Fashion Forward – Huge Regional Attendance

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Fashion Forward - Huge Regional Attendance

Huge Regional Attendance, Insight from Industry Leaders and Influential Buyers Among the Highlights of Fashion Forward Season Two

Mentorship of Middle East’s Emerging Designers and Snapshot of d3 Round Out Region’s Definitive Fashion Event


DUBAI – Indicators that the Middle East’s fashion sector is becoming more mature and widely recognised were strongly present throughout Season Two of Fashion Forward (FFWD), which concluded with resounding success on Friday 18th October. The four day event saw phenomenal attendance figures from the regional fashion community, a flourishing accessories trade through The Garden, and insights from global industry leaders on how best to progress the industry here in the Middle East, through the “d3 Fashion Talks”.

Over 15,000 guests from across the region and further afield visited the event throughout the four days, celebrating and supporting the wealth of established and emerging design talent in the Middle East. The presence of designers from Saudi, Qatar, Lebanon, Kuwait, Oman and the wider UAE resulted in unprecedented attendance from the regional community of fellow fashion designers, buyers, media and fashion enthusiasts.

As part of the official Eid in Dubai calendar, FFWD Season Two welcomed guests to celebrate the Eid Al Adha holidays with four days of catwalk presentations, industry talks and discussions and the opportunity to shop and network.

“Fashion Forward Season Two added some vital new elements, including The Garden and The Showroom, to attract buyers and accessory collectors, while enhancing the foundations which made our inaugural season such a success.  Our collaboration with Dubai Design District (d3) and the strong attendance as part of the official Eid in Dubai calendar demonstrated that the Middle East’s fashion community needs and believes in Fashion Forward as a regional platform for the considerable talent in the region,” said Bong Guerrero, Founder and CEO of Fashion Forward.

Sales and buying contacts were made for more than 50 designers taking part in The Garden, a showcase of accessories for the trade and consumers.  A number of the designers featured on Fashion Forward’s catwalks were personally selected to take part in mentorship sessions with established brands including Rabih Kayrouz, while displaying additional pieces of their collections to regional and international buyers in The Showroom.

Industry commentators from the US, Europe and the wider Middle East contributed to Fashion Forward’s developmental programme that was supported by Dubai Design District (d3) as part of their unwavering commitment to the successful development of the design and fashion industry in Dubai. Speakers included designer Nanette Lepore, Halston Chairman and CEO Ben Malka, and speakers from London College of Fashion, Domus Academy and Parsons The New School for Design, to provide insight and perspective on the elements of creating a sustainable fashion sector for the region.

Through panel discussions and an industry lunch, FFWD attendees learned more about the newly announced project Dubai Design District (d3), a new destination aimed at attracting the creative community and building a sustainable design and fashion industry in the Middle East.

Over 50 regional and international buyers attended the four day event, from the likes of Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s and Boutique 1. Also in attendance at all catwalk shows was Le New Black, a French online B2B showroom which currently has over 2800 retailers participating, including Printemps, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, Le Bon Marché and Les Galeries Lafayette. As part of the portal’s plans to expand the presence of Middle Eastern designers, they will choose one Fashion Forward designer to display on the site for one year.

The designers who showed collections at FFWD Season Two were:

AMATO by Furne One



CHARBEL ZOE presented by IN Magazine




ESSA presented by GRAZIA Middle East







REEM AL KANHAL presented by HIA Magazine


TAHIR SULTAN presented by The CARTEL






Fashion Forward Season Three will take place in April 2014. Designers wishing to participate please contact



About Fashion Forward (FFWD)

Fashion Forward (FFWD) is the definitive fashion platform for Dubai and the Middle East — a fashion movement which provides a platform and a progressive direction for fashion.  Key components of FFWD include catwalk presentations by established and emerging designers in the Middle East and d3 Fashion Talks, to foster industry discussion.




Article supplied by:

The Portsmouth Group

Kimberley Brooke

Nerry Toledo


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