Your Local Fashion Guide to Dubai: #localdesigners
House of Nomad
House of Nomad is a women's and men's contemporary fashion brand co-founded by Egyptian-born Ahmed El-Sayed and Emirati-born Saleh Al-Banna. Here's an idea of what they do:
Women's SS'16 Collection Preview
Men's SS'16 Collection Preview
Getting to Know The Designers
We dropped by Ahmed's 65th-floor apartment/work space at Index Towers in Dubai (boasting an insane 180 view of the city - inherently accompanied by slight acrophobia if you're not used to such heights) and sat down with the both of them for an in-depth chat.
Fun fact: the name 'House of Nomad' was actually inspired from never really having an official work space.
First and foremost, House of Nomad is a Dubai-based brand. That means it was created, born and bread in Dubai. No matter where it expands to and how it grows in the future, House of Nomad will directly be contributing to the growth of local fashion talent in Dubai.
Second, all the clothes are produced in Dubai. That means that the designers have direct quality control over what happens with their clothes - especially important in the early days of a brand.
What we are really trying to say here is that if you're into discovering unique local fashion designers in Dubai, you can't miss House of Nomad.
TAKING OVER THE GCC
Ahmed and Saleh's story is a real success so far - and they are going full steam ahead. They launched House of Nomad after they both decided to 'take the plunge' at the time when Ahmed was working as a fashion content editor, and Saleh working in his family business.
Their initial collections began with a strong luxury sportswear positioning and that really struck a chord with shoppers. They experimented with different types of fabrics that weren't typically associated with sportswear; i.e. for the men's collections they created bomber jackets with fabrics like knit and tweed and neoprene.
Two years on, and House of Nomad is being sold in 10 stores across the GCC region including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. In Dubai, you can shop the brand at West LA Boutique.
TEAMWORK THAT WORKS
Success comes fast when all factors in a partnership work. Not only have the boys known each other forever, but they each contribute to a specific side of the business. Ahmed is responsible for the creative design process, while Saleh focuses on the business side of things (i.e. dealing with buyers and developing their brand presence).
You don't often see clear cut roles in a partnership. It leaves less room for blurry lines and disagreement. As Saleh said, "It comes down to trust at the end of the day. I trust that Ahmed will do his part really well, I don't have to worry about that". Good stuff.
CHALLENGES & MILESTONES
It's never an easy thing to start your own business, and fashion design is no exception. The guys explain that having more government and institutional support would really help them move forward faster. The Dubai Design and Fashion Council does present support in a lot of ways, and the guys are excited to see its services grow more in the future, especially when it comes to financial and media support.
Luckily for them, the media has been really kind to them, and continuous media exposure does admittedly contribute to continuous success. The biggest reason they have that kind of coverage is in big part thanks to their PR agency, Faux Consultancy - who really believed in their potential success and pushed them to get exposure and grow. Their two cents on the subject: "Our best advice would be to hire a PR agency who will deal with all the marketing and communication things because it allows the designers to focus on their own design and business roles."
One of their biggest milestones so far was being selected to showcase at Dubai Collections at Burj Khalifa. Dubai Collections showcases the latest collections from some of the region’s most exciting designers, so being selected is a pretty big deal. More recently, one of their SS'16 tops was featured on the cover of Elle Oriental (the April issue).
In how they see House of Nomad growing and expanding, Ahmed explains, "I think Europe is our next market. We get a lot of clients from London, Germany and France. In fact we do Paris Fashion Week now, so the brand is already being placed on a global platform." Asia would also be a good market to tap into, a city like Hong Kong. Saleh ends with saying that Tokyo would be a real dream market for him. We personally can't wait to follow House of Nomad and see how it evolves in the future.
7 Questions With
Each one of the guys answered their own 7 questions, get to know another side of Ahmed and Saleh right here.
Follow House of Nomad
House of Nomad Website | Instagram: @house_of_nomad