Five Places to Visit in Amman with a Hometown Fashion Designer

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The Amman fashion designer Nafsika Skourti could have started her clothing line anywhere. Her Paris Fashion Week debut six years ago won over buyers from around the world. But Ms. Skourti, 32, and her sister, Stephanie, 30, headquartered their company in their hometown in 2014 “to teach Arab hands to create clothing with international appeal,” she said. The sisters employ refugees from Iraq and Syria to embroider and bead their edgy designs, which riff on Middle Eastern stereotypes and 1990s pop culture. In their Amman atelier and boutique, you can find curios like rhinestone-adorned bras and her popular signature pants, called the Naughty Trousers.

Growing up, Ms. Skourti recalls, “Amman was quaint and insular — we had maybe one cinema. I remember the first McDonald’s opening, that was a really big deal.” Since then, she said, “the city has grown exponentially. The music scene is booming, there are a ton of pop-up parties, and there’s an entrepreneurial spirit that has given rise to co-working spaces, juice bars and other concepts that are new to this part of the world.” Here, five places Ms. Skourti frequents for inspiration.


Touted as Amman’s first speakeasy, this cocktail bar inside the Conroy Boutique Hotel is where trendy types gather during the colder months (it’s closed in the summer). “They have a small but interesting menu, and even better cocktails. It’s an off-the-beaten-path kind of gem.” House rules include “no name dropping” and “leave your ego at the door.”

Inside the Conroy Boutique Hotel, Shatt Al-Arab Street, 17; instagram.com/offtherecordbar/


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