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Minbart: A New Fashion Store by Sheikha Alia Al Qassimi

Sheikha Alia Al Qassimi, an adviser of Creative Campus & Outreach at twofour54 by day, recently launched the first of its kind fashion concept store in Al Muneera, Abu Dhabi. Minbart – a play on the Arabic word “minbar”, which means platform art – provides an individual approach to fashion, art and design by offering customers the unique opportunity to experiment with labels that have never been seen before in the Middle East. We take interest in designers that have unique background stories and translate these elements into the themed collections, whether they are international brands that are rare in the region or home-grown brands that have something diff­erent to offer. Coming from a design background and being a keen advocate of all things fashion, Minbart was born from having a desire to add something different to the marketplace. From what started out as an empty space, a constantly changing creative platform has been developed. We are considered to be the first concept store that sells stories and we offer the perfect space for creative people to showcase their collections. We get inspired by talking to our designers; we care about knowing what inspired them, what their backgrounds are and what made them create their special pieces. We then communicate the same experience to our customers. Finding a location was the main challenge. We also had to research constantly for unique designers, both established and emerging. We look for originality and quality products and are very proud to be the first to introduce many of these names to the capital and the GCC. Our interior now evokes an ambience of gentle simplicity, with matte concrete flooring, textured, white woodchip walls and a high exposed ceiling with dotted suspended lights. This simple design allows our designers to steal the spotlight. The brands available at Minbart are a mixture of local, regional and international designers. We’ve recently collaborated with the local brand No.3 to create an exclusive collection for Minbart, as well as invited The O Jewelry to use Minbart as a creative platform to launch its collection for the first time. Minbart’s customers have an individual approach to fashion, art and design. Our collections appeal to those who have an eye for beauty, but also like to stand out from the crowd with one-of-a-kind pieces. Our customers are fashion forward, well-travelled and enjoy art, design and culture.

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