In July 2016, Condé Nast International announced Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz as Vogue Arabia's launch editor-in-chief. The Saudi princess has become a fashion week stalwart while scouting the buy for her boutique D’NA, which has locations in Riyadh and Doha. In 1996, Abdulaziz was courted by Prince Abdulaziz Bin Nasser Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud following their chance meeting in London. Abdulaziz founded D’NA as a member’s-only boutique stocking fashion forward labels including Maison Martin Margiela and Veronique Branquinho. Established in the heart of Riyadh in 2006, D'NA has emerged as an independent fashion voice in the Middle East and on the international scene.
Abdulaziz has a proven track record as an intuitive buyer. She was one of the first to back Prabal Gurung and Jason Wu , and was an early champion of London’s new guard, including Erdem, Roksanda, Mary Katrantzou and Osman.
Regarding her customers, Abdulaziz told American Vogue, “They march to their own beat. I know them. So, sometimes I’m the only retailer in the world who has bought the runway piece, because I know who will buy—and then, because of e-commerce, I’ll also get calls from Scandinavia or Australia from women desperate to track down that one brilliant thing.”
Although her boutiques are unabashedly exclusive, Abdulaziz uses her personal experience in the region to cater to the various needs of her clientele. “This is my turf. There are so many differences, between women in Dubai, and Kuwait, and Bahrain, and different cities in Saudi Arabia, where I live — they’re as different as Washington, D.C., New York City, and Las Vegas!”
Previously the Saudi resided on New York’s Upper West side with her husband, but she is now based exclusively in Riyadh. The daughter of an economist once-based in Santa Barbara, Abdulaziz grew up reading American Vogue and has a native understanding of both Western and Eastern cultures.
“The Muslim community isn't any different than any other community,” says Abdulaziz. “Modern Muslim women are very fashion forward. Over the last decade women in the Middle East have become incredibly fashion savvy and knowledgeable about trends. As a result, luxury brands today are increasingly catering to them; creating pieces specifically for the Middle Eastern market. That is why I spend a lot of time working with designers to customize their runway looks for my clients.”