In Dubai’s pulsating, high-end fashion market, Boutique One stands out amid a sea of glitzy, luxury stores. Though it houses over 200 luxe brands (many of which are exclusive to the shop within the city), the store operates as its name suggests—like an intimate boutique where the staff knows their customers by name. We chatted with Ziad Matta, the CEO of Sifico Fashion, which owns and operates Boutique One. He reveals what his customers are buying, lets us in on the store’s incredibly personalized shopping service and tells us why the region’s shoppers are unique.
JC Report: You have many labels exclusive to your store—why is this important to your business model?
Ziad Matta: Our customers look for special items. Knowing that we are the only store stocking them in Dubai, or even the region, is part of the appeal.
JCR: Your personal shopping service is amazing. Tell us about it.
ZM: Many of our very top customers have never set foot in our store. Our personal stylist visits them in the comfort of their own home (usually a palace) with the best selection suited to their style from Boutique One. Tailors are usually part of the contingent available to make pieces absolutely perfect for the customer.
JCR: What kinds of items do your customers gravitate toward the most?
ZM: Special pieces, “wow” items that turn heads—be it at a wedding function or the beach.
JCR: What are your best-selling labels, and why do you think they do so well?
ZM: Elie Saab, Chloe and Missoni are consistent performers, while every season some new emerging designers fly off the shelves.
JCR: What makes the Middle East consumer unique?
ZM: Very fashion conscious, time rich and wealthy—a potent combination.
JCR: How does Dubai’s luxury market stack up against other emerging markets such as Russia, China and India?
ZM: I am not so familiar with these other markets, but I do know that Dubai actually serves a lot of Russians and Indians!
JCR: Do you think the fashion and luxury market can sustain its growth?
ZM: If the question refers to Dubai, then yes I think there is still a lot of growth over the next few years.
This interview was conducted by Robert Cordero.