At Home With Fashion Designer Dina Zahran

6 min read
Dina Zahran wears a Dinzy Flower Sweater with an Etro Skirt, Amina Muaddi heels and earrings by Nad de Paris.

MOJEH enters the home of Dina Zahran, whose rainbow-hued aesthetic comes to life in her eclectic and exuberant interiors

Upon walking into the Al Barsha abode of Dina Zahran, guests are greeted by a trio of ceramic animals – one bear and two bunny rabbits – sitting atop colourful books about Mykonos and Ibiza, on an asymmetrical centre table. In marbled hues of orange, yellow, blue, purple and pink, the bear and bunnies were painted by Dina’s three children, who inspire everything from her home décor to her personal style. Beyond the foyer, Dina’s living room showcases quirky sculptures, colourful candlesticks, kitschy trinket trays and cartoonish figurines, interspersed with Christian Dior coffee-table books and Hermès boxes. A romantic, heart-shaped tray by regional brand Silsal sits on the same table as a collectible Bearbrick in the form of Winnie the Pooh.

Palestinian, born in Marbella and now based in Dubai, Dina has been inspiring regional fashion enthusiasts since before the dawn of the term ‘influencer’. Today, she has close to 180,000 followers on Instagram, who look to her for advice on fashion, beauty, skincare and, of course, motherhood. “I wear a lot of different hats, from content creator, to designer, to wife and so on, but motherhood is by far the most important role in my life – it comes before everything,” Dina tells MOJEH.

Tables feature an assortment of quirky décor pieces and thick fashion tomes.

The most vibrant room of Dina’s house is undoubtedly her children’s playroom, where a wall features rainbow-hued polka dots and an archway has been painted to emulate a rainbow. “Rainbows, to me, are pure, unfiltered joy – they’re a burst of colour that happens in nature when sunshine and rain mix, and there is something so beautiful about that,” says Dina, adding that they also represent new beginnings.

Dina has just embarked on a new beginning herself, with the launch of her clothing brand Dinzy. Fondly calling it her “fourth baby”, her debut collection of embroidered sweatshirts and T-shirts are emblazoned with slogans like ‘dream’ and ‘happy’, and feature embroidered appliqués in emoji-style icons such as smiley faces, hearts and, of course, rainbows. “Over the last few years I’ve really figured out my style and it falls somewhere between a rainbow and a refined woman. My style is colourful, playful and fun, but clean and with a bit of an edge,” says Dina.

Dina wears a Dinzy Hearts Sweater with Miu Miu trousers, Amina Muaddi heels, Arkay necklaces and earrings from RZ by Rima Zahran.

Although much of the content that she shares is suffused with enthusiasm and optimism, the past few months’ bombardment of Gaza have weighed heavily on Dina and she has been using her platform to shed light on the travesties her people are enduring in Palestine – especially since the October 2023 escalation. “It’s not just that it’s important, it’s not optional for me,” says Dina. “The past few months I have lived and breathed every single moment of what’s happening in Palestine.”

Along with amplifying calls for a ceasefire and statements of resistance, she has shared photos of herself – often accompanied by her children – wearing symbols of solidarity such as watermelons and keffiyehs. “My social media didn’t only pivot, but so did I as a person,” explains Dina. “As a Palestinian who has never had the opportunity to step foot in my homeland, it is incredibly painful to witness my people carrying this heavy burden. I felt helpless and guilty for a long time and then I had a lightbulb moment where I realised that we, too, can resist. We can resist by thriving as Palestinians, by giving back, and by never stopping the conversation about Palestine.”

Dina’s formal living room

Through her new brand, Dina aspires to disrupt widespread feelings of adversity with rays of joy and optimism. “My clothing is a break from the seriousness of the world, something to make people smile,” she explains. Dinzy, however, is not Dina’s first run with a fashion label. In 2007 at age 18, she launched Dinz with her sister, Rima Zahran, and the duo’s T-shirts, jeans, jewellery and colourful keffiyeh scarves were a hit in the region. Dina says that gaining experience as a young fashion designer taught her useful lessons for her new brand. “I’ve learned to rely on my gut and push for it, rather than asking too many people for their opinions,” says Dina. With age and experience, she now feels emboldened to play by her own rules. Comfort, for instance, is one of Dina’s top criteria both with her clothing and her interiors. “I love the idea of my home being my sanctuary. I love a calm aesthetic, but with pops of colour of course,” says Dina, who spends the most time in her first-storey family room, next to the kids’ room. “It has low seating, so I sit on the floor and the kids are always around me playing games or watching TV.”

This is where Dina finds herself breaking up sibling fights, retrieving her children from the posts of their beds where they hang like monkeys and endlessly cleaning their stains on carpets. For ‘me time’, she retreats to the bathroom floor. “I hang out there more times than I’d like to admit – whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed and I need a few minutes to myself I hide in the bathroom, sit on the floor and just breathe, but they always find me,” she says. And Dina wouldn’t have it any other way. For while motherhood may be an emotional rollercoaster ride filled with spilt paint and sibling squabbles, it is one that constantly fulfils her. “My kids inspire me to want to show them how much a woman can do, how strong we are, and how much love we can give the world,” she says. “They have also taught me that it’s okay to get messy, to scream at the top of your lungs, and to laugh and cry at the same time.”

Dina wears a Dinzy Dream Sweater with a Ganni skirt and Kat Maconie heels.

Between school drop-offs and pickups — at three separate times — Dina rarely finds time for herself, but says that her dressing room, which is attached to her bedroom, also doubles as her ‘therapy room’. It’s where she often films content for her social media, and applies her daily makeup — a therapeutic coping mechanism that helps prepare her for the day.

The start of Ramadan signifies new routines in Dina’s home. While she says it’s “business as usual” with work and school during the days, at sunset time, the family all comes together to eat, and then pray. “There is something so magical and beautiful about the Holy Month and it’s so important to us to get our kids into it too,” says Dina. She and her children are starting to decorate the house by hanging lights outside and scattering Ramadan-themed pieces indoors. “The kids love decorating the entrance table, and I let them go wild,” says Dina. The marbled bear and bunnies might be re-homed for a month, but there’s no doubt that Dina’s foyer will still be pulsating with the creative and upbeat energy that fuels her house — and its inhabitants.

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  • Words by Hafsa Lodi
  • Photographed by Ausra Osi