MINI — Beyond Native

Crossing Boundaries

MINI FASHION explore creativity and the notion of cultural heritage in a new homeland


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A group of upcoming UAE-based artists across the fields of music, art and poetry come together to portray the impact of their home city on their creative practice

Since the 1960s, when the first MINI became a design icon, the brand has celebrated individuality and bold ideas. Today, it gives the creators of such audacious concepts a platform to showcase their talent, while acknowledging that background diversity is what leads to a freshness of ideas. 

MINI Middle East’s latest celebration of intercultural creativity is MINI FASHION – BEYOND NATIVE, a collaboration which was unveiled at Fashion Forward Dubai Season 10, one of the leading fashion events promoting design talent in the Middle East. Titled ‘Beyond Native’, the limited edition collection explores notions of home and highlights how multiculturalism enriches an artist’s practice. It brings together three Dubai-based up-and- coming international designers – Wael Hussain, duo Artem Gryshchenko and Victor Victoroy and Zaid Farouki – whose creations revolve around the diversity of the urban centre and an exploration of their heritage. 

As far as cross-cultural environments go, Dubai tops the list. The city epitomises cohabitation of cultures and ethnic groups, fostering the birth of daring ideas. ‘MINI FASHION BEYOND NATIVE’ is a manifestation of this idea, with all three featured designers inspired by the moments of intersection between their cultural heritage and new homeland. In fact, many artists across Dubai call the city home precisely because it gives them the freedom to exercise their imagination. 

To further bring to life the theme of ‘BEYOND NATIVE’, Brownbook speaks to three individuals based in the UAE – spoken word poet Reem Ekay, musician Basil Hadi and graffiti artist Marwan Shakarchi – to understand how their roots influence their perception of the city and lead to distinctive creative approaches. 

Meet the artists

Basil AlHadi

Songwriter, DJ and the lead singer of Karrouhat

Marwan Shakarchi

Graffiti artist

Reem Ekay

Architect, singer and spoken word artist



My home is adaptive
and it is where I tell a story on my canvas
color color and more color
My hands don’t stay still
and the faster  two of them move in a circle
you’ll witness my growth
My sound
My culumnation
You’ll revel in my celebration
I am so beyond what we’ve thought of
and i’ve have so much more to go
Come see.

Reem Ekay

Find out more about MINI FASHION here.