Entering the UAE fashion scene, new urban streetwear brand EXTREMEDY recently made a quintessential Dubai debut at the Cavalli Club, featuring not only founder and creative director Madi Abaida, but also Gigi and Bella Hadid’s estate manager father Mohamed, British socialite Chloe Green, Lebanese pop star May Hariri and catwalk: celebrity models Jeremy Meeks and Andreea Sasu.
It was an evening of lavishness and energy, and the venue was full, with the brand’s signature 1980s theme and spiked shoe accents taking center stage. Well-worn denim, biker jackets, hoodies and camouflage make up the bulk of the street style pieces, which walk the runway to the rhythm of familiar rock tunes, including numbers from The Darkness and Joan Jett. To find out more, we caught up with Madi, the founder of the brand in Italy, to find out why the UAE needs her work and what it’s like to set up a fashion business in the Middle East.
How would you describe Extremedy to someone who hasn’t seen your brand yet? Where can people find clothes?
Extremedy is something different. As someone inspired by many different trends and fashion brands around the world, I wanted to create something that didn’t exist anywhere else. My style is really unique and with this vision and idea I was able to create something new, unique and authentic. Extremedy is no ordinary couture collection – it’s a luxury urban streetwear brand that doesn’t follow trends. I design based on my mood and how I feel at the time. The Autumn/Winter 2019/20 collection will be available in late summer via our e-commerce platform and we are currently negotiating for stockists in international markets – so keep an eye out for this space!
Why launch in Dubai?
Just because Dubai is cosmopolitan and it’s a multicultural hub, I’m sure a brand with a unique style like mine is missing here – something new and exciting! I have been living in Dubai for eight months and I really like it, inspiration is everywhere.
Do you think it’s easier to build your own business empire – especially female business leaders – here than anywhere else in the world?
In life, I try not to see problems. I am always successful and I always look for the positive in everything. I am a “yes” person! I focus on the power of women and this is reflected in my collection. It’s about being brave, being bold and not afraid to push boundaries – I think that’s what Dubai does, so launching Extremedy here really makes sense to me. The brand is an Italian fashion house based in Milan because of its high quality craftsmanship, especially when it comes to leather goods. It’s very important to have the best quality and that’s something I can’t compromise on.
How did you find Cavalli Club gigs?
The Extremedy performance at Dubai Cavalli Club was incredible – it was everything I could have dreamed of, a truly magical night. The production, lighting, music and entertainment are second to none. Jeremy Meeks is currently the best male representation of everything Extremedy stands for. I’m attracted to people who know how to deal with bad situations and contribute positively to them, so for me, he ticks every box when it comes to representing the brand. Andreea Sasu perfectly embodies Extremedy’s attitude and style, and she’s amazing on the show – they all love the dress.
What do you think of Dubai’s overall fashion credentials?
I don’t think any brand here fits my style, which is why Dubai is the perfect place for me to push the boundaries of fashion – Extremedy is bringing something new to the region. I personally like unique and special creations and I think, from my perspective, Dubai is currently missing.
What are your top three personal style tips before going to an event?
I would say the right combination of colors and materials – this will always keep your style interesting. Accessorize your outfit the right way and always follow your own personal style – if you’re not comfortable with how it looks, you’re not going to look your best.
Who do you classify as a fashion icon in the public eye and why? Which model or performer would you most like to wear?
I would say Kim Kardashian and Rihanna – I love their strong personalities and characters. They are fearless in their fashion choices, they are not afraid to take risks. I really like their character – it’s the same as anyone who is open minded, free spirit and doesn’t give up easily.
Quick questions with special guests Jeremy Meeks and Mohamed Hadid
How do you feel about Extremely?
The collection is insane – it’s strong, it’s cut, it’s edgy, and anyone can wear it. Really killing the European and American markets – wait, this is just the beginning!
How does it feel to walk on the Extremedy show?
Great, I’ve done a lot of shows before and none have been this fun so it was a great experience. Modeling has really allowed me to find my true passion and has given me a better understanding of my self-worth by finding what I’m really good at. I’m really excited to be a part of the Extremedy show and I can’t wait for the next one.
How has your personal style developed over the past few years?
My style has changed dramatically over the past few years as I have personally matured, and so has my style – I’m drawn to quality, fit and maintaining my natural edge, and now I have some Extremedy singles This product can take my style to the next level!
How do you feel about Extremely?
Extremedy is beautiful and the work is fresh. It has an element of power, but it’s super sexy. I feel great in these clothes and I will definitely keep going with them.
What do you think of the fashion industry in Dubai?
I thought it was fantastic – it took in elements and trends from all over the world and really mastered the fashion of the time. This is a place for you to walk around and find inspiration around you.
Extremedy’s Madi Abaida takes center stage, flanked by Jeremy Meeks and Andreea Sasu