Cutting-edge, London-based online boutique, Not Just A Label, kicks off excitement for Dubai’s brand new Design District – Jennifer Meredith investigates

Contemporary fashion lovers will rejoice at their favourite online designer retailer making waves in Downtown Dubai. Brainchild of Italian entrepreneur, Stefan Siegel, Not Just A Label brings together innovation and collaboration within the fashion industry, championing emerging designers and opening doors for those who may not have access to crucial business connections.

For the first time in the company’s history, a physical retail outlet was established as a pop-up, housed in an 800 square-metre immersive experience pavilion in the heart of Dubai’s recently built Design District. The ultra-modern store featured 200 of the brand’s 18,000 emerging designers, from over 50 countries around the world. This included a support for local talent, and world-first, in the form of Dubai-based Bint Thani’s 3D-printed dress.

The brand also showcased the best and brightest of British talent, featuring Julia Cameron, founder of luxury British heritage accessories brand, Julia Cameron Ltd and Manchester-based fashion designer, Joana Almagro, who is synonymous with texture and body contouring silhouettes.

Siegel stated that Not Just A Label’s appearance in Dubai invited visitors to ‘discover authentic, international designers who are true to their roots in fashion artistry and have a story to tell with each collection and design’. The eclectic range of clothing and accessories available at the shop illustrated this point completely, whilst the store’s clean and sleek layout ensured that each and every piece received its fair share of attention from browsing shoppers.

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The space also accommodated a handful of exclusive events, including workshops by the British Council, seminars with world-renowned trend forecaster, Li Edelkoort, and performances by the acclaimed John Newman, Yara Bravo, Bradley Zero and Dub FX. Beyond the boundaries of the store, Dubai’s ‘Meet d3’ presented a mix of UAE-based, regional and international designers, artists, retailers and restaurants to over 30,000 avid residents and tourists. The event is the public’s official introduction to the Dubai Design District, an entirely new neighbourhood built from scratch amongst the town’s burgeoning multiplicity of high-rises.

Acknowledging the vast success of the site-wide event, Dr Amina Al Rustamani, Group CEo of TECOM Investments, commented: ‘Meet d3 marks the official opening of the Dubai Design District to the world. Through the culmination of teamwork community spirit, creative innovation and love for all elements of design, it has been a tremendous success’.L1010248_NJAL_Dubai_D3_Pre

If you were unable to attend the event this April, Not Just A Label’s online store is available to shop limited edition collections and bespoke pieces from around the world, with products shipping straight from the designer’s workshop to your home – meaning more funding for the designer’s progress and business, and not the middleman! Prices currently start from £25 and reach £9,200 (for a Patrik Prusak mink biker jacket, in case you were wondering). Our favourite pieces include elegant and girly tailored separates by Hungarian designer, Anna Daubner, and urban adaptations by South Korea-based S M K.

Visit Not Just A Label at www.notjustalabel.com, and find out more about the Dubai Design District at www.dubaidesigndistrict.com.