Consciously building the presence of exhale

January 15, 2020 | By Rupkatha B

Home-grown conscious fashion brand exhale seeks to raise dialogue and awareness about mental health through the integration of art, fashion, creativity, storytelling and mindfulness. The brand was brought to life by founder and creator Nawal El Masri following her tryst with loss leading to anxiety. Now, exhale produces 500 high-quality pieces of garments every year, clubbed under themes including Express, Inspire and Reflect.

exhale’s journey began as a concept on Instagram where El Masri merged fashion, art and mindfulness through photos and messages. The photos on Instagram were vague through subliminal messages, which drove engagement, proving that the exhale model could generate interest. In 2016, El Masri created the brand logo and embarked on her entrepreneurial journey. The first year was full of challenges, making mistakes and a lot of lessons learnt. Importantly, exhale and El Masri worked tirelessly to build a strong connection with those people who showed trust in the brand.

“A friend who is an angel investor, believed in exhale. He asked for my financial and business plan, which back then in 2016, I didn’t even have. So, I developed everything from scratch. We didn’t even have a licence back then. After receiving funding from the angel investor, everything started steamrolling – licencing the brand, launching the e-commerce website,” said El Masri.

An event to mark the official launch of exhale took place at Alserkal Avenue in September 2017. “We were expecting 50-80 people to turn up, but there were 200. We made our first e-commerce sale on the spot. It was a great accomplishment,” she recollected. “While 2016-17 was a true learning curve for us, exhale started seeing traction between 2017 and 2018, and 2018-19 has been great. Year-on-year, the business is getting better in terms of numbers as well as quality collaborations.”

Today, exhale sells through its e-commerce site, alongside building brick-and-mortar presence through collaborations with a home-grown concept called KAVE Dubai and global brand Virgin Megastore. The goal ahead is to strengthen presence in the UAE and expand further. Having seen exhale’s resonance in Toronto, Canada through a pop-up, El Masri believes that this ‘made in the UAE’ brand will eventually expand its wings further.

exhale is also big on giving back to the community, especially through its Express collection. “We donate a part of our sales from the Express collection to Al Jalila Foundation and Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF),” El Masri shared.

To read the full article, subscribe to RetailME January edition

Previous Article Next Article



Dr. Dhananjay Datar Chairman & Managing Director ADIL Trading Co. LLC

Dr. Dhananjay Datar Chairman & Managing Director ADIL Trading Co. LLC holds 

Continue Reading

February 29, 2024 | By Rupkatha B
Hani Weiss, Chief Executive Officer, Majid Al Futtaim Retail

In 1995 regional retail conglomerate Majid Al Futtaim introduced Carrefour to the 

Continue Reading

February 26, 2024 | By RetailME Bureau
Prashant Parameswaran, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Tata Consumer Soulfull

Tata Soulfull, a leading name in the ‘good-for-you’ snacks and breakfast cereals 

Continue Reading

February 22, 2024 | By Rupkatha B
Jean-Luc Graziato, Chief Commercial Officer of Majid Al Futtaim – Retail and Alia Al Harmoodi, Acting CEO of the Environment, Health and Safety Agency

Majid Al Futtaim – Retail, which holds the exclusive franchise to operate 

Continue Reading

February 20, 2024 | By RetailME Bureau
Krishna Dhanak, Managing Director, Alpen Capital

In an exclusive interview Krishna Dhanak, Managing Director, Alpen Capital shared insights 

Continue Reading

February 19, 2024 | By Rupkatha B
Majed M. Al-Tahan, Co-founder & Managing Director, Danube Online

As digital transformation across the retail industry continues to accelerate, the expectations 

Continue Reading

December 19, 2023 | By RetailME Bureau
Frederic Levy-Perrault, CEO, Al Raya Supermarket

Saudi Arabia-based grocery retail chain Al Raya Supermarket serves over 100,000 customers 

Continue Reading

December 15, 2023 | By RetailME Bureau
Ahmad AR. BinDawood, Chief Executive Officer, BinDawood Holding

BinDawood Holding has a rich Saudi heritage, spanning over 50 years, 38 

Continue Reading

December 13, 2023 | By RetailME Bureau
Majid Al Futtaim Retail commits to Collaborative Impact Goals at COP28

Majid Al Futtaim Retail, which owns the exclusive rights to operate Carrefour 

Continue Reading

December 8, 2023 | By Rupkatha B
BinDawood Holding Company earns Honorary Shield for Compliance Excellence

BinDawood Holding Company has earned an Honorary Shield, a distinguished recognition by 

Continue Reading

December 6, 2023 | By RetailME Bureau
First Movers Coalition for Food to create up to $20-bn value chain for sustainable farming

The World Economic Forum, with support from the Government of the United 

Continue Reading

December 5, 2023 | By RetailME Bureau
Food consumption in the GCC to grow at a steady pace

Food consumption in the GCC is set to grow at a CAGR 

Continue Reading

November 29, 2023 | By RetailME Bureau

Download Images RetailME Magazine