It all started on a lazy Saturday afternoon of browsing through the daily buzz that is the Instagram newsfeed. Upon noticing the dream denim shirtdress creating a chic, effortlessly cool overall look that caters to Kuwait’s conservative yet stylish standards, we knew we had to track down the genius behind this accessible outfit. Manifested in the form of Aein Designs, we love how this new brand perfectly sums up the simplicity of what many of us have been craving.
The Aein collection is created by lovely Gulfite, Roula Arab. Having lived in Bahrain, Kuwait and Dubai, Roula is not a trained fashion designer, but the Palestinian-Syrian beauty has a degree in Mass Communications from AUK, and experience working on many fashion editorials. While she’s the first to admit that she isn’t excessively versed in fashion lingo and wouldn’t know Anna Wintour from Anna Sui, homegirl has style and wants to share it with the world- or at least the ladies of rest of the Gulf. “I started tailoring my own clothes because I’m extra tall, I would have to redesign pieces to look better.” Extra tall she is, and she found that she was enjoying the experiences of redesigning pieces to cater to her graceful statuesque height and figured that “if there are certain looks that I crave but can’t find on the market, surely other people who have similar taste feel the same way.”
Lucky for Roula and the rest of us, her style is chic, timeless and quietly trendy, and so many of us do crave certain styles that can’t seem to manifest onto the mannequins of commercial stores and brands. It’s highly doubtful that anyone with a penchant for modern street fashion would be able to resist the eclectic Aein collection. It boasts simplicity with bursts of pastel colors and timeless pieces that derive from the modern Normcore and Basic fashion trends with a Middle Eastern twist. With this, Basic Betty becomes Basic Bedour.
On top of wanting to provide the local female population with an organic source for cute and simple seasonal looks, Roula’s collection has a soul and a purpose. The name of her brand, Aein, is a double entendre dedicated to the Arabic letter and the word for “eye”. Roula felt a connection with this word to market her brand because she felt that “When people look at you, they can see who you are through your eyes. Like your clothes, your eyes reflect the person you are most of the time.” She partnered this detail with her ambitions to become a life coach in order to incorporate personal value into her clothes. “I didn’t want it to be just a fashion line, I wanted it to have a purpose. I’ve gathered that self confidence is a huge issue within females specifically, and believe that being content on the inside in order to look good on the outside.” With modern styles, moderate prices and beautiful made-to-order custom fits, the message behind Aein is for women to gain confidence and to stop putting each other down. This message is made clear on Aein’s Instagram page that is constantly updated with photos of the designer, her friends and models wearing the carefully curated pieces, crafted with love and positive energy.
To add to her quest to spread positive vibes and confidence, Roula has also created Aeinception; an inspirational Snapchat account that is dedicated to passing on pearls of wisdom from real people to real people. Inspirational messages from around the globe find themselves in 30-second videos on this gender-neutral account, ranging from places such as Halifax, Nova Scotia to London to Dubai. These snapchatters preach inspirational messages about staying true to oneself, chasing dreams, and not giving a hoot about what other people think. “One thing you will always have to remember, one thing; have your feet on the ground, be humble, be thankful, and appreciate. One more thing, gratitude.”
So how does the Aein process work? Being a classy nomad, Roula bases the business between Kuwait, Dubai, Bahrain and Lebanon. Potential customers or people who want to discover the collection are encouraged to follow the brand on Instagram @aeindesigns. From this portal, Roula has graciously provided contact info via email and WhatsApp or Direct Message for people to place orders.
While she hopes to someday introduce her collection to local boutiques between Kuwait, Dubai and Beirut, Roula is content with where Aein is at now. “I believe in growth. This started in May 2015 and it isn’t my main source of income. It’s not about the money. I genuinely want to encourage women to stop putting each other and themselves down with what they wear. I don’t want them to feel discouraged to wear what they want just because they may not necessarily look like a supermodel. Not everyone will look the same, and women come in different shapes and sizes. I want to tell them, ‘These are clothes. We are women. Let’s wear these clothes and have fun with it.’ “
The no-drama approach to Roula’s line is ideal for versatile occasions. The collection mainly consists of dresses and skirts, with a playful romper or modernly traditional dara’aa making an appearance here and there. It caters to women and girls of all ages- what a 25-year-old might find appropriate to wear to a dinner, a 16-year-old girl might wear that same dress to a wedding or even her high school prom.
This experience has made Roula want to delve a little deeper into fashion education so that she could add those little touches that are sometimes difficult to communicate with a tailor. “Your vision isn’t always properly translated, and while the pieces I sell turn out perfectly, it would be nice if I could get in and add the finishing touches with my own hands.” Her handiwork is evident in the design process as she sketches all of her designs, and with the packaging. Each Aein purchase is hand-packaged by the designer with care. “I hand-wrap each purchase I send out myself. I try hard for it to come out perfectly, but if it doesn’t, they still know it’s me wrapping everything and that I’m a real person. I seal it with the logo and send it out with the best energy.”
So there you have it. Mrs. Roula Arab, style mogul and entrepreneur, wants to spread the best energy to the ladies of the Gulf through her clothes. With pieces that cute, affordable and unique, we will definitely accept. She hopes we can fulfill her wishes and learn to wear the pieces with the best vibes and confidence, and remember that each piece we unwrap is made with ultimate care, consideration and love, from Aein.
For more information, follow Aein Designs on Instagram @AeinDesigns.