1. Esquire Middle East named Saudi Hatem Alakeel best regional men’s designer in 2013. Alakeel, aka the “King of Thobes” and “Tom Ford of the Middle East”, has also attracted Western celebrities such as Snoop Dog and Christian Louboutin for how he harmonizes traditional and modern influences.
2. Though he’s dressed many Hollywood stars and helped make Beirut the fashion capital of the Middle East, Elie Saab’s first model was his sister, whom he draped in any lace he could find in his mother’s closet. Playing austerity against embroidery, the self-taught designer says that rather than chasing trends, he keeps women in mind and follows his heart.
3. Yasmine Al-Said’s first line, YASMINE, rocked the 2012 Cairo Fashion Festival, and the Paris-educated designer is now selling her collections at a pop-up store on London’s Cork Street. She hopes her unconventional garments will inspire Egyptian women to “think differently”.
4. Taking her inspiration from everyday life, Amany El-Cherif believes that “every woman must feel the dress”. Renowned for her bridal gowns, which she says embody “love, happiness and a new beginning”, her latest line of colorful party dresses reflects a charmingly whimsical femininity.