Les Benjamins has opened a new store in Dubai, becoming the latest brand (fashion or otherwise) to invest in the U.A.E. The new flagship store is located on the first floor of the Mall of the Emirates and, as you’d expect, is beautifully designed.
A now established streetwear label with a huge presence in its home country and throughout the Middle East, Les Benjamins has spared no expense in making its Dubai store a must-visit location for fashion enthusiasts living in or visiting the city. The interior takes cues from the U.A.E.’s traditional architectural style, while pops of color courtesy of the furniture and the clothing add a welcome contrast. The green table and chairs are a custom build by UK artist Max Lamb, who combines traditional, often primitive, design methods with digital design.
Speaking to Highsnobiety, Les Benjamins founder Bunyamin Aydin revealed that it was Dubai’s multicultural identity that drew him to the city. “Dubai has always welcomed me as a second home. People here are so friendly and I love that almost everyone comes from a mixed background like me,” he says. “I'm German-Turkish and right now I'm sitting with a friend that is Iranian-Brazilian and another friend that is a Moroccan photographer who grew up in Belgium.”
Aydin continues by explaining that the mixed, Eastern backgrounds are hugely inspirational, as people with those backgrounds immediately understand what the brand is all about. The move to Dubai is therefore a move into an environment that feels authentic and comfortable from the get-go for Les Benjamins.
Dubai’s streetwear and sneaker culture is rapidly growing, thanks in large part to an increasing number of brands and retailers setting up shop in the city’s many malls. Hype and resell is incredibly popular in Dubai (as it is in any fledgling fashion city), but there is an underground scene that is steadily gaining authenticity and growing in authority, something Aydin has definitely noticed.
“You would be surprised, but there is skate culture, local rappers, and amazing concept stores that all make up the streetwear scene here in Dubai. Together with our new flagship store, we’ll grow the scene even more,” he says before revealing where he likes to spend a lot of his time when in Dubai. “I really like Al Serkal Avenue, where you can find record stores, sneaker stores, and also community co-working spaces. There is always something happening and I love how active the city is.”
Because Dubai has so much potential for growth, and its scene is somewhat reminiscent of a blank canvas (in the sense that it will still change a lot while it finds its true identity), the city offers a unique shopping proposition to a lot of fashion and streetwear fans. Explaining what makes Dubai different from other places, Aydin tells us: “Dubai is the kind of city you need someone to guide you to love it. From a fashion sense, you have almost all the major fashion brand's flagship stores. All of these stores do pre-releases and even Dior is doing summer pop-up stores at beaches. A lot of luxury fashion houses also create custom items that are exclusively sold in Dubai.”
Les Benjamins is now part of that scene and ready to help form it going forward. “What I really love about the fashion scene here is that all the faces in events are familiar and everyone is nice to each other. I hope it stays this way, and we can support each other to grow together,” finishes Aydin.
Les Bejamins Dubai is now open. Head to the brand’s dedicated Instagram account for more.