of Marketing and communication for FoodFund international, the key elements of my role are;

Creativity- by bringing a brand to life and introducing a new concept in a competitive market.
Communication – by creating enough brand awareness around the brand and keeping up with a strong interest to visit the venue
Budget – by having a great strategy aligned with the head office goals
But in general, I would say Crafting strategies for all our venues, including Digital, Advertising, Communications, and Creative.

Talk us through your daily routine.
I’m normally awake before my alarm around 8-8.30 am and snuggle in bed for a few minutes.
I jump into the shower and start my morning beauty routine. I try to stay away from the phone (texts, emails, and social media) for 1 hour or so, as I think self-care and “Me” time are so important before kicking a busy day.
I then get ready and start with my phone, then emails and start phone calls. I usually have a busy morning with meetings and admin for group marketing and like to keep my afternoon free to visit the venues and work from there.
Weekend and time off are usually dedicated to shooting and my clothing brand expansion.
What advice do you have for anyone looking to follow in the same footsteps?
I would like to advise anyone looking to follow in the same footsteps to
Break big goals into smaller tasks, by defining goals and what needs to be done to accomplish them. To have a vision and be consistent is key.
But as well Surround yourself with motivated people and stay focused. I have been blessed enough to join FoodFund International and be surrender with a great-minded leader and passionate team. They have always been a such great support and listen to ideas. Working with motivated people makes a difference, it becomes much easier to stay focused on your end goals. You’ll feel better about yourself. You’ll feel energized and motivated when you spend time with these people.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
Be audacious. Dare to explore. Be someone who shows new ways. It helped me to gain respect in the industry, network with like-minded professionals, and most importantly, build trust with my network. If I ever wanted something to be done, I had to jump from my comfort zone and challenge myself. Learning how to master a task and exploring new ways have helped me to grow and build my confidence.
And what is the worst?
I would say there are no bad pieces of advice. By seeking advice from different people you can develop smarter solutions to problems, deepen your thinking, and sharpen your decision-making. And by becoming a better adviser, you’ll extend your influence and learn from the people who come to you for guidance.
What has been the biggest challenge you had to overcome?
I believe the biggest challenge is being able to be on top of everything I do. Leading the marketing and communication for 18 home-grown brands in a busy industry such as hospitality, and launching e-commerce in the region while keeping up with the hard work has been a journey. I am proud to say that I found the right balance, and am super excited about the future. A few more openings have been announced, and we are thrilled to introduce new concepts in the region.
What are the future plans for Foodfund International?
We are set to launch a new concept called Loren, an Italian restaurant located at The Club, Palm Jumeirah. We are also about to embrace our first opening season in October for SAN BEACH. I have a really busy schedule for the next six months, a lot of ideas to share, and many collaborations to focus on.
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Images: Supplied

How To Shop for Vintage Fashion in Dubai Like a Pro: 5 Tips From a Connoisseur

How To Shop for Vintage Fashion in Dubai Like a Pro: 5 Tips From a Connoisseur

Tatiana Fayad. Photo: Courtesy Nouvelle Vague
There are fashion connoisseurs, and then, there are vintage lovers… those sartorial enthusiasts who can’t get over the romance of a painstakingly found piece from the yesteryears, which stands out not just for its impeccable detailing, but also for its history. Designer Tatiana Fayad, the woman behind accessory brand Vanina‘s beaded creations, is, believe it or not, one such collector. “My personal love story with vintage clothing started during my teenage years, when I started digging into my mother’s closets and found myself amazing pieces. These hand-me-downs made me realize the value of vintage fashion, and bit by bit, I started looking for unique and one-offs pieces while traveling,” she tells Vogue Arabia in a candid chat that takes us back to her childhood. “I started acquiring my own vintage stock with the dream that maybe one day, I could open my very own vintage shop.”
Bag, Louis Vuitton. Photo: Courtesy Nouvelle Vague
Come 2018, the dream was realized with the launch of  Nouvelle Vague, Fayad’s very own vintage haven, which offers up age-old treasures to Beirut’s fashion-savvy set, and was soon followed by an e-commerce website aiming to become the main online destination for vintage lovers in Lebanon, and also the region. And this year, Nouvelle Vague took things one step further, introducing a special Dubai pop-up that promises a unique collection of eclectic, yet wearable pieces to shoppers in the UAE. “With new drops every week, you can expect to find everything from classics to statement pieces that have been selected for their quality and style,” the designer reveals.
Dress, Lille Rubin. Photo: Courtesy Nouvelle Vague
Keeping the importance of sustainable fashion in mind (“Clothes weren’t designed to be disposable, but to last and be cherished forever. The future of fashion has to be vintage, up-cycled designs and rentals,” says the designer, who also prioritizes the environment when working on new Vanina creations), Nouvelle Vague’s Dubai pop-up brings together vintage finds that reflect Tatiana Fayad’s discerning eye, and could very easily be spotted in her own closet. The key to finding the right piece, however, is to shop like a seasoned vintage store hopper.
Jacket, Saint Laurent. Photo: Courtesy Nouvelle Vague
Here are Fayad’s top five tips to shopping for vintage pieces like a professional
1. Invest in timeless, classical pieces, like an Yves Saint Laurent suit, or Emmanuel Ungaro dress, because if a design can withstand time, it means that it’s a good investment.
2. Make sure the garment fits you well. Since most of the vintage pieces that you find in stores have been worn several times, size does not really correspond to what’s indicated on the label. So be a little patient, and if there is no fitting room at the store, do not hesitate to try the garment directly on yourself.
3. Quality is paramount. You need to invest in vintage clothing that is perfect, so look out carefully for stains, marks, broken zips and missing buttons, as you will never be able to get stains out properly.
4. Feel the fabric. You may fall in love with a beautiful dress or a stunning shirt, but if it is made from a rigid fabric—think twice. Look for for cottons, silks, linens and denims, and always touch the clothing to make sure the piece still has life in it.
5. And lastly, be open-minded! Vintage shopping is an adventure. You may stumble upon your new favorite outfit, or something that may look good on you that you might not have chosen at first!
Can’t wait to dive into Nouvelle Vague’s Dubai pop-up? Keep an eye out for Fayad’s five favorite pieces
I have a special connection with every single piece that I collect and put on display, picking out just five is not an easy task! But here are a few of my favorites:

1. An Emilio Pucci printed dress from the 90s.
2. Chanel pointed-toe pumps from the early 2000s.
3. A heavily beaded Laurence Kazar cardigan from the 80s.
4. An Escada belt with golden hardware from the 90s.
5. A ribbed Alaia maxi dress from the 90s.

On till April 2022, Nouvelle Vague’s vintage pop-up is taking place at Kulture House Café

Clogs, Chanel. Photo: Courtesy Nouvelle Vague

Exclusive: Louis Vuitton’s Traveling Exhibition, See LV, is Coming to Dubai

Exclusive: Louis Vuitton’s Traveling Exhibition, See LV, is Coming to Dubai

Louis Vuitton Spring 2022 Ready-to-Wear. Photo: Gorunway.com
Dubai is set to play host to the third leg of Louis Vuitton‘s traveling exhibition, See LV. After its inauguration in Wuhan 2020 and a sophomore display in Hangzhou in 2021, the month-long exhibition will make its way to the Dubai Fountain area on Friday, February 4. For the uninitiated, See LV offers a one-of-a-kind journey through the French fashion house’s nearly 170-year history via its archival objects mixed with newer creations. The exhibition also uses immersive and interactive digital features to allow visitors to delve into the Maison’s heritage as well as more contemporary elements, from early 20th century trunks and artistic collaborations to iconic leather creations.
Divided into four “universes”, namely, Finding Louis, In Fashion, Bags Stories, and Evolution Gallery, See LV opens with a portrait of a young Louis Vuitton, created using Artificial Intelligence by Turkish-American artist Refik Anadol. After viewing a selection of men’s and women’s ready-to-wear pieces in reverse chronology, visitors can expect to see historical pieces like a gown by Charles Frederick Worth and a 1906 trunk. Next, the house’s most iconic arm candies, from the Steamer to the Speedy, and Noé to Twist, have been lined against a backdrop of images of Louis Vuitton’s celebrity friends including Alicia Vikander, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Regina King, and more. The exhibition also dedicates an entire space to its contributions to the invention of luggage typologies by showcasing pieces like the iconic Wardrobe trunk, the Skateboard trunk, 1920s Auto trunks, and the 2020’s Louis Vuitton 2054 raincoat-tent.
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Dubai was chosen as the location for the exhibition’s next stop because of its cosmopolitan nature. A statement from the house reads, “Dubai has proven to be a city where the nexus of East and West makes for a stunning display of cultural diversity that spills over onto the business realm and everyday life. This makes Dubai the natural next step for See LV’s 2022 journey.” See LV follows a host of luxury brands who have brought their archival and latest designs to the Middle East, contributing to fashion’s boom in the region. The year 2021 saw Giorgio Armani put together a star-studded runway show at the Burj Khalifa, followed by Chanel‘s first physical show of its Cruise 2021/2022 collection, and in Doha, Dior‘s first exhibition in the Middle East. With 2022 taking off with Louis Vuitton, one can expect the region’s fashion calendar for the year to be just as packed.
The See LV exhibition will run from February 4-March 7, 10am-12am; with free admission. 
Read Next: Louis Vuitton Celebrates the 200th Birthday of Its Founder With a New High Jewelry Collection

Yasmine Sabri Aces Dubai Winter Dressing in a Winning Color Combination

Yasmine Sabri Aces Dubai Winter Dressing in a Winning Color Combination

Photo: Instagram.com/yasmine.sabri
After celebrating her birthday on January 21, Yasmine Sabri is continuing her time off in Dubai. The Egyptian actor recently took to Instagram to share glimpses of her day out in the city, where she can be seen nailing winter dressing.
As temperatures in Dubai continue to remain low, calling for layering, Sabri opted for an appropriate ensemble in the season’s much-loved colors. The former Vogue Arabia cover star was dressed in a navy blue collared shirt paired with jeans for a more relaxed look. To top it off, she kept warm in a cream-colored leather jacket that perfectly matched her nails, serving up color-pairing inspiration for those with an aversion to navy blue and black. The actor kept the rest of her look low-key with minimalistic gold jewelry: a pair of open hoops, and a Cartier love bracelet—her go-to accessory as an ambassador for the French jeweler.

For her day out in Dubai, Sabri wore her hair parted down the middle and slicked back in a chic low bun instead of her usual waves. As for her makeup, the star went for a bold lip, wearing a matte red shade, and completing the rest of her look with a hint of blush, highlighter, and bronzer across her cheeks, along with defined eyelashes.
The 34-year-old’s afternoon in the city consisted of a number of trips to some of its hotspots: from dining with a closeup view of the Burj Khalifa, to sipping on hot kahwa at Burj Al Arab, and later enjoying a personalized dessert by Bulgari.
Read Next: Then and Now: 48 Pictures Charting Yasmine Sabri’s Style Evolution

Les Benjamins Expands Eastward

Les Benjamins Expands Eastward

Growing up in a small town in Germany, Bunyamin Aydin, the grandson of Turkish immigrants, said he felt like he never fit in.Ten years ago, at the age of 21, he launched his brand, Les Benjamins, in Istanbul. “Even going back there, I was seen as an outsider.” That struggle with identity and acceptance fueled his entire hybrid design philosophy. “I realized after many years, this duality is my DNA. I don’t need to be accepted in any one place.”
Les Benjamins captures eastern heritage in a modern, street style-inspired brand, a product of his own obsession with fitting in. His clothes merge culture and comfort through textures and digital prints that are inspired by his heritage. “For me, the east is the nostalgia. The west is my tools. There is always this tension between east and west, even when you look at East Berlin versus west, the east side of New York compared to the west,” Aydin said.

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This month, the 32-year-old opens the doors to his first flagship store outside of Istanbul. Situated in one of the world’s busiest malls, next to Hermès, his new location blends those two worlds while also incorporating the subcultures that have inspired him.
The store’s hallmark is its sand-colored pillars and archways, an ode to old Istanbul. “I wanted to give a nod to our heritage, but in a contemporary setting, so we used concrete to connect with steel, giving it a balance between old and new. It’s about the juxtaposition of both ideas,” Aydin said. At the center is a community table, which can be used as a coworking space or to host talks and roundtable discussions. There is also a turntable with a selection from Aydin’s personal vinyl collection and a sound set up designed by Devon Ojas.
Aydin commissioned architect Dong-Ping Wong of Food New York, who also did Yeezy’s Calabasas, Calif., studio, to bring his vision to life. “Les Benjamins Dubai is about contrasts: old and new, open and intimate, gleaming and earthen. We used a traditional plaster technique most directly seen around the souks and structures of Old Dubai to balance out the classic luxury, glossy materials of both the mall and new Dubai as a whole,” Dong said. “It’s a material with history, depth and texture, interspersed with reflective, graphic and neon details.”
Aydin sees his retail stores as meeting places. The designer has spent more than a decade building his creative community. Their stories, cultures, traditions and rituals have been his central inspiration, he said. “For me, Les Benjamins represents creatives with an eastern background all around the world.” He describes his community as “DJs, rappers, people into skate culture, basketball culture, hip-hop culture, but within that if you go more niche, it’s Turkish hip-hop culture. I’m actually collecting vinyls right now from Turkish, young, hip-hop artists.”
After successful international collaborations with Nike and Puma under his belt, as well as dressing celebrities from Justin Bieber to Jay-Z, Aydin is very focused on growing and supporting his community. “There was time when I was obsessed with dressing celebrities. And while that is still a huge honor, now I would say I’m very focused on my niche. I know the subculture that influences and inspires me and I also want to contribute and grow that.”

Les Benjamins is expanding existing categories and moving into new ones. Aydin’s wife, Lamia AlOtaishan Aydin, is his creative collaborator, leading women’s wear as well as designing handbags and small leather goods, which are debuting in the Dubai flagship. Dubai will also have a multibrand sneaker area and kids’ wear.

Bunyamin Aydin

Aydin, who also maintains a home in Dubai, said it’s been a natural extension for the brand to have their first global flagship store here. “We’ve always had a warm welcome from the region, especially as we’re unified in our vision of spreading a progressive Eastern movement. I’m always interested in amplifying the voices of the youth in the Middle East.”
Asked about his growth in western markets, Aydin said he is eager to increase his footprint. During Art Basel in Miami, the brand hosted a successful pop-up at the The Webster. “I love unfolding stories from the East that are untold and redefining culture by moving it forward. It’s like giving an update on culture. I feel like designers from the East are misunderstood.”

A New Fashion Week for Regional and Indian Designers is Coming to Dubai

A New Fashion Week for Regional and Indian Designers is Coming to Dubai

Atelier Zuhra. Photo: Courtesy of Atelier Zuhra
Mark your calendars for another fashion week coming to Dubai. Joining the existing events in the emirate—Fashion Forward Dubai, Arab Fashion Week, Middle East Fashion Week, Modest Fashion Week, and Arab Men’s Fashion Week—the inaugural edition of Fashion Week DXB will take off on December 16, 2021. Launched by UAE-based producer Saif Ali Khan and director Kevin Oliver, the three-day event is setting itself apart with an aim to highlight designers from the Middle East as well as India.
Amato. Photo: Instagram.com/amataofficial
The fashion week schedule is limited to just 12 brands, to ensure all are spotlighted equally with their own shows. While the full list of participating creatives is yet to be announced, the fashion week will open with an undisclosed Emirati designer, and those who have signed up include Filipino designer Furne One’s Amato, couture label Atelier Zuhra helmed by Omani designer Rayan Al Sulaimani, and Indian designers Varoin Marwah and Rocky S. Along with runway shows, the event will feature an outdoor space for select designers to showcase their creations, as well as food and entertainment areas.

While the city’s fashion flock awaits the announcement of Fashion Week DXB’s venue, it will make its way to Rixos Premium Dubai, JBR for the Modest Fashion Week. From November 18-20, the event will feature talks and discussions on sustainability and industry tips while showcasing over 40 brands.
Read Next: Abu Dhabi Art to Sell an NFT of the UAE’s Gift to Pope Francis for Charity

Balqees Fathi Becomes the First Arab Star to Have Her Wax Figure at Madame Tussauds Dubai

Balqees Fathi Becomes the First Arab Star to Have Her Wax Figure at Madame Tussauds Dubai

Balqees Fathi photographed by Sandra Chidiac for Vogue Arabia
Balqees Fathi‘s fans will soon be able to pose with her as she becomes the first Arab star to have her wax figure revealed at the Madame Tussauds Dubai. The Emirati-Yemeni singer Fathi met her wax figure for the first time today (August 17) at a side-by-side unveiling held at luxury resort Caesars Palace Dubai, Bluewaters Island.
Photo: Courtesy of Madame Tussauds
Crafting Fathi’s lifelike wax figure saw a team of Madame Tussauds’ sculptors traveling to Dubai to document 500 of her precise measurements, before setting to work back in London, spending three months handcrafting the figure and inserting real hair strand by strand. It will stand among the some of the most renowned global actors and musicians in an A-list party room where visitors can pose with the figure before hitting an interactive dance floor with a DJ.

“I feel privileged to be the first Arab artist to stand side by side my wax figure at the iconic Madame Tussauds Dubai,” said Fathi. “I am overwhelmed with the incredible likeness that this wax figure holds to my physical appearance and to the impeccable attention to detail that captures my personality. I cannot wait for people to visit Madame Tussauds and to finally be able to enjoy this unique experience in the Arab world.” Since rising to fame in 2013, Fathi has released three albums, joined the UAE NSO Symphony Orchestra, and also launched her own beauty brand, Bex.
Located next to Ain Dubai, the world’s largest observation wheel, Madame Tussauds Dubai is the first Madame Tussauds experience in the Gulf. The world-renowned attraction is set to open its doors later this year and will let visitors take photographs with 60 global stars, including 16 new figures from the Middle East.
Read Next: This is What Happened When Balqees Fathi Met Her Mentee

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