Monique's Middle East Adventure
In the April 2014 issue of Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, Monique talks about her recent trip to the Middle East. From Kuwait to the UAE and everything in between, read her full travel diary here!
I was instantly mesmerized with Kuwait city the minute I landed. This city delicately balances east and west; you can see the ancient heritage weaving its way through a cosmopolitan scene filled of majestic skyscrapers. First stop on my tour was the Kuwait Towers, considered emblems of an enduring city. The towers provide breathtaking panoramic views of Kuwait city and were designed to resemble traditional Arabian rosewater sprinklers, and are considered to be the symbol of modern Kuwait.
I strolled through the traditional Souk Al Mubarakiya market and immersed myself in this Kuwait gem. The market is filled with artisans selling Persian silk carpets, real Arab antiques, perfumes like musk and oud, and traditional costumes. Sheika was so warm and hospitable and helped me with this beautiful headpiece.
Al Othman hosted an event to feature my RTW, Bridal and shoe collections. The store is beautiful and I was able to meet so many lovely ladies from Kuwait including many brides I dressed in the past.
Our trip to Doha, Qatar was only for a day and I wished we could have spent more time in this city. I am definitely going back! I continue to see the unforced fusion of modernity and traditionalism in this Middle Eastern city. I was able to visit the stunning Museum of Islamic Art designed by I.M Pei which houses incredible Islamic art across three continents dating back to 1400 years. After the museum visit, I was able to visit the store, Fifty One East, and work with the staff, clients and press. It is always very humbling to meet the people who are working hard for your brand in a different country- instant inspiration! The Darwish family who own the store couldn’t have been more hospitable and welcoming.
I had visited Dubai before but on this visit I was able to spend more time with the people and immerse myself in the culture. The breathtaking skyline, the night life, incredible architecture and the visually stunning sunsets makes Dubai one of the most dramatic cities I have ever traveled to. Here is a picture with me in front of the Burj al Arab, 4th tallest hotel in the world, which was built to mimic an Arabian ship.
I was honored to present my spring collection at an exclusive fashion show to Harvey Nichol’s customers at the Palm Kempinski Hotel. After the show, I was able to meet such amazing women, like Rosemin Manji, who have such a deep appreciation for highly designed, refined couture pieces. They love the art of fashion and are very well versed in all things couture because they maintain a very global lifestyle.