Last night I went back to my post and realized something was missing.
I mean, I did give you the basics on what you need to know about the national dress, but I neglected to mention how locals manage to merge their culture and heritage with the latest international fashion trends, spending thousands on luxury designer brands.
I never read any surveys about luxury brands, but I will go out on a limb here and say that, in most parts of the world, they would probably indicate that if money was no object, people would be willing to go ahead and pay high prices for quality products, especially if they believe items will provide them social status.
Guess what? Money is really no object for most – if not all – locals in the UAE. So, it’s pretty safe to say that Gucci, Givenchy, Fendi, Armani, Christian Dior, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Versace and many more are doing rather well in this part of the world.
Besides selling their international products, these luxury brands go one step further. Some of them are already offering local customers the option to buy a customized dishdash and more items of the national dress. Others are branching out and unveiling the potential to expand their apparel business into other products.
Unfortunately I don’t have numbers to prove my theory, but I firmly believe these brands have a greater margin of profit in the accessories division than in anything else around here.
What is this theory based on? Well, after I moved here I noticed that the showrooms of these luxury brands were filled with accessories, even more than apparels.
After stopping to think about this for a minute I finally got it: since most local men wear a dishdash and women are always covered by their abayas, the accessories are ultimately the only way they have of actually showing their status in public.
Designer bags, sunglasses, watches, mobiles… These are the things that will set you apart around here and show your status, not the clothes that are always hidden underneath the national dress.
Well, I’m off to the mall now. Sadly, since I am not a local and money is an object for me, I’ll stick to the less posh part of the mall and explore the newest fashion at Zara, Gap, Banana Republic and other brands more in tune with my reality…