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More Middle Eastern Designers Become Red Carpet Faves

Lama Jouni, Courtesy of The Tezzy Files

Over the past year, the world has witnessed a rise in the number of designers from the region stealing the spotlight on red carpets everywhere. And we’re not talking only about big names like Elie Saab and Reem Acra, but up and coming designers like French-Algerian Faiza Bouguessa and Lebanese-born, Dubai-based Lama Jouni. Here are five fresh labels that were worn in the last year by renowned celebrities:

1. Bouguessa

Known as the creator of the “global abaya,” Faiza Bouguessa’s designs are luxurious yet minimalist in style, appeal to every woman, and aim to create a bridge between cultures. Starting out as a flight attendant for Emirates airlines, Bouguessa quickly made Dubai home and set up her label soon after. Over the last few months, her brand has gained several A-list followers such as Beyoncé, Jessica Alba, and Halima Aden.

2. Lama Jouni

Before setting up her iconic brand in 2013 in Dubai, Lama Jouni studied Fashion Design at Parsons Paris, acquiring a unique aesthetic style during her time there. Jouni is a regular at Dubai's Fashion Forward event, known for her sleek creations and photo-ready pieces. This Lebanese-born designer stood out more than ever last year when Bella Hadid sported a hoodie from her S/S18 collection.

3. Okhtein

Okhtein, which basically means “two sisters” in Arabic, was created by Egyptian sisters Aya and Mounaz Abdelraouf and has become a favorite of stars like Gigi Hadid, Emma Watson, Izabel Goulart, and Beyoncé. Their bag designs aim at bringing luxury back to their home country, “as well as drawing international attention to the inherent refinement of Egyptian artisanship.”

4. Azzi & Osta

This Beirut-based label is the creation of George Azzi and Assaad Osta, two designers who trained under the patronage of the renowned Elie Saab, and who are making a name for themselves in the region through their stunning eveningwear. A piece from their S/S18 collection was recently sported by Kendall Jenner at her family's Christmas party – a pair of trousers featuring an elaborate twisting flower shape on the right hip.

5. SemSem

This luxury mother-and-daughter label is the brainchild of Egyptian fashionista and mother of two Abeer Al Otaiba. SemSem creates ready-to-wear pieces for today’s working woman, creations that have been spotted on stars such as Blake Lively, who was seen last Valentine’s Day donning one the brand’s heart-covered jumpsuits.

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