Djournal Issue #11

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OUR MANAGING DIRECTOR AND EDITOR IN CHIEF ON THIS ISSUE: MEREDITH : Tradition resounds in the Middle East with each country in the GCC having it’s own specific cultural heritage. I really love that when you make your home here you also learn so much about the rich culture these countries have. AYAAD : Heritage is always about telling stories - there is not a single country, person, brand or anything associated with the concept that doesn’t have a huge collection of stories in it’s history. This is particular to the UAE whose bedouin tribes once carried their stories with them through poems. M : Having worked so long in the fashion industry, I have always fallen in love with brands that have lasted decades once I have learned about the heritage of the brand - each one is entirely unique and the people who have gone into the creation of that brand have always invested their passion, heart and soul into it.


A : The passion is what sets a heritage brand apart - the love. Any heritage brand will work hard to maintain it within it’s brand story - consumers will feel this - this has to be part of their success or they will not last.


M : Social Media has allowed storytelling to become instantly accessible and harmoniously discussed on a social level - we love being a part of this digital revolution. Capital D embraces this movement as we build our own brand story with every day that passes.


A : Yes - and we are enjoying the provocative changes it’s bringing to our industry, enjoying the metemorphosis. It’s the new editorial space - fast paced and allowing rich discussion about the future of the communication and marketing agenda for so many brands and our clients. M : D-journal for us has always been a platform for creativity, allowing our team an opportunity to create for a magazine that has integrity and is devoted to the reason that we all got into this business. We are softly launching our new website this month and will be getting ready for a serious launch party in the new year - log on and have a look to understand more about how we see the world. A : The documentary aspect of D-journal is what I really love - discussing stories from the Middle East and asking questions, especially in video format. Expect to see a lot more of this in the coming weeks as we promote our D-TV channels on the new site as we post our new video content - stories with substance, made with love. M : I think the key for 2016 will be getting back to the success of heritage - sharing stories, recognising greatness and being honest about the journey. A

: Don’t forget the passion .... enjoy the issue.

ON THE COVER - RASHID AL BWARDY Ayaad Damouni at D the Agency


Meredith Taylor-Damouni at D the Agency Capital D Studio ALL FASHION BY DEUS EX MACHINA


Ayaad Damouni Meredith Taylor-Damouni Capital D Studio


Miguel Veterano, Marvin Caibal Sufyan Muhammad Shijar Mohammed Capital D Studio Mona Melhelm Loida Cocjin

PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION POINTS FOR THE PRINTED EDITION INCLUDE DUBAI MALL, DOWNTOWN: Level Shoe District, Joseph Boutique MALL OF THE EMIRATES: Etoile La boutique AL QUOZ: The Mine, Capital D Studio, Tom & Serge AL SERKAL AVENUE: Carbon 12, A4 Space, JBR - The Beach: Joseph Cafe JUMEIRAH: Jones The Grocer, Comptoir 102, Bambah, West LA, DIFC: Art Space Gallery, The Capital Club, Cuadro Gallery, Rera Gallery, The Grooming Company (All outlets), XVA (Bastikiya) WAFI MALL: Etoile La boutique, Baituti - all outlets. SIVVI.COM: delivered with purchase We are also distributed through suites in many 5 star hotels and directly through privately managed consierge entities. Current distribution is 5000 copies bi-monthly.


The magazine is not for sale so if you see it - pick it up, take it home and love it.






PO BOX 500487, Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 3671693 Fax: +971 4 3672645 Email:

PO BOX 36122, Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 3415339 Fax: +971 4 3416234 Email:




+971 4 341 5339




Rashid wears his own polo gear with Deus Ex Machina

RASHID AL BWARDY Photography by Ayaad Damouni at D the Agency Interview by Meredith Damouni Shot on location at Desert Palm Production and post - Capital D Studio

Who are you? I’m Rashid Al Bwardy, I’m 23 years old. I have one brother, three sisters and I’m the second youngest in the family. My father has been a polo player since I can remember. Where are you from? Born and raised in Dubai, I consider myself a UAE local. What do you do? I work in the family business, particularly in the retail side - working with Waitrose and Spinneys. I’ve been doing this for the past two years, and I get to play Polo on the side - so it makes me happy. What inspires you about the notion of Heritage? For me heritage is within the family. My father and elder brother have been playing Polo since I can remember so I started playing Polo to spend some quality family time together. From here this grew over the years (it’s been nearly 15 years since I started playing) from an everyday part of life and normal pursuit of sport to a significant part of my family heritage. This family connection, my origins, my country - where I started and who I started with - keep me going through the good and bad moments of competition and international matches. How important are traditions to you? Coming from Dubai traditions are very important for me - it’s a constant reminder of who I am and where I’m from. For me your morals as a person are borne from your traditions - relating this to sport it means I behave a certain way on the field, there is a certain consistency, based on how you’re taught as you grow up and how the society around you influences you; ultimately I

try to use my traditions in the most positive way possible. However it’s also important to keep moving forward and not let some traditions hold back improvements in your playing. Basically as long as you keep a straight line of progression with your traditions and values always in mind, the decisions you make are always easier. The Polo scene in the UAE is growing, with bigger names and bigger teams and organisations developing. For example the Zidan team attained Pablo McDonald (no 3 in the world) and as these things happen the best horses follow, and the level of competition and playing improves, both through players’ skill and competitive drive. I’m happy to say that the UAE is now considered part of the Polo circuit, not just a tourist destination any more. What role has the UAE played in building the game of Polo Internationally? To be recognised as a Polo nation or team that country’s teams need to be winning trophies or tournaments that are credible internationally and considered important international milestones in polo. For example Godolphin have established their name by winning several prestigious tournaments internationally, increasing the awareness of the country’s presence in that sport. There are only a few teams that have managed to accomplish this - and I’m trying not to be biased but Dubai’s team have achieved this as they have been playing in the UK for the last 20 years, winning the majority of UK cups including the Gold and Queen’s cup. These levels of achievements make Dubai polo team the best in the UAE. Playing locally is one side of the sport, but to reach a team’s full potential and get the full recognition a team deserves they need to compete internationally in the best competitions in the world. At the end of a players career this

“Coming from Dubai traditions are very important for me - it’s a constant reminder of who I am and where I’m from.”

is what they want to have achieved - as much as I like the UAE I also like playing internationally. I really feel Dubai has put the time in to achieve this and earn their spot as one of the best teams in the world. What unique characteristics does Polo in the UAE have? Firstly the sense of community - all of the players are close to each other making competition more friendly and the sport more enjoyable as a whole. Of course the weather is amazing too, the winter weather is perfect for playing polo, with beautiful fields and the sun shining everyday - Dubai is a perfect location to be part of the Polo Circuit. Do you enjoy the travel? Yes I do, though it can get hard at times, but this is a commitment that a serious polo player has to make in order to improve his game. Of course sometimes I want to stay at home and do whatever a 23 year old does, but I would rather look back having taken the opportunities, rather than looking back wondering what I could or would have done. Most importantly I have the full support of my family and my friends understand how committed I am to the game. However things go as long as I have fun and enjoy it I don’t feel like it’s time wasted, and I do enjoy adapting to the new fields and the different levels of competition. Adapting to the changing routines takes time, but I guess this is what makes you are rounded player at the end of the day. How does your lifestyle and Polo intertwine? Ever since I was a child I used like to sit in the farm, the barn and stables - I tend to live a quiet life so having horses and polo around me are the perfect combination for happiness for me. It’s the perfect match for me to make everything easy to cope with.

How do you balance business life and your passion for polo? I guess for me this is one of the hardest things, not just in business but life in general - the hardest part is to go to work in the morning and be focused, then get the time to train around 5.30pm while still seeing my friends and families while keeping everything evenly balanced. It’s important not to have too much of any one thing, and I also have to remember that at the end of the day Polo is still a hobby as much as I am passionate about it - so family and business come first, while still ensuring my polo playing moves forward. Describe your personal style? I’ve always been a jeans and T-shirt kind of guy, looking for comfort over anything else, but I am drawn to brands that have a lifestyle approach that connects with me - honest outdoor living, with a bit of excitement and passion for whatever it is that you do. What kind of projects do you have coming up? Last summer we played in Sante Grande [Spain], and we managed to win everything, so based on this from a player’s perspective the best move for me is to tackle the States. I’m going to play the 22 and 26 goals - and I’m really looking forward to my first experience in Florida - I guess we’ll have to see how it turns out.

Rashid wears his own polo gear with Deus Ex Machina

Dress from Earrings by Samra

THE UNMISTAKABLE MARIAM ROD With over 300,000 followers on instagram, Mariam Rod is certainly here to stay. We transform Mariam into a screen siren in our photoshoot with Samira Olfat of the Max Factor Makeup Academy.

Photography - Ayaad Damouni at D the Agency Stylist - Meredith Damouni at D the Agency Makeup - Samira Olfat for Max Factor Hair - Blow Out and Go Production and post - Capital D Studio Shot at Capital D Studio

Who are you? I am a old soul in a current shell seeking my purpose for this lifetime. What do you do? Predominantly I am in real estate. I have been in the industry for seven years and owned my own agency for three. Additionally I have a blog/online shop that I will be relaunching later this year along with my new business venture where I’m entering the beauty space with my own line of products. Where are you from? I come from the Land Down Under! (But my roots are Kurdish/Persian) How did you end up in the Middle East? I studied business management at University and immediately after began working. One day I stopped and thought that that couldn’t possibly be all life has to offer. I felt like a was a robot stuck in Ground Hog Day. I wanted to travel the world and work in a foreign country. There was so much hype and mystery built up about Dubai that I decided this is the land I wanted to discover. What do you love about Dubai? Everything! To me Dubai is the perfect mix of East and West where people of all racial and economic backgrounds have access to so many opportunities to succeed while living in a uber modern, forward thinking, tax free society. Describe your typical day? There is no such thing as a typical day in my world. I could be doing a viewing one day, going to a fashion event the next. But generally my days are spent in my office writing/replying to emails and working on perfecting my new product line.

What inspires you? It really depends if I’m seeking inspiration for my personal life or my professional life but generally freedom and happiness is what I always strive for. Whatever makes me happy and brings positivity into my life, thats where I am and thats what I pursue. How do you define beauty? Someone who unapologetically owns their own reality. who understands that beauty is relative, who is comfortable in their own skin, who stands tall and walks proud. Someone who is sure of their unique self and wouldn’t change it for the world. As you lead a public life utilizing your social media accounts, how do you balance having a marriage and a very busy social life which is so intertwined with your work? I think the key is time management. I have a calendar that goes with me everywhere. Its filled with details of every event, meeting and social obligation that I have to attend. Im also blessed to have a very supported and encouraging husband who always inspiring me for bigger and better things. What is your greatest ambition for the next 5 years? To have a healthy family of my own. I want 4 kids. Do you see yourself staying in the Middle East? I think eventually our time will be more divided between Dubai, Sydney and Los Angeles. We have a house in LA where we usually spend 3 months of the year but once we have children we will be spending more time in Australia with my family. What have been the greatest pivotal moment for you in the past 2 years? Getting married. We got married two years ago and we’d been together for two and a half years at the time.

What are the three most important things in your life? My family, health and happiness :) How do you use social media to get your message across? I try my best to use my platform to be a positive influence on younger girls in particular. I want girls to be aware that the photos they see in magazines and social media is usually just smoke and mirrors. It takes a lot of make up, lighting, editing apps to look flawless. What’s important to know is that there is only one of you and that’s what makes you special.

What are you most looking forward to at the moment? World domination. Who do you aspire to meet and why? God, so I can thank him personally for all my life’s blessings. How do you define your success? When opportunity meets preparation success will always ensue. Why do you think the UAE is an exciting place to be right now? Dubai is definitely proving to be a mojor competitor in the world market. The city itself is a representation of vision and hard word to be the best at everything they do and this contagious positive energy inspires the people living here to mimic this thirst to strive for the best. What do you see as the major five year goal for Mariam Rod? For my business to have world recognition as the number one product in its niche. I also hope to open a number of charitable organisations. My dream has always been to go to Africa to build schools, homes and hospitals and help the community become self sufficient by starting business that the community can maintain and grow. What opportunities has being in the UAE given you? Being so central in the world has allowed me to travel the world easily and frequently. I’ve also been able to connect and make close friendships with people from all walks of life. Who is closest to you? My hubby. We are rarely apart so no one has ever known me better. What is on your iTunes playlist? From Edith Piaf, Frank Sinatra, Lionel Richie down to 2 CHAINZ and everything in between. Books or websites? Books all day. Top 5 beauty must-haves? Sleep, Coconut Oil, Infused Water, Concealer and a smile :) Top 3 fashion designers? Karl Lagerfield, Olivier Rousteing, Victoria Beckham.

Follow Mariam Rod - @mariam

Dress from Jewellery by Versace Fine Jewellery

Dress from Jewellery by Samra

Dress from Jewellery by Samra

Oscar de la Renta


Photography - Ayaad Damouni at D the Agency Stylist - Meredith Damouni at D the Agency Hair and makeup - Sarah Damichi at D the Agency Model - Paulina at MMG Production and post - Capital D Studio Shot at Capital D Studio

Versace and Versace Fine Jewellery


Saint Laurent



BEYOND THE SUN photography - Ayaad Damouni at D the Agency stylist - Henna Kaarlela at Sunday Showroom makeup - Mehreen Nabeel at the Max Factor Makeup Academy models - Olena, sami , eva from DIVA, gia, clint, james production - Capital D Studio post-production - Capital D Studio

Top by Deus Ex Machina, sunglasses by Raen, swimwear by Natalie Arandes Atelier

Sunglasses by Raen, swimwear by Natalia Arandes, tank by Deus Ex Machina

Left - Sunglasses by Raen

Left - Sunglasses by Raen RIght - Cap and shirt by Deus Ex Machina

Girls are wearing Raen eyewaer, Natalia Arandes Atelier, Deus Ex Machina. Boys are wearing Deus Ex Machina, Raen eyewear.

Left - Towel by Kykullo, swimwear by Natalia Arandes Atelier RIght - Sunglasses by Raen, swimwear by Natalia Arandes Atelier

The Alexa Effect Alexa Chung speaks to us about her recent collaboration with one of the world most famed leather goods houses - Longchamp.

What do you think you have in common with Longchamp? I think we share an appreciation for classic and timeless design as well as practicality and functionality without compromising aesthetics. How do you feel when you see yourself on an advertising hoarding or in a magazine advertising page? It’s pretty insane. I am on all the buses in London. My friend Lizzy from school owns a café and said she waves at me as I go by on the bus everyday. I have yet to travel on one of the buses with my face on it, but that may be fun/weird. How did the Autumn 2015 shoot go? It was great. We were in Miami surrounded by all the amazing murals and interesting graffiti. When you’ve been in dreary NY weather for months, I was delighted to be shooting in sunshine next to palm trees. Which Longchamp bag is your personal favourite? I adore the smaller saddle bags they have this season in different colours. Red and cream are my favourites. What do you always have in your bag? Bank cards, lipstick, phone, room key. I travel light. How would you define your style? My style is always a balance between the masculine and feminine sides of my personality. For example, if I wear a pretty dress, I like to pair it with flats. Or if I’m in jeans, I’ll wera a very girly blouse. It’s all about balance.

Do you remember when you first became interested in fashion? It crept up on me. I was very particular about my school uniform and I always wanted to look different to my classmates. Finding ways to express my individuality when we all had to wear the same uniform became an enjoyable challenge. I hated when someone had the same shoes or bag as me. Now I take it as a compliment of course. Where is your huge sense of style coming from? I just like how things look. I’m not afraid to try new things or be laughed out of a room. I also know myself very well so I think it’s a mixture of those things - that and copying my mother’s style without knowing it. For many people, you are the ultimate style icon. Who are your style icons? Patti Smith, Linda McCartney, Nico, Anita Pallenberg, Kate Moss, Keith Richards, David Hockney. What is your best fashion memory? First attending the Met Ball with Phillip Lim. He is such a nice, warm man. He was the perfect date and made me a tuxedo for the occasion. I kept not believing I was invited. What item would you never, ever wear? Never say never.

Follow @chungalexa

> Images from behind-the-scenes of the campaign shoot

WE meet justin heit Justin, you started Raen in 2008. What’s your current role and what does it entail? My current roles are polar opposites of each other. As a CEO and a Creative Director, half of my time is spent managing the logistical side of the brand and the other is insuring that the brand DNA is consistent through out product, marketing and sales. I prefer the creative side. What first inspired you to start your own label? We’ve always been fascinated with eyewear and saw an opportunity and a niche in the surf lifestyle space. We were able to do something that was a little more modern and classic that was also handmade. I had just left my job at Nixon as Art Director to set up our Design Agency, Libre Design. That’s how RAEN was formed. Where are you based? We’re based in North County, San Diego. We launched in Encinitas and we recently moved to our hometown of Oceanside. You’ve recently teamed up with Deus for a great collaboration. It’s awesome to collaborate with like-minded people and brands that are doing great things. All of this came from collaborating with my friend Dustin Humphrey, one of the creative xgeniuses at Deus’s Temple of Enthusiasm in Bali, when we started collaborating on photography and athletes. It’s natural to do these collabs with great friends. How do you pick the specific styles? Before we design any product we work off a product matrix through segmentation that includes fit and gender. Then we go back into our brand DNA and continuously build on the family of frames within our existing collection. Give us a rundown of what the Raen x Deus collaboration is bringing to the market? We launched the collection with the Arlo. This new frame stems from our classics meets modern design and is truly an evolution of silhouettes we’ve done in the past. You’ve got some great ambassadors for the company including Josh Kerr, Alex Knost and Danny Fuller just to name a few. What do you look for when on the search for people to represent Raen? Our ambassadors are much more than surfers with stickers on their boards. A lot of what they do outside of the water whether its art, photography, music or business, all tie back into who RAEN is and what we stand for as a brand. They are the perfect fit.

Walk us through a typical day at Raen HQ? We get in around 8:30 and head down to our favorite coffee cart, Captain’s Grounds. Once we get back it’s a morning full of emails, approvals, our dog barking at the UPS man and your occasional designer cruising by on skateboard. Then it’s meetings, quick surf at lunch, back to emails and more dog barking at the Fed-Ex afternoon pick up, more approvals, more emails, digital and photography reviews, our daily “How to Take Over the World” meeting, then grab a pint of Saint Archer out of the conference room, say our farewells and home. Then we wake up and repeat. Describe the Raen crew in three words… Humble. Family. Creative. Give us a brief history of Justin Heit. Born in Long Beach, raised in Oceanside, traveled and was inspired to design and build brands. Graduated SDSU, Art Director at TWS, Art Director at Nixon, got married had three amazing kids, launched Libre in 2005, RAEN in 2008, been busy ever since. Tell us something about you that people may not know. I’m afraid of heights and my last name is Heit. What will we see you wearing from the latest Raen collection? The Arlo What do you get up to outside of Raen and the office? I spend as much time as I can with my family in the water. My kids are just now starting to enjoy surfing and there’s no greater joy then being able to be in the water with my children and sharing that love for the ocean with them. Talk to us about the process behind first putting pen to paper and designing a new style, to the end product being in your hand? It goes back to our product matrix and segmentation then we get into style and colors. We pay close attention to details like fit, and the overall technicalities. Then it’s internal reviews, sampling, ambassador involvement and then it’s ready for the market place. What’s next for Raen? We are excited to launch our new RX collection for 2016 along with our ambassador, Alex Knost’s, three-piece collection.

Where do you and the design team find inspiration for new collections? We’ve always looked to mid-century design, whether it’s architecture, furniture or other accessories; we appreciate hand built, custom products. Charles Eames said it best, “The best, for the most, for the least.” Describe your workspace? We are in a 12,00 sq. ft. building on Coast Hwy 101. It was built in the 50’s and was originally the North County Tribune’s headquarters where they designed, printed and distributed the newspapers. We’ve retro fitted it to be an open, collaborative workspace that houses Libre Design and RAEN. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Some people may even say it’s a little bit haunted.

Follow @raen_arabia

CEO and Creative director of Raen eyewear to talk about HIS STORY and recent collaboration with Deus ex machina

PEPE by Bronia Stewart

“Pepe Torreblanco is a young man living in Chalco, a town on the south eastern outskirts of Mexico City. Chalco is a dangerous neighbourhood, robbery and violence dominate daily life and the increasing presence of drug cartels creates instability, corruption and fear. Pepe owns a convenience store and is in a gang. Young people organise themselves into gangs for protection and comradery. I spent six weeks with Pepe, his gang and his family. The gang aspire to live in America, where they believe a better life exists/is accessible. Influenced by Los Angeles gang style they own three American sports tops, which are kept behind Pepe’s store counter to be worn and swapped around on the nights they spend hanging out, drinking in front of the store and on the streets. Pepe and his family work hard, uphold traditions and celebrate significant events. Violence creates excitement and gang codes provide an identity and social belonging but despite the intimidating backdrop and disenchantment towards their environment, regard for family values, relationships, affection and intimacy strongly prevails.”

Bronia is newly signed to D the Agency and available for work in the UAE. Contact for more information.




art of the trench middle eastern style - burberry tracks the inFluencers of the region with a sartorial campaign. When you say ‘trench’ we say ‘Burberry’. The heritage brand has owned the trench coat as a part of it’s DNA for decades. How thrilled then we were when the brand decided to include the Middle East in it’s brand journey around the world through images of our friends from art, design, film and fashion wearing their favourite trench from the brand. Loving that our previous cover stars Ali Mostafa and Mohammed Al Turki were included in the pack.





Noor: ‘What I love about the trench is that you can throw it on over anything and it ties the look together. You can dress it up and dress it down.’ Buthaina: ‘The meaning of heritage to me is culture, tradition, family and good food’


‘What I love about the trench coat is that it’s a timeless piece that you can wear with anything - you can literally throw it on when leaving the house and it will always add that effortless elegance’


‘My own personal style is very overdressed and very impractical at times. The trench is such a wardrobe staple no matter where you live in the world’


‘The Burberry trench is such a classic - it has remained the same, yet changes and adapts each season, always remaining current and contemporary’

Meet : Samira Olfat Celebrity makeup artist, founder of the Max Factor Makeup Academy and brand ambassador for Max Factor Middle East How did you get into makeup? I always say “I’m an architect who become a makeup artist, I love designing faces instead of designing buildings.” How long have you been a makeup artist? 11 years What has inspired you to become a trainer? I decided to share my experiences when I realised how much incorrect information on beauty is out there and aspiring makeup artists were getting confused by the tutorials by unknown makeup artists. I felt there was a need for those who want to learn to be professional makeup artists. How did you meet the Max Factor team? Max Factor team approached me in 2007 When did the Max Factor Makeup Academy start? 11 June 2013 was the launch of the first Max Factor Makeup Academy. 11th June is my mum’s birthday and as she was my main inspiration for loving makeup, I chose this as the perfect date to launch. Why is this training program is so special and unique? I have combined my 11 years of knowledge and experience in makeup artistry and created an intensive fifty hour course for those who want to enter the beauty world and as the Max Factor Makeup Academy is placed within Capital D Studio, we can offer jobs to our graduated students. This is very unique. Also Pat McGrath the Global Ambassador of Max Factor is highly recommending to aspiring makeup artist to register at Max Factor Makeup Academy and b trained by Samira Olfat to pursue their dreams. Which celebrities have you worked with? Eva Longoria, Nicole Scherzinger, Nadia Ali, Sarah Wayne Callies, Tinsly Mortimor, Max Mara, Daniella Rahme, Diana Mendoza, Asala, Shereen Abdolvahab, Mais Hamdan. Who do you think are the best makeup artists internationally and why? Path McGrath - she is an idol for many makeup artists world wide. She is the creator of makeup trends for many cosmetics brands and is backstage at most of international fashion shows. Who would you love to make over? Angelina Jolie, Cate Blanchett, Beyonce What do you think are the staples to anyone’s makeup bag? Lip balm, eye cream, sun block Which key products are you loving right now? Nuelash eyelash growth serum, SKII skin care, Max Factor Transform mascara, Lash Dubai false lashes and SO makeup brushes. Tell us about the courses offered at the Max Factor Academy? We have 2 courses at the moment. Intensive Professional Makeup Course - duration of 50 hours for those who want to become professional makeup artists. DIY Makeup Class - duration of 4 hours for those who want to learn how to do their own makeup in a more professional way.

Why are these courses so special? Our students and our reputation are so important to us. We make sure they learn the makeup skills and they practice before they get into the real world. Only those who are qualified can get the certificate. Who are the usual people who attend the classes? We have many people of different ages and nationalities. They are all beauty lovers at the end of the day. What excites you most about the Max Factor Makeup Academy? Every time I see the sparkle of happiness in my students’ eyes when they learn something new, it makes me extremely happy. When I see how excited they are when they work backstage at a fashion show or on a photoshoot, it makes me excited. Tell us about your collaboration with Capital D Studio? I am loving our new location at Capital D Studio, which is such an artistic media production house with amazingly professional and creative team of experts. The collaboration with Capital D Studio has added value to our mission as our students will be booked for freelancing job opportunites after they graduate. When is the next course? 1st of November 2015 is the start of the next course and we run courses every month. How do you get registered for one of the Max Factor Academy courses? Please contact Capital D Studio on 04 341 5339 or email us on

Follow @samiraolfat


Who are you? The eternal student of my two sons. Where are you from? Dubai. Why did you decide to start this brand? I wanted to change perception. Discuss the heart and soul of the brand? The art of giving. What makes a garment a RAW by Ayten garment? The quality of fabric, the cut and the construction of the garment. How do you define beauty and style? Simplicity, definition and grace. Why did you choose the name RAW - what does this mean to you? Going back to basics and stripping anything right down to it’s true form - this is the essence of RAW. Is your brand unique in the regional market? Yes it is. Are you planning to take your brand international? Yes, I am launching in the UK for the 2016 collections - I am extremely excited about this. How do you choose your fabrics? It’s a relationship, I have to feel the connection, know the history, where it’s made and how it was fabricated. How do approach new collaborations with designers for your seasonal fashion lines? With honesty and a blank page. Who is the Raw by Ayten woman? She knows what she wants and goes after it, without hesitation! Although there is a traditional aspect to your line - does this define your collection? I don’t like to use the word ‘traditional’; it’s a tricky word! No it doesn’t define it. How do you see your brand growing in the next five years? I see it having solid presence in the key fashion cities of the world. My clothes are for all women who appreciate detail and natural style and beauty. What is inspiring you most now? Art and certain design and lifestyle philosophies. What are you looking forward to in the next twelve months? My next collection and building my brand in the right markets globally. Sum up your personal style in 3 words: Elegant Timeless Simple

Follow @RAWbyAyten

Photography - Zuez at D the Agency Creative - Meredith Damouni at D the Agency Hair and makeup - Katie Cousins at D the Agency Model - Adriana at MMG Production and post - Capital D