by Malak Khaled
Edited by Scoop Team
It’s international shades day and that perfectly aligns with the beginning of summer. Summer is a season when everyone puts on their stylish clothes and matches them with trendy accessories to spice up their look when out in public. This is why we’ve decided to list to you our favorite Arab eyewear brands that will go perfectly with your outfit, so remember these brands next time you go shopping.
By Karen Wazen
The iconic Lebanese Karen Wazen launched her Eyewear brand back in 2018. Wazen made it to the top and established herself as a fashion icon through collaborating with international luxury brands like Dior, Fendi and Cartier. Karen draws inspiration from her role as a busy working mother. The IT girl always promises and delivers and her eyewear line is no different. Karen Wazen Eyewear promotes diversity and self-expression by offering a variety of shapes and silhouettes. Where some designs are nostalgic, others are rather futuristic.
Ever since its launch, the brand has been making a splash as Karen’s designs were worn and adored by A-list celebrities including Kourtney Kardashian, Dua Lipa and Cardi B. Some of the best-selling styles sprouting from the eyewear brand include the glamorous cat-eye “Dixy”, and the rectangular-shaped “Devon” and “Ciara.” With a wide collection of shapes, colors, frames and designs you are bound to find something that matches your personality and suits your face.
Okhtein is an Egyptian brand that is widely known for its handbag line, but there is more to the brand than this. We have been seeing a different side of the sisters Mounaz and Aya Abdelraouf through their eyewear collection; it’s a huge developing step in the journey of the brand. Their eyewear collection is inspired by their classic best-selling Brass Minaudière’s. A standout lens tied together with the brass and enamel motifs is guaranteed to make your eyes pop. The entire collection is made 100% in Italy but draws inspiration from Egyptian culture. Their most popular models include Oukra, Palmette Heat, Palmette Minaudiere and Into The Rod which come in 11 different colors. In an interview with Vogue Arabia, the sisters said “Our collection is meant to be intricate but with a subdued effect, showing extreme detail and versatility.” Okhtein’s shades were first spotted in a campaign for French luxury label Balmain worn by Columbian popstar Maluma.
Port Tanger is named after the Moroccan city of Tangier, the brand’s creative directors Daniël Sumarna and Bilal Fellah actually take inspiration from the city as they see it as a gateway to Africa and the portal to Europe. It is already hard enough to find sunglasses that suit your face shape, that’s why Port Tanger has introduced their signature curved frame that is designed to suit everyone, no matter your face shape. Whether you are into futuristic designs or you tend to lean toward classic nostalgic designs, you will surely find a pair that satisfies your need. Something you will find in common with all the frames is that they all feature six arrow points symbolizing nostalgia, tradition craftsmanship, hope, design and culture.
Ahlem was launched in 2014 by Parisian, Los Angeles-based designer Ahlem Manai-Platt who is of Tunisian descent. The designer has previously won the 2017 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award as an eyewear designer. The brand is committed to quality craftsmanship. The frames are carefully handcrafted in France and designed in Los Angeles. In an interview with SPECTR magazine, Ahlem commented “Our frames are made for everyone, men and women of all facial shapes. Classic frame shapes summon a timeless sensibility while distinct design details look stylishly ahead. The result is an eyewear collection that exudes edge and excellence to wear every day, to any occasion and by anyone.” In fact, the website allows you to search for models based on your face shape and offers a variety of frames and shapes from hexagonal to round and cat-eyed. This brand is loved by many celebrities like Beyonce, Robert Downey and Future.
Vogue x Gigi Hadid
If there is one person we would listen to when it comes to style, it would be Palestinian Supermodel Gigi Hadid. Hadid has now launched three collections in collaboration with Vogue Eyewear with the latest being in 2019. Retro-chic shapes, radiant colors and attention to detail, Gigi has managed to create show-stopping designs. In her interview with Vogue, Gigi explained that she got into eyewear design because she feels sunglasses are her shield as they give her more confidence when going out in public. The supermodel has named two eyewear frames after her Mom Yolanda Hadid and her sister Bella Hadid. In her third collection, Gigi has gained confidence and was no longer afraid to experiment with different shapes, textures and colors.
There you have it, five Arab eyewear designers with their unique lines that should be helping you brave the sun.