May 13th, 2018, 09:04 PM

Introducing District Designs

By Francesca Coyne
Image Credit: Francesca Coyne
A fashion brand from Kuwait City that everyone needs to be paying attention to.

In the Western world, a conversation about fashion in the Middle East quickly leads to a conversation concerning modesty and the abaya. In fact, if one Googles “Fashion in Kuwait”, the question of dress code pops up immediately. While it is true that fashion changes based on where you are in the world based on culture and religion, our concern with the differences in the way people dress tend to drown out the conversation about the design talent that is coming out of these places – to counter this, I am going to talk about a brand that I stumbled upon in a quiet corner of the world that everyone needs to know about.

Photo Credit: Francesca Coyne

Two weeks ago, I was roaming through Kuwait City and I came upon the Sadu House. I escaped from the heat to find beautiful oriental textiles hanging down from the ceiling. This house is an artistic museum that was established in order to protect the interest of the Bedouins, who are nomads, and their handcraft, Sadu Weaving. Sadu is hand woven embroidery that forms into geometric shapes – visual magic. The Sadu house is filled with the embroidery coming down from the walls and ceilings, at one point, I turned the corner and saw fabrics that starkly contrasted the embroidery. I was fixated on gorgeous tulle dresses hanging in pastel colors and the women walking around the pop-up shop looking as if they had stepped right off the runway.

I spent a solid thirty minutes scoping out the collection that was set up in the house and was transfixed by the movement of the pieces. The women in the room who were wearing the dresses seemed as if they were gliding across the floor. These dresses were so spectacular, and were so fabulously flattering, I had to know who was the genius behind these gowns.

Photo Credit: Francesca Coyne

The mastermind behind the clothing is not one, but two designers: long term friends, Dalal Al Saadoon and Ru’a Al Naqeeb, and they created the brand - District Design. They shared that they are inspired by everything in the world (nature, people, travels, material) – not just one particular thing. They seek to design the clothes that they want to see in the fashion world but don’t often find. The true beauty of their clothes is the naturalness in which it comes. The designers refuse to be confined by a theme.

I noticed that most of the dresses went down past the knee, and none of them seemed to be tight and form-fitting, so I couldn’t help but ask the cliche question about modesty. The designers explained to me that modesty is culturally important in this region, and they try to have options for the clients that adhere to modest dress when it is possible. However, it does not take priority over their designs, and they stated, “when we design a piece, the most important thing is for the final outcome to be as we intended it to be”


Photo Credit: Francesca Coyne

While I was only able to see one collection, I learned that District Design is a multi-use line, and their pieces can be used not only as dresses, but also as kaftans, cover ups, etc. Their goal is “to produces clothes with excellent quality at affordable prices for everyone to enjoy”. While Al Saadoon and Al Naqeeb have the talent to expand globally, today, their clothes are only sold locally. A limited amount of pieces are sold here.

It’s time that the fashionable set of the Western world stop being biased by their predispositions toward Middle Eastern fashion and start paying attention to the sheer design talent that is coming out of these countries – it’s simply extraordinary. Stay current with their designs by checking out their Instagram.