Sunday, January 31, 2010

DIA Boutique: A New Destination for the 21st Century Global Nomad

February 2010 marks the re-launch of the Middle East’s first luxury e-commerce and lifestyle portal, as a sleek new website dedicated to bridging cultures through a shared appreciation for design, art and fashion. At Dia, the Middle East isn’t a specific geographic location so much as a state of mind in tune with the 21st century.

It is a vibrant cosmopolitan world inhabited by hip Middle Easterners scattered throughout the globe. They grew up in one city, studied in another and worked in a third, yet there is still one place they call home-the Middle East. With this in mind, Dia was created to capture the true spirit of a region steeped in history, culture and innovation.

This unique online retailing/lifestyle experience is a reflection of Dia’s founder, Rasha Khouri, a former investment banker turned entrepreneur. A true cosmopolitan, Lebanese/Palestinian Khouri grew up in New York and lived in cities as diverse as Paris and Beirut, before settling down in London where she founded Dia in 2007.

The most recent addition to the Dia team is Wafa Obaidat. The editor of Sketchbook magazine and Creative Director of Agency Obaidat London, Wafa comes on board as the new Editor in Chief of Dia Magazine.

Joining the DIA team in 2008, The Polyglot will serve as Editor at Large for DIA’s revamped online magazine.

DIA is currently looking for new contributors. Please contact

DIA Boutique: Delivering innovative design to your doorstep

More than just an e-commerce site, Dia Boutique is dedicated to showcasing the work of both established and off-the-radar designers from the Middle East and its Diaspora, who are creating innovative pieces with a sense of soul and history. Within its expertly curated online boutique one will find an alternative and global perspective on fashion, books, home furnishings and accessories that are a fusion of Eastern and Western sensibilities.

Our designers are citizens of the global metropolis. By re-examining traditional design elements from different corners of the world and re-inventing them in original and unexpected ways, they are paving the way for a more inclusive definition of contemporary design.

The boutique’s offerings include handmade evening clutches by cult Beirut label Sarah’s Bag, silkscreened with images of Arab icons Umm Kalthoum and Omar Sharif; Pop art inspired cuffs with a Middle Eastern twist by London-based graphic designer Rana Salam; Modern and sparkling versions of the Arabian sandal from the chic Paris store Liwan; As well as delicately embroidered cashmere dresses in sorbet hues from the coveted Istanbul-based label, Cashmere in Love.

Dia’s re-launch will also include the debut of exclusive items by a roster of new and exciting designers. With each purchase, our style-savvy customers can experience the region’s thriving design and cultural scene, delivered to their doorstep anywhere in the globe.

DIA Magazine: Your world seen through Middle Eastern eyes

A borderless urban guide to a region not defined by geography, Dia Magazine is on a mission to broaden the frontiers of contemporary fashion, design and art. Through the eyes of our international team of contributors, we offer our readers an alternative to mainstream trends covering contemporary culture, fashion and art in the most exciting cities around the world. From the latest restaurant openings in Beirut to a cutting edge boutique in Cairo, Dia magazine will capture the region’s cosmopolitan spirit.

Dia Diwan Newsletters by The Polyglot

With Dia Diwan re-launching as Dia Boutique in February, the Polyglot looks back on the stories and images that defined the site in the past year.

Dia Diwan Newsletters by The Polyglot