British-born Dubai resident Jacqueline Lewis, a boutique owner and interior designer, noticed there was a frustratingly long delay between new trends being seen on overseas catwalks and landing in Dubai’s stores. To bridge the gap, she decided to take things into her own hands and launch a forward-thinking boutique.
Ume, near Dubai Marina Yacht Club, opens its doors this week offering two high-end brands: Australian label Megan Park, renowned for its combination of old artisan techniques and modern shapes, and Brit brand Handwritten, which was created by Ghost founder Tanya Sarne and focuses on sensuous, timeless silhouettes and signature silk-like textiles.
Forthcoming brands to be added to the line-up include retro-feel footwear label Chie Mihara, designed by a Brazilian woman of the same name, as well as London-based, Indian-inspired jewellery brand Ashiana (think bold shapes and semi-precious stones). The store currently focuses on womenswear, although Jacqueline says she may consider introducing menswear in future.
Shop Two, Majara Two, Dubai Marina (050 100 6231)
Jacqueline Lewis, 43, British
Do you think Dubai is fashionable?
Yes. Fashion is evolving here and becoming more individual. People are also a lot more discerning and careful about how and where they spend their money.
Who is your favourite designer of all time?
I’m very lucky to be currently working with my favourite designer, Tanya Sarne (the woman behind Handwritten). Some of my first real designer pieces came from Ghost, the brand she created in 1984. I remember when I first wore one of her pieces I felt fashionable, feminine and sexy all at the same time.
What’s your favourite fashion trend at the moment?
I love the re-emergence of the ’50s and early ’60s style on the catwalk. The look is versatile, feminine and easy to wear.