It’s only in its second season but Dubai’s Fashion Forward is really making the push to be the UAE’s premier fashion event.
With a roster of 22 designers who will showcase their latest collections over four days, the event, which kicks off on October 15 at the Madinat Arena, will also feature talks and discussions led by top international names. Attendees include Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) member and designer Nanette Lepore; Ben Malka, the chairman and CEO of iconic American label Halston, Philippe Von Borries, the co-founder of beauty and fashion website Refinery29 and Stefan Siegel, former model and founder of the website Not Just A Label (NJAL).
Heads of leading academic institutions the London College of Fashion, Domus Academy Fashion School Milan and Parsons The New School for Design in New York, will also take part in panel discussions while celebrated Lebanese designer, Rabih Kayrouz, will return to host a panel along with his Starch Foundation designers, who will show their collections on the runway.
The line-up of international experts will feature in panel discussions and workshops, called d3 Fashion Talks, and will be held daily during the four days, in association with the upcoming Dubai Design District project.
The highlight will still be the catwalk shows, which this season features 13 returning designers and nine FFWD debutants. Among the new names are Shaikha Madiyah Al Sharqi, the daughter of His Highness Shaikh Hamad Bin Mohammad Al Sharqi, Ruler of Fujairah and Member of the Supreme Council, who will introduce her eponymous eveningwear label; House of Fatam, a label created by three Emirati sisters Lamya, Shaima and Fatma Gargash; Omani sisters Nadia and Lubna who created the label Endemage; and Saudi designer Aziz Humaid.
Riyadh-based Humaid, 26, who will be launching his first womenswear collection at FFWD, says his designs are for the modern and independent woman.
Showing alongside Humaid will be returning designers from Season One, many of them established names in the UAE and beyond. The list includes Dubai-based Hollywood celebrity favourite Furne One and his label Amato, Dubai-based Golkar brothers behind the menswear label The Emperor 1688, Lebanon’s Dima Ayad, the Doha-based designer Lama Al Moatassem who runs Toujouri, Sharjah-based Essa and Dubai-based Lebanese designer Zayan Gandour.
*For a full schedule and to register for specific events, go to fashionforward.ae