Online shopping is gaining popularity in UAE. Every now and then a new ecommerce website comes online that caters to some industry. Recently a new online fashion retailer by the name of The Style Chamber is launched.
The Style Chamber features affordable apparel and accessories by 28 designers.
The National talked with Maryam Al Hamly, Emirati partner and marketing director of the Style Chamber.
How did the portal first come about?
Basically, it was a UAE start-up between myself and my business partner Zayed Al Falasi. The company is based in Abu Dhabi and was started in 2012. We wanted it to be a platform for up-and-coming, edgy designers, in particular Arab ones. The idea is to be a contemporary fashion hub in the Middle East.
What are your criteria when choosing designers?
For womenswear, we’re looking for designers who are forward-looking, contemporary and that don’t exist currently in the Middle East. We’re not looking for something conservative necessarily, more something that makes a statement. Much in the way people collect art, we imagine people could collect the designer pieces we have online. We nurture that concept and we’d also like to create exclusive content for the website, meaning we would uniquely represent the individual designers.
Who are the designers to watch this season?
I would say the Portuguese designer for women, Luis Buchinho. His outfits are really creative and easily adaptable for night and day. Then there’s the Argentine designer Marcelo Burlon. I like him because his T-shirts are for both men and women. The cuts are great and the exact designs are available for both.
At a glance, prices for key pieces range from about Dh1,600 to Dh5,100. Is that fair value for emerging designers?
Yes, to get the pricing right was important to us. A one-sided designer dress with nude, black and white panels by Luis Buchinho, for example, costs around Dh2,400. Sometimes clothes, in general, are a bit overpriced here in the UAE and for up-and-coming designers we really try to push for a lower price so people will buy their pieces and a fan base will develop. We want to establish trends and offer fashion that won’t break the bank.
How would you describe your personal style?
I would describe my style as individual, meaning I like things that are slightly different; I like things that might catch people’s eye. It must also be comfortable, I don’t believe in painful fashion. Like Christian Louboutin shoes, for example, I can’t wear them. Jimmy Choo and Melissa Jelly shoes are my favourites – comfortable classics that will last forever.
• For more information on The Style Chamber, visit www.thestylechamber.com. Free delivery for all orders; free international delivery on orders US$500 (Dh1,850) or more