Villa Moda in Dubai's International Financial Centre Featured

14 stores and stand-alone brand boutiques in this project by Sheikh Al-Sabah
by 30 June 2009

In a city almost saturated with designer boutiques, does Dubai really need another fashion retailer? But then again, Villa Moda is not just another multi-label designer store. For its big-spending, fashion-forward clientele, it is a way of life, and for its founder and Chairman, Sheikh Majed Al-Sabah, it is a vision of a new and revolutionary concept of retail therapy, where modern art, high design and fashion sit side by side.

Villa Moda retail concept is divided in two. One is the Villa Moda multi-brand boutiques for men and for women, carrying high-end luxury brands. Renowned architects and designers design these stores.

Villa Moda’s second retail concept is that it opens and operates boutiques directly for big flagship stores are designed by the brands along with their interiors all according to brand specification.

Villa Moda’s exciting new project in Dubai is located at Gate Village in Dubai International Financial Centre, an intimate and totally unique al fresco luxury lifestyle destination that is a world away from the city’s air-conditioned malls. With overall art direction by Pierfrancesco Cravel, the Italian architect responsible for the original “Glass Cube” Villa Moda store in Kuwait, it encompasses 14 stores, including two multi-brand Villa Moda stores and an eclectic selection of stand-alone boutiques from brands such as Marni, Dries Van Noten and Vivienne Westwood. However, the Dubai multibrand is not related to the designer of Kuwait Villa Moda. Al-Sabah plans to complement the retail experience at Gate Village with art and fine dining, in the hope of creating a vibrant cultural hub within the city. As well as the first Ladurée patisserie in the region, shoppers will be able tovisit an art and design gallery that hosts exhibitions from some of the world’s top contemporary artists, with a regular schedule of workshops, lectures, and film screenings.

Do not be mistaken about Sheikh Al-Sabah’s fashion credentials. He may have royal lineage (his uncle was the late Emir of Kuwait), but it is his overriding passion for cutting-edge fashion rather than his family connections that have driven the business forward to become a fashion empire that spans five countries.

Al-Sabah has ambitious hopes for the future of Villa Moda with expansion plans to open 30 boutiques in the region in the next 4 months, with backing from a major investment from Dubai International Finance Centre. As the man who commands so much respect in fashion circles that he was able to convince Tom Ford to design a line of thobes, and Miuccia Prada, Margherita Missoni and Carla Fendi to custom design kaftans exclusively for fashionable Villa Moda customers, if anyone can achieve this, Al-Sabah can.

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