Bringing together design, fashion, and culture from across various countries, the multi-brand designer store is a showcase for unique finds in the Kingdom
Brainchild of young entrepreneur, Wafa Obaidat, MILK is an exciting journey through 9 countries with 60 different designers, reshaping the definition of design under one roof. From Bahrain to UAE, Oman, Syria, Lebanon, and more, MILK houses a variety of items that befit the multiple categories of lifestyle, each brand with a unique story of its own. Keeping in mind the fashion-conscious population of the Kingdom, the designers were handpicked to fit the needs of the ever-changing taste of the population and, thus, resulted in an amalgam of high-end and street wear brands that customers can mix and match from to best suit their styles. Wafa spoke to Perle Magazine about the idea behind Milk and how she hopes to bridge the gap faster within the rising fashion scene in Bahrain.
Tell us about MILK?
MILK is a multi-brand designer store intended to serve as a platform for featuring upcoming regional super brands with limited edition products. We created the store so that it could facilitate, support, and market new and exciting regional designer collections that potential customers were unaware of. Most of our customers have never entered the Bahrain market and it gives us great pleasure to be their exclusive partners in Bahrain. Our purpose is to highlight the plethora of new brands coming out of the Middle East and serve as a link between designers who produce wonderful custom designs and customers who are looking for exclusive wearable designer wear.
Why is it named MILK?
The word “Milk” signifies purity and freshness; a clean white canvas, ready for an artist to bring it to life. It symbolises innocence, character, and strength, and has an element of nurture, which is something that MILK does for its designers and brands. Our brand colours are a soft-pink to represent rose-milk, a light yellow to represent banana milk, and of course, the pure white milk.
What inspired you to set up the boutqiue?
There was a large gap in the market for regional designers, a missing space in Bahrain where you could buy regional brands and designers that you can mix and match with your high street or with your designer pieces. MILK was simply a solution to that problems.
Who are some of the designers that showcase their products in MILK?
MILK opened with products from 60 designers across 9 countries including Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Kuwait, UAE, Oman, Egypt, KSA, and Bahrain. Some of the most noteworthy designers include Lya Lya, Som’or?, Bint Thani, Mira Hayek, The Generous Light Co., Army of 1, Muneera Hamad, Alia Bin Omair, TIMA, Truactive, Bedouin and so many more.
We have an excellent fusion of ready-to-wear apparel, sports wear, as well as accessories for the woman who has an acquired taste in fashion. Our designers too comprise of creative artists who aren’t afraid to create mysterious, captivating products, and that’s what makes MILK such a distinctive go-to brand.
How were the designers selected to showcase their products in MILK?
We built a database and an archive of contacts over the past five years, however, we also do have a team that hunts for designers and looks for curated pieces from fashion magazines, pop-up markets, and even attended Fashion Forward Dubai for three seasons and handpicked all the unique regional designers that we knew would be a big hit in Bahrain. Of course, we also support and house local brands such as Truactive and The Generous Light Co. I find that people generally like purchasing products that have a memorable story to tell. So, before we select which products we’d like to stock, it is essential for us to know the designers, their aspirations and the reason they created their brand.
Coconut Lace bags for example, what I love about these bags is that Hind Matar is going out of her way to amalgamate her quirky sense of style with the naturally gifted craftsmen they have in Ghana. The brand is fun, conscientious, and marketable at the same time.
What are the different types of products in MILK?
We have one of the widest range of products you can choose from: shoes, bags, scarves, abayas, jewellery, casual and formal shirts.
How long can the designers showcase their products in MILK?
MILK is a rather young brand and we hope to create a bond with each of the designers we partner with. As you may have seen globally as well as locally, it takes about three months to one year for customers to become familiar with new brands. We believe in each designer’s story, hence our goal is to create a family of super brands and we are ready to go that extra mile to support, promote, and project every new story we include in our Holy Grail of Khaleeji superbrands.
What are some of the future plans for MILK?
I consider MILK as the doorway for designers in the MENA region to enter the Bahraini market as of now. Bahrain is known to attract customers who yearn to see Khaleeji fusion fashion and MILK reaches out to all such customers by introducing, launching, and promoting bespoke designer wear pieces that articulate their unique design journeys.
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