Maison Orient is the newest addition to the e-commerce field that is establishing its significance—and dominance—in today’s fashion world. With the plethora of online boutiques available, Maison Orient is able to establish itself with a unique story and a specific mission. The business launched in Paris on the 27th of September at Sofitel Le Scribe, Paris Opera, with a clear and rather blunt message: it’s time for talent from the Orient to be recognized.


Words/Rabih Arasoghli


Ayse Arel, founder of Maison Orient, knows what she’s talking about. With a Bachelor’s in fashion buying/merchandising, and a Master’s in luxury brand management, Arel is successful at handling both the fashion and the business. However, it’s her 10 years long experience in the field that truly made Arel an expert. Arel managed the e-commerce for several brands, from Kenzo to Harvey Nichols or Beymen as well as having been head of styling for E-commerce at Boutique 1 in Dubai.


After working for over a decade in the e-commerce industry, Arel wanted to go on a new, bolder direction. Tired of helping Western labels, which were already hugely covered by offline and online stores, she decided to shift her focus towards undiscovered designers from the Orient. Arel came up with Maison Orient as a strategy—and solution—to help regional talent expand their businesses globally and reach international markets. This is how the e-commerce platform came to be: a translation of Arel’s desire to promote Oriental creators and to bridge the gap between Eastern and Western talent—something that can be easily understood when you know that Arel herself is Turkish-American.


Maison Orient has a distinct mission that structures the platform. The purpose is to shed light on Oriental designers and introduce regional brands to a wider global audience. By sharing the narratives of these creators, Maison Orient believes that consumers from all over the world will take an interest in brands emerging from the MENA region and the Far East.


A strong, undiscovered narrative is not the only thing Maison Orient is looking for. The platform is adamant on promoting quirky and authentic values. For Arel, this is what separates these local brands from international labels who are only interested in profit, as opposed to promoting genuine interactions with the client.


But Maison Orient is not only about international exposure. Brands in business with the e-boutique benefit from an array of services, from marketing management to understanding logistics on an international level. Arel knows that the leap from local/regional to global is rather difficult; through Maison Orient, she is preparing brands to go that extra step. The online platform especially believes that a meaning behind the brand, an appreciation of culture and heritage, and a sense of authenticity in details are strong components that make a brand appealing.


Designers you can find online in the boutique include Hak the Label (Oman), Bouguessa (UAE), Lako Bukia (Georgia), and The Summer House (India). Even though talents come from different regions, they share core values such as cultural authenticity, respectfulness of traditional practices, and consciousness of the environment and the ecology.