An acronym for Daffa, Abba and Suwaieya referring to the different styles of abayas worn around the Gulf region, DAS has taken the Middle East by storm with its innovative, colorful and trendy renditions of the traditional abaya.
Traditionally, the abaya is black to symbolize conservatism and modesty. Today it is being transformed as more women desire to maintain their cultural dress while also appearing stylish and feminine.
DAS was launched in 2008 by two Emirati sisters Reem and Hind Beljafla. The concept was born when Reem, the eldest of the two sisters, decided to launch her own range of abayas. She had a love for fashion and had recently attended several design courses at St. Martin’s College in London. Immediately after her studies she worked with renowned florist Jane Packer where she learned the art of pairing colors, a technique she employs in her designs which are full of vibrant shades of red, green, magneta and blue.
Her abayas soon gained the attention of other Emirati women which prompted her to introduce her own abaya brand in the Middle East. The goal was to create a homegrown brand that would eventually be known throughout the region and gain international exposure for the traditional abaya.
Her younger sister Hind, who has a background in business, joined her to help promote and manage the brand. Reem has been awarded Best Business Woman of the Year and Best Design Business by Mohammed bin Rashid Awards for Young Business Leaders in 2008. She is also managing director of Elev8, a communications and design house.
A pioneering brand in the art of abayas, DAS has introduced color in the form and design of the traditional dress. Color emphasizes the wearer’s individuality and personal style. The sisters hope the collection will inspire not just Emirati and Arab women to wear their garments, but also encourage the self-expression of the region’s culture and Arabic heritage. DAS abayas are modern and cutting edge, they symbolize a culture which is moving towards a more contemporary outlook. As the sisters say, “modernity is a state of mind and not just personal appearance.” DAS aesthetically portrays such a forward-thinking ideology.
DAS has taken part in numerous events including Dubai Fashion Week, Fashion Arabia Expo in Abu Dhabi, The Luxury Fair in London and Culture Week in some of the United Arab Emirates’ embassies around the world.
You can purchase DAS exclusively at the DAS boutique in Dubai and in Harrods in London.