Fashion Forward (FFWD) welcomed over 18,000 guests for the third season of the region’s definitive fashion platform, showcasing the most carefully curated and dynamic programme thus far.
During the three-day event a selection of the region’s most celebrated design talents showed catwalk collections,industry experts imparted invaluable knowledge through the“d3 Fashion Talks” and an eclectic mix of accessories designers showcased in The Garden retail space.
Over the three days news and images of Season Three filled newspaper front covers, online news sites, blogs, social media feeds, plus the cameras and notebooks of buyers, regional and international editors.
“Season Three has raised the bar for the fashion industry here in the Middle East,” said Bong Guerrero, Founder and CEO of Fashion Forward. “Our designers this season have been outstanding. Their collections were concise, carefully edited and showcased with individuality and flair.”
“Having launched just under a year ago – Fashion Forward is still in its infancy and we have much further to go, however, everything we have learnt along our short but insightful journey so far was channeled into making Season Three as successful as possible,” added Guerrero.
Carefully edited couture and ready-to-wear collections were presented across three catwalk halls from both returning FFWD designers and fresh talent selected from across the Middle East. Runway images from all 18 shows were shot by a team from Getty Images and shows were live-streamed worldwide on Style.com/Arabia.
The “d3 Fashion Talks” saw discussions and presentations from some of the most influential names in the industry including Ennio Capasa, creative director of CoSTUME NATIONAL, international blogger Bryanboy and the creator of New York Fashion Week, Fern Mallis.
Dr Amina Al Rustamani, Group CEO of TECOM Investments, the master developer behind Dubai Design District (d3), said: “Much like Dubai’s ambition to become a global design and fashion capital, Fashion Forward is gaining real momentum – with record attendance this season and popular initiatives such as the “d3 Fashion Talks” generating insightful debate about the future of this important industry.
“As a dedicated location for the region’s creative community; d3 is committed to fostering the growth and development of the design and fashion industry. FFWD reflects the d3 vision to support regional platforms, and its commitment to engage with such initiatives which mirror the vision and goals of d3, and enable both emerging and established talents to shine on a local, regional and international scale.”
Fern Mallis closed the programme for the “d3 Fashion Talks” giving both FFWD and the industry in the Middle East sound advice from her experience in creating New York Fashion Week.
“The Middle East is one of the fashion industry’s most vibrant markets,” said Mallis. “There are USD 8 billion in luxury spending each year despite an economic crisis, and a third of the world’s couture clients come from the Middle East. The world’s top fashion brands are not only courting you, they are here. So I say, enjoy it. It’s a growing process, but you are in the right place at the right time and you do have many of the right people on your side and on your team.”
The Garden was once again a must-visit location throughout the three days, with guests and buyers shopping the collections of the region’s finest accessories designers.
Season Three’s stellar line up of design talent caught the attention of regional and international buyers, and representatives from Al Oustoura (KSA), Bloomingdale’s, Chalhoub, Cream,Farfetch (London) , Galeries Lafayette, Harvey Nichols, Impressions (Qatar),Mahino, Sauce and Valleydayz, cast their eyes over the runway presentations and accessories collections in The Garden.
Increasing emphasis was placed on fostering the commercial side of the industry for this season’s designers. Through partnerships with crowd investing site Eureeca.com and Galeries Lafayette, selected FFWD designers have been given the opportunity to raise funding and have a physical retail space for their collections following the event.
A selection of accessories designers from The Garden was offered mentorship sessions with Swarovski and Azza Fahmy, to help not only with the creative side of their brand, but also the business and strategic aspect.
Through its continued partnership with Dubai Design District (d3), FFWD continues to push forward as an event and help grow a sustainable fashion industry in the region. The success of Season Three is testament to the ever increasing visibility and credibility of Dubai and the Middle East as a hub for creativity and fashion.
Saturday, April 19- 2014 @ 10:38 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.