When one thinks of fashion in the United Arab Emirates, one probably thinks huge cut-and-paste luxury operations, all-day spending sprees, and perhaps a lot of kaftans. I recently spent a few days in Dubai during the Ramadan period and was shown a side of UAE fashion that goes beyond Gucci and the hijabs and abayas. Alison Tay, editor in chief of GRAZIA Middle East, reminded me that dressing modestly here is more culture than religion. One of the biggest misconceptions about fashion in the UAE is its supposed preoccupation with flash, the idea that “if you add bling, it will sell!,” says Ghizlan Guenez, CEO of e-retailer the Modist. “Again, stereotypes doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist but that is not every woman here. There is an evolution in the way this woman is consuming fashion. There is also a young customer who is interested in street wear so there really isn’t any one customer with a specific aesthetic. Even within the different regions the way women dress is very different. For example, Jeddah is very L.A., more bohemian, and Riad is very New York.” The luxury market in the UAE is expected to reach $14.9 billion in the next five years; the strength of these numbers also means homegrown talents are getting the spotlight they deserve. And while the rest of the world’s understanding of fashion in the UAE region has always been a strong focus on evening wear, there is a huge shift to a more contemporary market nowadays. During my time in Dubai, I was privy to various suhoor—a social gathering where people relax with friends and family during Ramadan. I got the insider’s low down on the feminist designers making a statement, from the vintage queen turned designer to the designer to the royals. Here, five native designers making a name for themselves.