Helena Stenbäck, co-founder of Dulaab, shares her top fashion tips

Shirt-dress by Baum und Pferdgarten. Courtesy Dulaab
Shirt-dress by Baum und Pferdgarten. Courtesy Dulaab

Catch the cool collective of Scandinavian brands being showcased at A4 Space in Dubai’s Alserkal Avenue until Thursday, September 29. Clean lines and monochromatic shades are the order of the day, courtesy of labels like Sweden’s Ahlvar and Birgitte Herskind from Denmark.

The pop-up store is the brainchild of Anna Ösund-Ireland and Helena Stenbäck, co-founders of the Dubai-based online fashion platform Dulaab, which imports ready-to-wear pieces from 17 Scandinavian designers.

Stenbäck shares her top tips for mastering this season’s Baltic style aesthetic.

What’s the look and feel of Dulaab’s autumn/winter collections?

It’s all about the silhouettes — the cuts are very clean. There are also a lot of strong prints and brands working with mismatching prints. It’s true that many Scandinavian brands are all about a very minimalistic look — a crisp white shirt with fitted jeans, for example, but we do try to also be a bit more playful.

What are your favourite pieces from the pop-up store?

I love the bird jumpsuit by Swedish designer Dagmar for Dh2,400. It’s a really beautiful, pretty piece, I love the print. I’m also a big fan of sequins and there’s a jet black jacket which looks great with a pair of jeans and a T-shirt or can be dressed up with pants or a skirt for a night out. It’s by Baum und Pferdgarten and costs Dh1,350.

My absolute favourite is a Katya dress from a brand called Stine Goya, it’s black and grey with beautiful fringing which moves back and forth when you walk. A truly Scandinavian look would be the baby blue shirt dress — with a high-neck and long sleeves — again by Baum und Pferdgarten. It’s very oversized and just needs to be teamed with some white sneakers and you’re ready to go. It’s priced at Dh855.

Accessories-wise, I like the helix collection by Maria Black. It’s cool and funky but still wearable for daytime. I’d definitely go for the hoop earrings. Her pieces ranges in price from around Dh200 to Dh1,190.

How has the showcase in Alserkal been received this time around?

We had our first pop-up during Ramadan in the Al Quoz area and it was very successful, so we decided to do another one here. The creative fit — between Dulaab and Al Serkal — is a good one and thankfully, we’ve been very well received again. Our customers have been from everywhere, from a local crowd to the Scandinavians too. People seem to want something different to what everyone else has. We’ve had a young ladies and older ladies also. It’s been really nice to have had such an amazing response from everyone.

Has the degree of interest in your brands prompted you to consider opening a boutique in the UAE?

A lot of people have been asking me the same question, but I don’t think we’re there just yet. We’re hoping that by doing these kind of pop-ups people are becoming more familiar with our brands and will have the confidence to keep buying from us online. Our goal is to reach the whole region so that the entire GCC can dress in Scandinavian fashion brands.

How did the business idea come about?

My business partner and I had known each other previously from living in Bahrain and we found ourselves always shopping for clothes back home in Sweden. We were unable to find what we wanted here and our friends in the region were always asking where we got our pieces from. Yes, admittedly there are many high-street and high-end designer brands from Scandinavia here but there was space for something new, cool and trendy. So that’s how we came up with the idea.

Might your portfolio of labels include menswear in the future?

For now, we’re just focusing on increasing womenswear with some new and cool brands, but ideally we’d like men as well one day. There are a lot of couples who have come to the pop-up together, with the men saying “there’s nothing for us!”. My husband, included.

Visit Dulaab’s pop-up store in A4 Space, Al Serkal Avenue, Dubai. The showcase is open daily from 10am until 7pm on Thursday, September 29. To see all of Dulaab’s brands click here or email info@dulaab.com. Free delivery within the UAE.

Published: September 26, 2016 04:00 AM

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