NAZ CANNON Image Credit: Naz Cannon

We at The Directory are bringing out our patriotic colours today. Here’s presenting you with the biggest men’s style influencers in the country, who are also proudly Emirati.

Who: Mohammad Sultan Al Habtoor, stylist and designer

Al Habtoor needs no introduction in fashion circles. This Sandhurst alumnus along with his friend and partner Tamara Al Gabbani launched House of glaMo, the label that churns out stirring and sometimes controversial t-shirts. From styling photo shoots to walking the ramp for international and local labels, fashion talk in the UAE is not complete with this style leader.

“Style is a lifestyle”

It’s something you acquire growing up through your education, culture and even basic surroundings. You cannot bracket it into something that relates to fashion alone. It is way encompassing, a way of expression. I am embracing the thirties and I’ve been trying to blend in rather than stand out but I still do because of the hard work I have put in being well dressed.

“My style icons”

I like Leonardo Da Vincci for his vivid imagination, Yves Saint Laurent for being daring and being the first designer to put ladies in suits and tuxedos and His Highness Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum has impeccable style too.

“My inspiration is Hedi Slimane, YSL’s designer”

I believe everybody should have a piece from his latest runway collection at Paris Fashion Week.

“My wardrobe essentials are...”

Tumi luggage because I travel a lot and a Rick Owens leather biker jacket. I wear a lot of black, grey and white.

*For more go to houseofglamo.com


Who: Nasser Mohammad Al Midfa, designer

Al Midfa has taken the UAE fashion world by storm since breaking out in 2011 with his stereotype-breaking label Naz Cannon. Edgy and heavy with dark and interesting silhouettes, often accentuated with spikes and studs, Al Midfa’s designs has had a steady number of cult followers since it launched three years ago.

Style is almost like passion for me.

“It’s all about thinking outside of the box yet creating designs everyone can wear.”

My fashion icon is: John Galliano. And I love the dark scene of Rick Owens and Gareth Pugh is up there for me.

“I am inspired by darkness, sadness and loneliness.”

“Nazcannon is coming out with new designs soon. My signature dark pieces will have pops of neon colours and a denim line too. The fans have asked and I plan on delivering.”

*For more go to nazcannon.com


Who: Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi, designer

One of the Emirates’ very own has tasted international success. Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi’s self titled label Al Qasimi was hailed as a promising success when he launched at London Fashion Week in 2008 for his jalebiya inspired silhouettes. A-listers Lady Gaga and Cheryl Cole have worn his designs and he has had models Yasmin Le Bon, Erin O’Connor, Lily Cole and Carmen Dell’Orifice walk the ramp for him cementing his foothold in the edgy fashion hotspot.

Growing as a designer, Al Qasimi said goodbye to London and expanded into fashion’s classical stalwart, Paris with a menswear collection. Praise has been heaped for his sleek, fashion forward aesthetic designs.

In a previous interview with tabloid!, Al Qasimi promised to bring his designs back home.

“It has been there in the back of my mind but my label is not ready to go down that road — not just yet. In my clothes you will find a strong Middle Eastern influence. And the support that I have received from my people back home has been tremendous. I feel so blessed and I can’t thank them enough.”

* For more go to qasimi.com