by Ayesha Shaikh
  • 4 minute read
  • March 22, 2020
Watch: Villa 88 Partners With Level Shoes And Sumayyah Al Suwaidi To Explore A New Dawn Of Art

You know the feeling when you look into someone’s eyes? It’s a very powerful moment. It’s also quite telling, especially when you meet Sumayyah Al Suwaidi. To enter her world is to leave behind much of what feels familiar and to lament that you’ll have to return to it at some point. It’s a digital fun house, where frolicsome figures reign supreme and an assemblage of everyday objects suddenly looks special. “I use art as a means to exhale all the things that I inhale during my day, so it’s more of a personal diary,” she tells me.

It’s with the same gusto that Sumayyah has created a digital artwork exclusively for the cover of Villa 88, which is fused with her image, where she looks effortlessly elegant wearing sculptural Yuul Yie pumps and the ATP Atelier mini bag, both available at Level Shoes. The work surveys what reinvention means to an artist; where clouds, alluding to the idea of hope and dreaming big, and delicate flowers representing femininity, come together on a textured pattern in the background.

Sumayyah wears Medea Mini Strap bag, Dhs 560, and Christian Louboutin Monmoc moccasins, Dhs2,990; Available at Level Shoes, The Dubai Mall, and

To the left are words in swirling Arabic calligraphy that translate to ‘Dream’, ‘Dare’, ‘Do’ and ‘Believe’, reflecting the spirit of the Emirati woman. “The thought was to create a world for these words, an open space with no boundaries,” she explains. “A woman can achieve her goals if she possesses determination and a strong will. It’s the motto that I Iive by.”

And what better way to celebrate new-age art than with a cover dedicated to it? “Digital art is a new medium of fine art and many artists using it in the Middle East and North Africa are rising to the fore,” notes Sumayyah. “It has given many creatives like me the chance to enhance our careers. I’m not a freehand artist, and digital art has helped me increase my creativity, giving me the ability to express my emotions.”

Sumayyah carries the Folklore Loop bag, Dhs1,970, and the Yuzefi Doris Crossbody bag, Dhs2,380, and wears Pierre Hardy Vibe Sneakers, Dhs2,750, and Emilio Pucci Slip-on sneakers, Dhs2,340; Available at Level Shoes,
The Dubai Mall and

As the first female Emirati digital artist, Sumayyah has a pioneering spirit. “1996 was the year that transformed my life,” she shares, referencing the time she decided to follow in the footsteps of her cousin, who was then pursuing a major in graphic design at college.

“With time, I felt graphic design wasn’t enough, so I did my research and learnt more about digital art, which has no guidelines, no restrictions. It offered me the chance to have complete freedom in my creations,” she states. But prizing novelty and newness over all else comes with its own set of challenges. “As a digital artist, I had people criticizing my work, but I thank God that more people have been praising and buying it,” she shares.

Sumayyah wears the Wandler Hortensia Mini bag, Dhs2,850, and Francesco Russo Leather sandals, Dhs2,840; Available at Level Shoes, The Dubai Mall, and

A sense of liberation ensues in Sumayyah’s body of work, with its pop culture iconography and contrasting compositions. In 2001, she presented her first set of artworks, which were immediately sold out. “That’s when I knew I’m actually good at it and I shouldn’t stop.”

Her first group exhibition took place 17 years ago in Abu Dhabi, followed by her first solo show at Ghaf Art Gallery in the capital. “I loved setting up my own exhibition and all the pressure that came with it. Then, I thought I should curate shows where other artists could participate, so I began organizing open-call art exhibitions, giving every artist in the UAE the opportunity to showcase and sell their art.”

Sumayyah wears the ATP Atelier San Gimignano Mini bag, Dhs1,130, and the Yuul Yie White Dorren Slingback pumps, Dhs1,470; Available at Level Shoes, The Dubai Mall, and

So, what’s it really like to be in Sumayyah’s shoes? “It means to be strong, bold and fearless, to have a thick skin and not let anyone doubt your decisions. Many will try to take you down, but you’ll have to stand tall and achieve your goals,” she shares. And that’s how Sumayyah Al Suwaidi remains ahead of the game. Visit Level Shoes at The Dubai Mall and, @Levelshoes, 800 5383 573

All shoes and accessories available at Level Shoes, The Dubai Mall and

Creative Producer: Ayesha Shaikh
Photographer: Efraim Evidor
Fashion Film Director: Jhenyfy Muller
Fashion Film Assistant: Jey Endran
Stylist: Daniel Negron
Styling Assistant: Venus Baroso
Hair and Makeup Artist: Michel Kiwarkis
(All at MMG Artists)
Wardrobe Courtesy: Serrb, I AM MAI and Marina Qureshi at Fashion Exclusive, and CHI-KA

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