GULFNEWS: Vintage in vogue

Founders of pre-loved clothing company So Chic, Alex Bouvy, 35, from Belgium and Emma Di Rito, 40, from France.

Best friends Alex and Emma first met on the beach in Dubai three years ago and instantly bonded over their love of fashion. They have a chic and minimalistic style, which they found hard to replicate in the UAE.

“It’s very hard to find certain pieces in Dubai,” says mum-of-two Emma. “Designers like Sandro and Isabel Marant are often a lot more expensive.”

It soon became clear there was a gap in the market for pre-loved clothing. “We decided to set up a service that makes some of our favourite designers more accessible to women in the UAE.”

And So Chic was born. The idea is to present pre-loved clothing to women in the UAE through regular events. All you need to do is turn up and shop, you don’t even have to pay to get in!

Alex and Emma make their money from sales, taking a 70 per cent cut, with the remainder going to the owner of the item.

Alex and Emma visit ladies’ houses in Dubai, many of whom are friends of friends, or have found out about the events through word of mouth, sourcing unwanted pieces that stay true to their chic European style.

“We are looking for a certain style, so there are items we turn away,” says Emma. “We won’t take anything that isn’t in pristine condition.”

Most pieces have had one previous owner, but they also source direct from European boutiques – items a couple of seasons old that didn’t sell. Prices start at Dh50 and 3,000 women attended their third event at the Nyla House in Jumeirah in December.

“This is a very interesting city,” says Alex. “People are coming from so many different places with many different styles allowing women to experiment with fashion. I’d love to see this grow.”

For details of the next So Chic event at Nyla House, Jumeirah Beach Road, visit

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