On more of a sunshine note, back in the Middle East the Sheikh of Chic (Kuwaiti Prince Majed Al Sabah), and founder of of Villa Moda, London’s equivalent of Harvey Nics, has unveiled plans to open a Villa Moda store in my home town Bahrain!
Villa Moda opened in 2002 and sells everything designer from Armani to Prada. Majed Al Sabah’s aim was to bring luxury brands to the Middle East, and single handedly changed the way Middle Eastern women view shopping for brands. Villa Moda is so successful it boasted record profits of 25 million dollars last year alone.
Majed Al Sabah brought to the Middle East luxury brands women had to travel abroad for. He created a luxurious atmosphere to shop in hiring only top notch interior designers and architects to create a space where luxury went with luxury. I was lucky enough to visit his store in Kuwait as well as Dubai where I felt like I was shopping in London’s finest luxury boutiques. Mission accomplished Mr. Al Sabah.
But Majed is a visionary and I was thrilled to see him unveiling plans to develop an ambitious new project that combined retail, art, and fine dining to create a cultural experience for the Middle East.
His Villa Moda cultural projects design is based on his glass box in Kuwait; it will emphasize light, transparency and movement. Consumers in the Middle East will be able to experience his new concept for the first time as no retail experience has ever combined fine eateries and contemporary art with shopping. Confirmed brands for his new cultural project include Prada, Marni, Miu Miu, Victor&Rolf, Jil Sander, Martin Margiela, Nina Rici, Dries Van Noten, Issey Miyake, Vivienne Westwood, and Tsumori Chisato.
Below are images from his Damascus boutique which is in the center of the Syrian Bazzar. Though smaller than his stores in Kuwait and Dubai he mixes up high fashion along with Syrian antiques, jewelry and locally made beautiful garments. The clothes are draped on top contemporary furniture from Frank Gehry and Marc Newson ; Everything was sourced by Sheikh Majed himself. The furniture is always renewed and moved around, creating a continual evolving interior. And for the launch of his Damscus store he invited over 50 press and opinion formers to come to Damascus for an unforgettable weekend experience, you could probably still find a lot of the press releases online from Elle US, Wallpaper, Surface, Vogue Italy, Vanity Fair, New York Times Style. To read a short interview with the Sheikh of Chic , click here!