The Most Stylish Men and Women of the Middle East

Fashion has its own frames and codes as opposed to the “globalization” phenomenon making one look like another. Hence, the dressing habits, like many other living styles, are changing from one location to another. On the other side, it is virtually impossible to be unaffected from the effects of this homogeneous structure of global fashion trends. But if you succeed, you have your very own style.

The Middle East, at this point, represents a mixture of many influences enriched and modernised by the diverse cultures living in the area, which still carry their traditional design identities. Even if there exist very distinct styles in particular regions, Middle East, at the end, remains a great fashionista area of the world.

Let's take a look at the TOP 5 most stylish women of the Middle East:

1. Ece Sükan

Ece Sukan from Turkey, is a former fashion model and currently a business woman living within the triangle of Milan, New York and Istanbul. She successfully undertakes different jobs from editorship to hosting TV shows, from fashion and style consultancy to university lecturing. Moreover, she is the one who opened the first vintage boutique and organised the first vintage fashion show in Turkey.

The name Sukan in the fashion industry is significant not only thanks to her successful works but also thanks to her unique style. When asked on her approach for getting dressed; “improvisation is so important” she said, “it’s not just about how I feel that day, it’s experimental, impulsive and (I think) intuitive. I have a very eclectic style, so I like to mix my feelings with colours, periods and themes. I’m not sure how people plan the night before.”

Ece Sukan’s style has been praised by many international publications; Vogue UKVogue ChinaVogue JapanVanity Fair GermanyElle Decor UKGlamour USAL’Express France, La gazette Della Republica Italy, Donna Italy, T Style New YorkStyle.comConde Nast Traveler UKElle ItalyFinancial Times and Wallpaper UK are some of those.

2. Queen Rania

Rania Al Abdullah, known as the Queen of Jordan, is another stylish woman from the Middle East. With her successful academic background and working experience as well as her ongoing crusades for social causes, she is one of the most powerful women in the world, listed in The 100 Most Powerful Women by Forbes. Her tireless fight for education for all children, against gender equality hunger and poverty, is admired all around the world.

Queen Rania with her elegant profile, is considered an icon for the women living in the Middle East. Moreover, she is among Vanity Fair’s top 10 most fashionable first ladies thanks to her unique style composed of maturity, conservatism and elegancy.

Gaining a place at the 10 Most Stylish Women in The World Today list in 2013, Rania Al Abdullah’s style is considered to be conservative but graceful with Modest hemlines, elegant gowns, fifties silhouettes, skirts and suits comprising most of her finery.

3. Hina Rabbani Khar

Hina Rabbani Khar is another fashion icon who has worked in leading political and business positions. She is the 26th Foreign Minister of Pakistan and the co-owner of a restaurant chain named Polo Lounge. Having a remarkable academic background, Khar began her political career in 2002, in the Ministry of Finance in Pakistan. Since 2008, she has been a senior and high-ranking member of the Central Executive Committee and is seen as one of the highest ranking women in Pakistani political arena.

On the other hand, Khar is one of the best fashionable  women in Pakistan with a trendy style even though covered from head to toe. The frequent combination of her apparels with classic pearl string around the neck is seen as her signature and many think that this combination adds on her a charismatic beauty. This elegance is mostly supplemented with a Hermès Birkin and Jimmy Choo heels, but her brand preferences also include Louis Vuitton, Prada and Salvatore Ferragamo.

While inspiring the women of her country, her appeal has expanded to India. As tweeted by Barkha Dutt, Group Editor at NDTV, “if Hina Rabbani were a male foreign minister of Pakistan, would she EVER be deconstructed in terms of look and dress?” 

4. Nimati Shuhaibar

Nimati Shuhaibar, from United Arab Emirates, is showed among the most stylish Arab women in addition to her successful business-woman identity. Polkadots & Ribbons is the company she founded a couple of years ago and serves as a bespoke events company focusing on children’s parties.

The fidgety personality she has, is reflected on both her business and her style. This is the why her motto is: to dress for yourself but anyone else. “When it comes to fashion”, she says, “I am a proud ambassador to the amazing Azza Fahmy Jewelry line! I love mixing and matching pieces to make a style of my own that I feel comfortable in.” When interviewed by Fustany.com, she particularly mentioned that we would not see her in the front lines for the latest collection of brand.

Instead of buying and wearing what is a hit for now, she experiences a “set style” as put in her own words. “I simply buy what I like, and piece different things together at home, it varies depending on the day and how creative I am feeling” she says, “I am obsessed with pastel colours, print and LeiVanKash Jewelry at the moment!”

5. Razan Alazzouni

You may have heard the name Razan Alazzouni before as she has dressed celebrities such as Emma Roberts, Kelly Osborne, Naya Rivera, Whitney Port and Ashley Tisdale, but one should not neglect her artistic background.

Born and raised in Saudi Arabia, Razan Alazzouni didn't come from an artistic environment. They were the years she spent in The School of Museum of Fine Arts and TUFTS University in Boston, the ones paving her way into the fashion world. Her designs have been mentioned as creative, original and sculptural. She is the founder of The Razan Alazzouni luxury fashion label, created to exude the femininity, delicacy and grace of the female form

The brunette beauty launched her own bridal design at Lace Events’ creative set, after being spotted as a designer-to-watch during the Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience last year. Her style is a composition of a mature grace, with her designs including tulles, flowers and striking combinations of colours.

On the other side, we also have handsome men with breathtaking personal styles. Below is the list of the TOP 5 stylish man of the Middle East!

1. Leith Matthews

Leith Matthews, particularly known for his bow-tie collection, is the naughty boy of fashion in the Middle East. The 32 year-old Australian expat is the founder of renowned Snapp Mobile Loyalty Solutions and Restronaut.me.

His style can be defined as cool and energetic. “I like cool and casual, mixing up urban styles that play with dressing up and dressing down. I usually stick to a combination of street and chic” he says to explain his style.  The Kooples Group and Zadig & Voltaire are among his favourite brands and his style is heavily influenced by the Western Europe.

Matthews was selected as one of the Best Dressed Men in Middle East in the April 2013 issue of Esquire.

2. Layne Redman

British television presenter, writer and actor, Layne Redman, is currently living in Dubai, presenting Out & About in theEnglish language television channel Dubai One.  Redman with previous working experience in the marketing field, he has been in the media industry since 2008.

Redman is furthermore an art follower and cares for an artistic touch in his outfits. “It’s important to see what’s going on, but not allow fashion to dictate what I design or wear myself” he says, “I think the substantial clothing items you own should be a work of art and also be able to stand the test of time.” 

3. Frederic Watrelot

The representative of the French originality in Middle East is of course Frederich Watrelot. What if he moved to Hong Kong as the head of watches and jewellery at Christie’s, he is still considered a style icon of the Middle East.

His style is a mix of class and elegance, influenced by his traditional French soul. “I work in an elegant environment, which suits the ‘traditional’ side of my personality. Working for one of the oldest luxury firms in the world, I always do my best to look the part.” But Watrelot also has a hippie side: “although I love my Dior Homme grey suit, I feel happiest when I’m wearing jeans and a t-shirt; I’m a hippie at heart.

Inevitably, he also has a collection of perfect watches. His favourite one is a vintage IWC Doppelchronograph and he maintains a list of watches to acquire in the near future.

4. Simon Lock

If you manage a fashion company, the first thing you need to have is the understanding of fashion. And the Australian CEO of The Lock Group, Simon Lock, has for sure.

Credited as the “Godfather” of Australian Fashion in 2011, Lock was named as the recipient of the prestigious Australian Fashion Laureate award in recognition of his enduring contributions, marking the first time the award was presented to an individual who was not a designer .

When asked about his style, he firstly emphasises his motivation to stay in shape for his beloved Dior Homme suits.I’m a classic Dior model fit, which is size 48 on the top and bottom” he told to Esquire, “I just love the smart, sharp tailoring of Dior Homme.” Obsessed with the man ankle look, he mentions that he feels old fashioned when the pants fall over to the shoes. Lock, a representative of a stylish soul, breaks through the standards of global fashion norms.

5. Bader Al Hejailan

Bader Al Hejailan, known as the Editor in Chief and Founder of THOUQ; formerly a fashion and lifestyle magazine addressing both genders, now served as the online destination for Khaleeji men. 

When referring to fashionistos (“male” fashionistas), he underlines his great admiration for fashion that follows religiously. “Not only should a fashionisto always be aware of new trends in fashion” he says “but he’s also informed about new trends in culture at large.” 

I love buying cool new pieces. My work means I am obliged to be aware of new, up-and-coming trends” he adds but he also stresses that the quality of the design and the fabric are significant for him. On the other hand, living in the hotter region of the world, he is totally a hot weather lover and that is reflected in his outfits as well.

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