Home-grown bespoke streetwear brand emerges amid pandemic

October 1, 2020 | By Rupkatha B


A home-grown bespoke streetwear brand emerges amid pandemic and manages to sell 37 items in a month, with the average transaction being $728 (approximately AED 2,675). The digital fashion start-up has clocked 22 orders over the past month and has seen 21 new and 2 repeat customers.

“It is the creative community in the UAE that encouraged us to launch our brand – Non Iridescent; they have pre-ordered and bought from us to help us stay afloat amid the crisis,” says co-founder and creative director, Sabrina Sherif. “Our sales picked up in September and we are pleased with the repeat orders. Of course, the consumer appetite is cautious given the current climate, but the uniqueness of Non Iridescent has clicked well with our target audience.”

In the recent years, streetwear has emerged as one of the most “striking” fashion trends, according to global strategy consulting business Strategy&, often building a “cult-like” relationship with consumers – akin to what Sherif indicates.

Strategy& – based on data from Euromonitor Monitor and US Streetwear Market Report – estimates the size of the global streetwear market at $185 billion by sales, making it by some estimates about 10% of the entire global apparel and footwear market.

Launched by Sherif and Danni Staats, in August 2020, digital fashion start-up Non Iridescent offers bespoke streetwear designed in the UAE using sustainable fabrics sourced from Japan and Spain.

Even though from designing and stitching to packaging, everything is done in the UAE, sourcing fabrics from countries like Japan and Spain must be expensive, especially for a bootstrapped start-up. Sherif agrees, “It is very expensive. However, since our model is bespoke streetwear, we always have limited stock. For instance, you will only find six pieces of t-shirts or 12 joggers in one size. So, we don’t hold inventory. Moreover, with a razor-sharp focus on where we wanted to get one day, we have been diligently saving up to invest in the business. Having said that, the journey has not been easy; we have not only used our own funding, but also our own skills – from designing to digital marketing as well as e-commerce management to start Non Iridescent. That’s why it took us 1.5 years to launch the brand.”

“Also, our margins aren’t very high, because we have not started Non Iridescent to only make profits; we would like to add meaning to our buyers’ wardrobes while pursuing what we are really passionate about. It will be great if we are able to breakeven quickly, while helping our audience to express their individuality through our pieces,” she adds.

Again, according to Strategy&, streetwear brands’ democratic values are increasingly shared by its consumers. Small wonder that a home-grown bespoke streetwear brand emerges amid pandemic and manages to build a fan following.

Also read: Secret Skin seeks to “meaningfully” disrupt the beauty landscape

All of Non Iridescent’s prints are unique and developed in-house by artistic director Staats for a target audience from the creative space – comprising artists, designers, musicians, photographers and producers, among others. The brand claims to sit somewhere between fast fashion streetwear and a luxury brand like Dior offering a line of streetwear. “Our uniqueness is our strength,” Sherif emphasises. “With an aim to create a clean silhouette, we predominately use black, a colour preferred by our target audience.”

As more and more start-ups are emerging, it is being noticed that the brand purpose and a collaborative mindset are gaining predominance. “A big part of what we do is woven around collaboration with photographers, designers, tailors and studios – all based locally,” Sherif concurs. “Looking ahead, we are really keen to get on a local platform too, like Ounass.”

“While the pandemic has definitely thrown many businesses out of their comfort zone, a lot of opportunities have emerged too. For instance, we received preferential rates for licencing from the Department of Economic Development (DED), as the UAE committed to supporting start-ups and SMEs,” she concludes.

Previous Article Next Article



CEOs Conclave at SRF 2023

CEO’s Agenda: Unlocking the Treasure Chest of Retail Opportunities

Finding the treasure chest of opportunities needs years of journeying through the 

Continue Reading

January 19, 2024 | By RetailME Bureau
Culinary Playbook panel discussion at SRF 2023

Culinary playbook: On a gastronomic adventure

How is the food service industry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 

Continue Reading

January 18, 2024 | By RetailME Bureau


Laura Manning, Managing Director & Founder, BRW Society

Launched in 2019 by Laura Manning, UAE-based homegrown brand BRW Society completes 

Continue Reading

April 5, 2024 | By Rupkatha B
Rajiv Warrier, Chief Executive Officer, Choithrams

Since the launch of its first store in the UAE five decades 

Continue Reading

March 20, 2024 | By RetailME Bureau
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

Download Images RetailME Magazine