Monday, March 27, 2006

First Look

Why wait for the glossy magazines when you can see the pictures right here? Below are interior shots from the beautiful new Villa Moda boutique that opened last Friday in Damascus, in the middle of the spice market in the old city.



Yes, you read that correctly... Damascus!! It's always uplifting to see a Kuwaiti franchise elsewhere to counter the multiple franchises here, but I admit I was initially puzzled by the choice of location as much as anyone else. I then learned that up until very recently, the totalitarian Syrian government had always banned imports of foreign garments and textiles. God only knows why... Any foreign garment manufacturers wanting to do business in Syria had to operate a local plant there. Wealthy Syrians (and there are many!) hungry for luxury goods either went to Beirut for their shopping fix or traveled to Europe. Well now the government has loosened up its trade restrictions, and there is a huge gap in the market for this sort of thing.

Now let's hope Syria cleans up its act in other ways... ;-)

24 comments:

  1. I'm just confused as to why Syria?

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  2. they do not have money in that country!

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  3. I love how both of you didn't read in the post that:
    a) There is an apparent hunger for luxury goods in Syria, after decades of deprivation

    b) There are lots of rich Syrians

    Syria's negative image worldwide is largely due to its ruthless dictatorship and the notorious مخابرات, none of which is exaggerated. It's not a PR problem at all!

    The shop is roughly 400 square meters, which is a suitable size for Damascus

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  4. المحل رائع..و أجمل مابه كونه خان قديم نم المحافظ على كل حجر به كماهو. هناك الكثير من السوريين الأغنياء و الزوار الذين حضروا إفتتاح villa modaالمحل و حفل العشاء الذي تلاه صدموا بمقدار الثراء و الأناقة و الجمال الذي كان ظاهر على الزوار.

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  5. Maan the design is amazing!

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  6. Thanks for standing up for Syria Zaydoun , not many people know about Syria or Syrians really.

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  7. Gorgeous! Especially loved the chandelier.

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  8. i enjoy the villa moda brand. its very well executed. i hope they expand in the west and japan. i hear they have plans to go to london by 2009. inshalla one day ill be shopping at villa moda in soho instead of barneys co-op.

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  9. damascene... I am a firm believer that most Arab governments do NOT represent their people. Syria is no exception

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  10. I love how the architecture incorporates the specific culture. I'd have to say that one of the things I admire about Villa Moda is the smooth, sleek design. A clean, crisp, mod look is the first thing that comes to mind when I think about it.

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  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  12. بالرغم من إنني لم أزر فيلا مودا بالكويت إلا مرة واحد, وببداياته, فقد أعجبتني طريقة عرضهم, والاهم المعاملة الراقية جدا للزبائن

    أتمنى لهم التوفيق بالفرع الجديد بسوريا

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  13. الصراحة

    All power to Majid!

    I think he's doing a fantastic job!

    Great brand, great image, great strategy.

    I think they are also looking into opening in Delhi.

    صج الله يوفقه، اتمنى له المزيد من الازدهار، و الى العالمية ان شاء الله

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  14. Good Job Villa Moda people!

    There's another one in Qatar:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/idip/19886743/

    and I think there's one in Dubai as well.

    BTW Zaydoun, this reminded me of a non-active blogger, any idea?

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  15. و لو اني ضد سالفة الهدوم الغالية
    و لم أشتري في حياتي أي شي من فيلا مودا

    لكني أسمع كل كلام طيب عن شيخ ماجد و مثل ما قالوا الاخوان معاملته المحترمة للزبائن من خلال موظفينه

    الله يوفقه

    و السؤال الي يطرح نفسه

    كلنا ندري ان سوريا فيها أغنياء, بس الضريبة هناك خيالية يعني البنطرون الي بالكويت بمية يمكن ينباع هناك بألف

    كلش مو عملية السالفة

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  16. Thanx for sharing, Zed!

    From what I see I am already loving the smell of the Damascus store.
    It's oozing with character and has a story to tell.

    Maybe their Fahaheel store would be a similar sort of throwback to a kinder gentler age of Soukside shopping.
    After Damascus, what's next? Is it going to be Hanoi or Mumbai?

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  17. http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/4446/2039/1600/islam.45.jpg

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  18. upstairs... There was supposed to be something in Mumbai but it fell through.. And I think there are plans for Hanoi, believe it or not

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  19. God damn? I went to Syria on an official visit it was the worst trip I ever veer ever had ? the ppl were so so nasty beyond belief ? cant say any more because I?d rather forget it ever happened

    good 4 majed

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  20. مبروكين يا ماجد ويا فيللا مودا

    واتمنى ان نلاحق الحداثه في جميع المجالات مثل لهطتنا على ال(فاشن

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  21. I am tempted to ask if this is in fact, the blog of none other than HRH Sheik Majed Al Sabah?!

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  22. ablution central
    ضحكتني و الله.
    لا يا خوي البلوغ مو للشيخ ماجد. و إن عدت للمواضيع السابقة ستتاكد انه لا يمكن أن يكون له.
    تحياتي.

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  23. I am Syrian and American and I spend on average $600 for a handbag. Syrians have money, just not all of us, a place like this is amazing!

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Keep it clean, people!