Saudi Arabian Princess and Entrepreneur Deena Abdulaziz Shares Her Vision at D’NA in Riyadh

A visionary herself, fashionista Deena Abdulaziz supports forward-thinking designers whose works make customers dream. The Saudi Arabian princess and fashion entrepreneur, who gains inspiration from beauty, decided to open a cutting-edge retail shop after attending the 2005 International Herald Tribune luxury conference in Dubai. Her members-only salon, a quasi museum/lifestyle boutique called D’NA, which debuted in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in 2006, blends fashion, art, education, and even films for the ultimate style experience. Deena Abdulaziz travels internationally in search of unique designers to showcase at the shop, such as Philippines native and former model Tina Maristela-Ocampo, designer of exquisite fine jewelry and handbags; and clothing and accessories designers Ece Ege (Turkish) and Michel Klein (French).

In seeking designers for D’NA, the Saudi princess attends the annual Fashion Weeks in New York, Paris, and London. She particularly looks for exceptional craftsmanship as well as originality. An admirer of the 1950s and 1960s Hollywood glamour eras, the retail entrepreneur describes her style as “Audrey Hepburn on acid,” the ladylike look with an edge. A hands-on business owner, Deena Abdulaziz has shocked competitors by traveling to shows and designer showrooms sans an entourage. She places no limitations on what D’NA will carry and features designers whose works elicit strong feelings in her.

The successful businesswoman takes inspiration from her mother, her first fashion influence; and from designers such as Azzedine Alaia, who stays true to his designs regardless of what other people think. He also designs and stitches his own line, a rarity. Other design influences includes Cristóbal Balenciaga and Tom Ford. She credits retailers Carla Sozzani, Lindsay Dresner, Joan Weinstein, and mother and daughter team Sarah Lerfel and Colette Rousseau with providing a new perspective on fashion, style, and marketing. In addition, Deena Abdulaziz appreciates Diane von Fürstenberg for success and for inspiration and encouragement to open D’NA.

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