NYC fashion arrives in Saudi Arabia… finally!

The worldly fashionistas of Saudi are rejoicing. It’s finally happened: The hottest brands of NYC are available in the Kingdom thanks to the opening of the New York fashion industry’s coveted “Staff Sale.”Located in Jeddah’s Le Mall on Tahlia Street, the store is a pop-up, meaning it’s only open while stock lasts.

Tonight, the store officially opens, and fashionistas are let loose among thousands of inventory at discounted prices.No, it’s not a dream. It’s about time.While the super brands like Chanel, Dior, and Valentino will always be in our hearts as well as in our high-end malls, the void in the fashion hierarchy in Saudi Arabia lies in the niche, boutique brands.

Of course, we love the girls at Jasmine Box and Newbury for bringing us beautiful, jersey dresses by Rachel Pally and vintage-esque accessories from Nicole Richie’s House of Harlow, but it’s impossible to assume two boutiques can supply a city of feigning fashionistas with a constant fix. As much as we count our lucky stars that SID Concept Store and LIFE Store have our “fashion godmother” behind them to take care of our more experimental or urban needs – à la Tsumori Chisato and Jeremy Scott – fashion addicts will always crave more.

And with Ramadan just beginning, the inevitable comedown from a high of summer shopping sprees in Paris and New York is to be anticipated. In addition, retail therapy is tragically ineffective, as during this month it is reduced to mild doses of fashion and an overabundance of kaftans and, well, more kaftans!

Fortunately, a group of fashion editors from Jeddah and NYC decided it was time for an intervention — the enabling kind, which is, obviously, the best kind.Now, shoppers get to snatch up the coveted cocktail dresses by the “Cynthias” (Rowley and Steffe), as well as Thakoon and Tibi creations, which should come with disclaimers that state that wearing these garments will garner hundreds of envious stares (and we wouldn’t want to break anyone’s fast).

While big names such as Marni, Moschino and Carolina Herrera are present, the real gems are still fairly unfamiliar in the Kingdom. Charlotte Ronson, Rebecca Minkoff, and Brian Reyes are New York heavyweights with their contemporary designs seen up and down Manhattan, from a hipster hanging out in SoHo to a weekend warrior in the Meat Packing District.

Further up, in the Upper East Side, you have the looks by Eleanor Waldorf and Jenny Humphrey in the hit show “Gossip Girl.” The Waldorf label is actually created by Abigail Lorick, who is also the mastermind behind Lorick. The sophisticated brand that aims to bring “elegance back to our way of living” will also be available for the first time ever in Saudi.

And what’s classier than dressing like the Queen Bee herself?Alexander Wang, Rick Owens, and Jill Sander show us that minimalism doesn’t mean simplicity, but rather ultra-modern cuts of the most complex proportions. Discounted evening gowns by Dennis Basso and Vera Wang tempt one to stock up for the numerous weddings we’re sure to be obligated to attend after Eid.

The buyers of the Staff Sale also searched out celebrity lines with more fervor than the paparazzi on Sunset Strip on a Saturday night! The work paid off and for the first time ever, Jeddah will offer Justin Timberlake’s William Rast line, as well as Lindsay Lohan’s 6125 and Gwen Stefani’s highly successful brand, L.A.M.B.Don’t worry; I was only exaggerating about the kaftans.

You definitely need a kaftan this month and thankfully, the store also has Reem Acra’s debut of exquisitely beaded tunics and kaftans, Dubai’s “Kaftan King” Shrekahnth, and Muna AbuSulayman fashion-forward alternative to monotonous, muhajib wear.Happy Ramadan! Now get your shop on! – Arabnews