Qatar Goes Luxe and Fashion Leads the Way
Malek Ghanem, a top womenswear fashion buyer for the luxury department store FiftyOne East in Doha confirms that Qatari women are “extremely well informed on International catwalk trends and fashion forward” in their tastes and spending. The stores best selling designers include Oscar De La Renta, Carolina Herrera, Zac Posen, Viktor & Rolf and DVF.
Leading the way in the Qatar style stakes is Sheikha Mozah Nint Nasser; her style has been described as on a par with the late Jackie O; luxurious and expensive yet refined and sophisticated. Sheikha Mozah not only looks the part but has been cited as playing a crucial role in the country’s developing fashion tastes both on a personal and business level.
Last year the Qatar royal family hit the financial headlines with their acquisition of Italian super brand Valentino. It was reported that Mayhoola for Investments, controlled by the Qatar royal family paid $858 million (£556 million) to Red & Black Lux Sarl, a company indirectly controlled by the Permira Funds in partnership with the Marzotto family, to acquire the Valentino Fashion Group, which includes Valentino SpA as well as the M Missoni license business.
|Carolina Herrera S/S|
Malek Ghanem says that the arrival of Valentino into Qatari hands has had a knock-on effect with his loyal customers. “Now that our royal family owns Valentino Qatari women are going in a couture direction with their buying. They like pieces that are exclusive and unique and will buy new designers as well as established labels.”
Back from a busy buying trip Malek mentioned that he has just introduced directional New York label Reed Krakof as well as established French brand Alaia to the store. The womenswear department also delivers a taste of Paris with a section featuring 20 unique designers handpicked by fashion aficionado Maria Luisa with the likes of Acne, Erdem and Pollini to whet those style-savvy taste buds.
Gregory Couillard CEO of Qatar Luxury Group recently stated that the group is “committed to the luxury fashion sector in the larger sense”. The group currently has a stake in French leather good maker Le Tanneur & Cie and has invested in leatherwork, shoemaking, jewellery and couture workshops especially set up in Doha. And that’s not all; the latter part of 2012 saw the first Qatar Fashion Week with keen support for emerging designers from the region.
However don’t be fooled by all the iconic sky-high buildings and financial muscle, Doha in particular is looking to set itself apart from neighbouring modern metropolis Dubai. As the biggest buyer of contemporary art in the world Qatar is keen to add art, as well as fashion, culture and refinement to its evolving legacy.
Words by JoJo Iles
+ FiftyOne East is the longest-standing retail chain in Qatar and the most exclusive boutique for a style-conscious consumer, seeking the best life-enhancing luxury products. FiftyOne East provides exclusive designer collections, sought after timepieces, unique jewellery, fragrances, and beauty and premium technology.
|Fifty-One East Womenswear dept|
Fifty-One East, City Center Doha, Doha 615, Qatar
With thanks to Malek Ghanem.
Images courtesy of Malek Ghanem, Fifty-One East, DVF, Carolina Herrera and Orbitz.com travel agency
Womenswear buyer Malek Ghanem