We all love a trip to the mall’s high-street chains, but the UAE’s shop­ping scene is also home to loads of in­de­pen­dent bou­tiques – per­fect for when you’re look­ing for some­thing unique

Friday - - Beauty -


What is it: Of all the S*uce bou­tiques in the UAE, S*uce On-Sea is our favourite. Sit­u­ated just back from the beach at JBR, it’s a one-stop shop for hol­i­day clothes and ac­ces­sories. Every brand has been cho­sen to fit the quirky feel of the store, and while they aren’t all bud­get-friendly, you can pick up a swim­suit or bikini for a few hun­dred dirhams. You can even find those overly-In­sta­grammed in­flat­a­bles (go on, we know you want one!) Shop style: Airy and white with a beach feel. Brands stocked: Stella Mc­Cart­ney swimwear, Linda Far­row sun­glasses, bo­hemian French la­bel Sun­dress. What the founder says: ‘S*uce On-sea is a beach­side con­cept store en­tirely ded­i­cated to the cool, the un­usual and the niche when it comes to beach­wear and re­sort wear,’ co-founder Zayan Ghan­dour tells us. ‘It was a very nat­u­ral step for­ward for us to cre­ate S*uce On-Sea, and its per­son­al­ity is so in­trin­si­cally tied to the core S*uce iden­tity that the On-Sea cus­tomer is not too dif­fer­ent from our main S*uce shop­per. She is look­ing for cult brands and exclusive styles, in ev­ery­thing from swimwear to lounge wear.’ Per­fect for those whose style is: Beach­wear every day. What else you can buy: Gi­ant flamingo and pizza in­flat­a­bles. Price in­di­ca­tor: $$$ Av­er­age price for a dress: Dh2,000 Where to find it: The Beach, JBR.


What is it: The cAR­Tel Re­born is the sec­ond con­cept store from The cAR­Tel and re­cently opened its doors in D3. The art gallery-meets-fash­ion store stocks around 160 edgy and un­usual in­de­pen­dent brands for men and women, all cho­sen by founder May Bar­ber, who works with de­sign­ers from all around the world. The new store has the ad­di­tion of ‘the box’ where de­sign­ers are en­cour­aged to ‘think in­side the box’ so they can ex­press their artis­tic cre­ativ­ity. Shop style: Dim light­ing, geo­met­ric shapes – like an art gallery for fash­ion. Brands stocked: Juan Her­nan­des Daels; La­mat by Ivana Dam­janović; Ex­o­cet by Yas­mine Jaber; En­dem­mage (right) Pan­golin; Con­sis­tence (far right) and cAR­Tel’s own sig­na­ture Cage bag (be­low). What the founder says: ‘The cAR­Tel Re­born caters to a range of women and men look­ing for some­thing unique and exclusive to con­trib­ute to their in­di­vid­u­al­is­tic style,’ says May. Per­fect for those whose style is: Min­i­mal­is­tic with an affin­ity for ge­om­e­try and in­tri­cate de­signs. What else you can buy: Ac­ces­sories and bags. Price in­di­ca­tor: $$$ Av­er­age price for a dress: Dh2,000 Where to find it: Shop 105, D3, Dubai.


What is it: Vesimi stocks a huge se­lec­tion of tra­di­tional and con­tem­po­rary In­dian cloth­ing. Whether you are look­ing for a heavy wed­ding dress or a mod­ern skirt and cropped top, Vesimi has women’s and menswear for every oc­ca­sion. You will no­tice some of the tra­di­tion­wear are one-off pieces that can stay in store for a long time, but the con­tem­po­rary col­lec­tions are al­ways be­ing up­dated and have a much larger se­lec­tion of styles and sizes. Shop style: A trea­sure trove of items, this con­verted villa is end­less, with room af­ter room of clothes. Brands stocked: Man­ish Arora, Rid­hima Bhasin, Pankaj & Nidhi and Ridhi Mehra. Per­fect for those whose style is: Tra­di­tional In­dian with a mod­ern twist. What else you can buy: Cos­tume jew­ellery and tra­di­tional shoes. Price in­di­ca­tor: $$$ Av­er­age price for a dress: Dh1,700 Where to find it: Villa 80C, Jumeirah Beach Road.


What is it: Sig­na­ture Stu­dio stocks col­lec­tions from de­sign­ers based in Pakistan, the only store of its kind in the city. While their de­signs are al­ways the lat­est, they pride them­selves on be­ing af­ford­able. New col­lec­tions are flown in monthly, so there’s al­ways some­thing to see. Shop style: The pas­tel walls cre­ate a warm and invit­ing feel­ing. Brands stocked: Sammy K, SNL by Sofia Naveed Lari, Cross Stitch, Maria Rao and JV Haute Cou­ture. What the founder says: ‘Sig­na­ture


What is it: This menswear bou­tique fea­tures lux­ury de­sign­ers from all around the world. The clothes are for fash­ion con­scious men who want to stand out. Shop style: Mod­ern and manly. The stained wood floor gives a rus­tic feel to the metal­lic decor. Brands stocked: Rick Owens; Juun J; Boris Bid­jan Saberi; Yo­hji Ya­mamoto; Ann De­meule­meester. What the founder says: ‘Our clients are in­di­vid­u­als with unique taste, and it’s for us to pro­vide them with a to­tally dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence, hence we’ve cre­ated an at­mos­phere that caters to this,’ Stu­dio is all about cu­ra­tion of Pak­istani fash­ion wear from our care­fully se­lected de­sign­ers,’ says Anna Shoaib. ‘We strive hard to bring trends and cuts that are most suit­able for our cus­tomer’s fash­ion needs.’ Per­fect for those whose style is: Tra­di­tional but likes trends. What else you can buy: El­e­gant cos­tume jew­ellery. Price in­di­ca­tor: $$ Av­er­age price for a tu­nic: Dh400 Where to find it: Shop G22, Bay Av­enue, Busi­ness Bay, Dubai. Bobby Chehrazi tells us. ‘In this en­vi­ron­ment, we’re very re­laxed, as it is all about the per­son­al­ity of our clients and the prod­uct.’ Per­fect for those whose style is: Men who want to make a state­ment with their wardrobe. What else you can buy: Uni­sex per­fumes and eye­wear from Ja­pan, Ger­many and Den­mark. Price in­di­ca­tor: $$$ Av­er­age price for a shirt: Be­tween Dh350 and Dh15,000 – so there’s some­thing for most bud­gets. Where to find it: Build­ing 7 in d3.


What is it: On Dubai Gar­den Cen­tre’s top floor, The Mez brings to­gether stalls and shops from a range of lo­cal de­sign­ers and brands. You can find swimwear, ac­ces­sories, shoes and baby clothes. Shop style: A shop within a shop, The Mez has a mar­ket feel to it with dif­fer­ent stalls and ar­eas for each brand. Brands stocked: Beach Hut; San­dal Souq; Lou Har­vey; Sweet Baby Street and Mox­i­li­cious. What the founder says: Says Desert Group CEO Michael Mas­caren­has: ‘Dubai Gar­den Cen­tre is the go-to hub for fam­i­lies and in­di­vid­u­als alike, a home away from home in a nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment. The Mez­za­nine is a lively space where the prod­ucts of­fered bring vi­brancy and life to our per­son­al­i­ties.’ Per­fect for those whose style is: Beachy ac­ces­sories lovers. Also great for mums look­ing for some­thing unique for their ba­bies. What else you can buy: Moc­casins for ba­bies, lam­i­nated bags, cool­ers, wal­lets and van­i­ties. Price in­di­ca­tor: $ Av­er­age price for a swim­suit: Dh250 Where to find it: Dubai Gar­den Cen­tre, Shaikh Zayed Road.


What is it: Aimed at Dubai’s art and de­sign crowd, it only stocks lim­ited-edi­tion col­lec­tions and special col­lab­o­ra­tion mer­chan­dise – per­fect if you’re look­ing to find some­thing that you won’t get any­where else in Dubai. This new store in Jumeirah was founded by de­signer Preeti Chan­dra in or­der to bring to­gether select in­de­pen­dent life­style, fash­ion and home brands. Shop style: Very artsy and cre­ative with shabby chic dé­cor and cute dis­plays. Brands stocked: Ital­ian fash­ion brand Que Guapa, Ara­bian streetwear brand Free Minds, and the Love Shop Pray col­lec­tion, which is designed by the founder Preeti Chan­dra. What the founder says: ‘The cus­tomer base con­sists of fash­ion-for­ward and so­cial me­dia-savvy in­di­vid­u­als, which means they have ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion about the lat­est life­style and fash­ion trends,’ says Preeti. Per­fect for those whose style is: An In­sta­grammable artsy mis­match of styles from around the world. What else you can buy: Brightly coloured chairs with bird and leaf de­signs, cos­tume jew­ellery, em­bel­lished and printed loafers and beach bags with sil­ver se­quins and fring­ing. Price in­di­ca­tor: $$$ Av­er­age price for a dress: Dh2,000 Where to find it: Villa 333, Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah 1.


What is it: The Rack by Kachins brings to­gether some of the hottest de­sign­ers from India that other­wise can’t be found in the UAE. Kachins Group are Dubai-based suit mak­ers that have been here for over 35 years. Shop style: Gold dé­cor and water­falls lead to a golden in­te­rior that is rem­i­nis­cent of the era of the Ma­hara­jas. Brands stocked: Anamika Khanna; Tarun Tahil­iani; Anita Don­gre; Pankaj & Nidhi and Payal Sing­hal. What the founder says: ‘It is a treat for the fash­ion­istas who ad­mire the work of In­dian de­sign­ers but can­not own some­thing due to their non-avail­abil­ity in the UAE mar­ket,’ cre­ative di­rec­tor Neetu Ram­chan­dani tells us of the re­cently opened bou­tique. ‘Our clients will en­joy per­son­alised at­ten­tion help­ing them get the de­sired look with the most flat­ter­ing sil­hou­ettes.’ Per­fect for those whose style is: Brides-to-be; and those who love Aish­warya Rai Bachchan’s glam style. What else you can buy: Western-style de­signs with an In­dian twist. Price in­di­ca­tor: $$$$$ Av­er­age price for a lehenga/sher­wani: Dh10,000 Where to find it: Villa 446, Al Wasl Road.


What is it: Founded by Ingie Chal­houb, cre­ator of home-grown fash­ion brand Ingie Paris, Etoile La Bou­tique stocks pieces from lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional lux­ury brands. The brand se­lec­tion ranges from Chris­tian Dior to Sachin + Babi, with a few of the most on-trend pieces from each brand. Head to the back of the store to find the evening gown se­lec­tion – per­fect for any glam UAE event you have com­ing up. There’s also a great shoes and ac­ces­sories range with ev­ery­thing from quirky bags to state­ment sun­glasses. Whether we’re splash­ing out on a black-tie dress or spend­ing a cou­ple hun­dred dirhams on some new sun­nies, there is some­thing we love every time we go into this store. Shop style: Its golden walls give an ethe­real feel. Every item in this store will make you look like a princess. Brands stocked: Chris­tian Dior, Carolina Her­rera, Ingie Paris, Antonio Ber­ardi and Rochas. You’ll also find pop-ups from lo­cal brands – Kage cur­rently have their col­lec­tion there. What the founder says: ‘I wanted to cre­ate a piece of art in the world of fash­ion,’ Ingie tells us; ‘a gem that would be sur­pris­ing and re­as­sur­ing at the same time.’ Per­fect for those whose style is: Glam with a fash­ion­able edge. Or any woman who loves a red car­pet event. What else you can buy: Fash­ion books by Dior and Bul­gari as well as quirky make-up and lap­top cases. Price in­di­ca­tor: $$$$ Av­er­age price for a dress: Dh3,000 while sun­glasses and ac­ces­sories can be had for Dh200. Where to find it: Mall of the Emi­rates.

Sun­glasses Dh685, Ha­did Eye­wear

Dress Dh1,330, Rhode

Dress Dh1,635, Rhode


Romper Dh130, Sweet­BabyStreet

Shoes Dh285, San­dalSouq

Blue top, Dh6,070, An­to­nioBer­ardi

Red dress, Dh4,610Isolda

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