The party season has begun and buying the right outfit for every occasion can become an expensive affair. It also amounts to not enough room in the cupboard! Sharon Carvalho finds out how Sara Alemzadeh and Ranya Khalil came to the rescue of all those with closet woes
What is Designer 24?
Designer-24 is an online designer dress rental business based in the UAE. We started Designer-24 to make lives easier for women. Today, with social media such as Instagram and Facebook, once you wear a dress, thousands of people see you in it. This puts a lot of pressure on women to not wear the same dress twice. Designer-24 gives women the opportunity to stay on trend, try new looks and not be seen in the same dress twice, without the big price tag they would otherwise have to pay.
Describe the relationship between you two?
We met through mutual friends while we were both living in London. We instantly connected and became fast friends. We shared a positive attitude, passion for life, entrepreneurial spirit, and most importantly, complementary skills. One day after a Pilates class, we decided to brainstorm ideas that we could start together. Soon after, Designer-24 was born!
How have your backgrounds and past experiences shaped the way you run the business?
Sara is an ex Wall Street trader and Ranya comes from private events, providing a mix of complementary skills that balance well.
What are your thoughts on fashion trends and talent in the Middle East?
The Middle East is rapidly evolving with Dubai becoming a global fashion capital. There has been a large rise in the number of talented designers emerging from this region such as Ayesha Depala, Rami Al Ali, Razan Al Azzouni, Rani Zakhem and many more. Women in the region are trendsetters, fashion followers and are willing to take fashion risks. From Fashion Forward to Dubai Design District, designers and consumers are now realizing the importance of Dubai on the fashion map.
Which are your favourite designers? Why?
We have so many it’s hard to pick just one! We picked the best from the West as well as the best local talent. Right now, we love Naeem Khan and Rani Zakhem. They both know how to make a woman look glamorous and classy.
Which designers seem to be favourites among the women here?
Halston Heritage, Christian Siriano and Herve L. Lerouxare all extremely popular this season. Women here love to wear bright colours, metallics and prints.
What future plans for Designer 24?
We will be opening a physical showroom in Dubai where customers can try the dresses on in person. Currently, customers can call Designer-24 to book private fittings in Dubai Marina. We also have plans to expand across the GCC.