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.
According to a report by the United Nations, the fashion industry accountsFebruary 18, 2021 | By Shruthi Nair
The jewellery making industry has been under tremendous scrutiny over the yearsFebruary 11, 2021 | By Shruthi Nair
UAE-based Carrefour will become the first retailer in the region to offer new levels
The Organic Farmers’ Market is back in Bay Avenue for its 12th
UAE-based Lulu Group recently inaugurated its first-ever all-female staff store in Jeddah,
Jones the Grocer, the gourmet grocer and cheese retailer launches the Jones
UAE-based Al Maya Supermarkets is hosting a two-week food festival at select
Locally-owned supermarket Spinneys has launched its ‘Power of Plants’ initiative in the
Carrefour UAE has launched “Cookit Yourself” — a curated recipe box created
UAE-based Al Islami Foods, one of the largest frozen food companies in
Marks & Spencer’s plant-based range now offers over 25 vegan products including meat-free
World’s largest fully integrated online brand in fresh fish and meat e-commerce
Homegrown, organic and plant milk company, Koita has announced its expansion into
British brand Marks & Spencer, operated by the Al-Futtaim Group has launched
According to a report by the United Nations, the fashion industry accounts
The issue of climate change and the environmental crisis we are in
Unprecedented – that’s probably one of the most common adjectives for the
Tighter restrictions on hotels, restaurants, shopping malls and entertainment venues on account of
Retail Abu Dhabi, the dedicated retail platform of the Department of Culture
All hotels and restaurants have been directed to temporarily hold entertainment activities
The new Dubai Gold Souk is “very much on track”, according to
H&M has announced its collaboration with American denim brand LEE to push
Research from beauty comparison website, Cosmetify, has just revealed that the UAE
Gone are the days of traditional brick-and-mortar as well as purely e-commerce
The Dubai Gold & Jewellery Group’s ongoing jewellery campaign, held in association