On Monday evening, Fivestory opened its town house doors to welcome shoppers and friends of Dubai-based brand Madiyah Al Sharqi to shop the fall collection. Al Sharqi flew in to meet with some of her New York customers, a group that is growing since the brand made its debut at the Upper East Side boutique last summer.
“The collection is doing really well,” Fivestory’s Claire Distenfeld said. “For me, it’s exciting because of the point of view. She’s looking at the West from a kind of Middle Eastern standpoint but also catering to the West. She comes at it from a very different perspective. I also feel that she does a really good job of combining high and low, which I think is a Middle Eastern thing because they dress up so frequently. Daytime is so much more formal than daytime here, but she has the idea of wearing something here like a slip dress, but they’re embellished and can be worn black tie or you could put a T-shirt underneath and its daytime.”
She added that this approach was, in her opinion, what gives the brand its appeal. “I think that cultural perspective is what speaks and stands out from the others,” Distenfeld said. “I think when something stands out, people gravitate towards it.”
Al Sharqi described her newer looks as a natal continuation from the debut. “For this collection it’s still me, but it’s evolving,” she said. “The silhouettes are less extravagant, it’s boxy and simple. It’s still similar because of the colors and the textures, but you can see the evolution and how much cuts have become more toned-down and refined. It’s what I’m slowly starting to see my brand developing into.”
To her somewhat surprise, the collection has found a footing in New York. “Even from last collection, I was really shocked — we sold a lot here, more than we do in the Middle East,” Al Sharqi said. “I was shocked that [women in New York] wear color, wear embellished clothes; it was a good opportunity to come here. [Fivestory] placed another order, which was amazing. They told us someone ordered from the Middle East, to have it shipped from New York to the Middle East.”