Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Deena Abdulaziz’s D’NA, Where Cultural Understanding and Ideas Meet Innovative Fashion, Fine Art, and Film

At D’NA in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the innovative boutique’s owner, Princess Deena Abdulaziz, makes a real fashion statement. Resembling a museum or intimate upscale theater, the salon brings the Saudi Arabia native’s love of beauty to life. The loft-y gallery space at D’NA includes mannequins decked out in custom creations by cutting-edge designers from around the world, unique pieces of furniture, and paintings and other art objects, all arranged in groupings to tell a story. Luxurious coffee-table books and the screening of classic movies featuring bold points of view in fashion complete the atmosphere of intrigue and education. Deena Abdulaziz opened her masterpiece in 2006.

In her quest to keep D’NA, fresh, interesting, and unique, the Saudi entrepreneur seeks out designers globally. She watched Haider Ackermann for two seasons before inviting him to join the members-only club’s stable of artists. Her goal, to provide a fashion perspective not found anywhere else in the world, means going with her heart, not her head, when a designer’s line speaks to her. The boutique’s international stable of designers brings a sense of cultural understanding that enhances the shopping environment. Other fashion artists featured at the gallery include Tina Maristela-Ocampo, who creates fine jewelry and handbags from organic materials found in her native Philippines; and French footwear designer Christian Louboutin, who named a shoe after Deena Abdulaziz.

The well-known fashionista keeps the ideas flowing at D’NA through art and fashion exhibitions. From September 2011 to February 2012, she presented Parveen Shaath: The Legacy of a Saudi Fashion Icon. A pioneer in the industry, Shaath opened one of the first fashion boutiques in Saudi Arabia in the 1950s. D’NA also exposes talented designers with trunk shows and recently provided a bespoke program that enabled members to order haute couture created by Giambattista Valli. Deena Abdulaziz is toying with the idea of placing D’NA collections into a few top boutiques globally and plans to expand the brand to other locations in the Arab world.

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