Fashion Lifestyle

Fashion Forward Dubai Showcases Middle Eastern Fashion To Global Consumers

Fall/Winter ’16 Collections Shown To Influential International Guests and Buyers


Fashion Forward Dubai (FFWD), the region’s progressive fashion platform, endorsed by the Dubai Design and Fashion Council (DDFC), closed its Fall/Winter ’16 season to great acclaim from industry figures, having presented 39 apparel, jewellery and accessories designers to a hugely influential regional and international audience. The attendance from buyers was the most significant to date with representatives from some of the most recognised global department stores.


FFWD was held from March 31st-April 3rd in the event’s new venue at Dubai Design District (d3), Hai d3, where 24 apparel brands showed their Fall/Winter ’16 collections through runway shows and presentations, and 15 jewellery and accessories brands exhibited in The Showcase space.


Guests enjoyed the urban space, custom built to house the bi-annual 4-day event. Members of the fashion community from across the GCC and internationally joined together to celebrate a selection of the best Middle Eastern design talent.


Mohammad Saeed Al Shehhi, COO at Dubai Design District (d3) said: “Fashion Forward has grown to become a key event in Dubai’s design calendar. We are delighted that they chose to host this season at d3, allowing us to welcome designers, buyers and the regional fashion industry to our home and helping us to enable our ambition of serving as a platform for nurturing the region’s design industry.


“Feedback we received from the visitors focused on the delight of how FFWD is evolving and the fantastic synergy between both the event and d3 as a location, as well as showcasing some of the best of our regions fashion designers. We look forward to continuing to support FFWD in the future and enabling the industry to flourish.”


Each season, FFWD attracts an increasing number of buyers from the region and internationally. For F/W ’16, FFWD partnered with Muriel Piaser Consulting to bring buyers representing: Galeries Lafayette, Paris; Harvey Nichols, Hong Kong; Neiman Marcus, New York; Fenwick, London and Printemps, Paris to FFWD. The buyers attended the runway shows and presentations as well as a dedicated Showroom day on April 3rd where they had one-to-one meetings with selected designers.


In addition to the design talent on show, FFWD F/W ’16 also hosted a series of significant industry figures through the ‘d3 Fashion Talks’ including: CEO of Moda Operandi, Deborah Nicodemus; Hollywood celebrity stylist Anita Patrickson; as well as a dynamic panel of international buyers including Pascale Camert – Galeries Lafayette, Paris and Song Pham – Harvey Nichols, Hong Kong.


Speaking about her impression of FFWD Pascale Camart – Head Manager of Womenswear & Underwear Buying Department, Galeries Lafayette, Paris, said: “It is very important for us to explore an event like Fashion Forward to see what’s happening here in the Middle East as most of our customers are in this region.”


Passing on her advice for emerging designers looking to enter a department store, Pascale continued “It is imperative for a designer to know what is needed to stock their collections in a department store, from making a look book to assigning competitive pricing and delivery schedules.”


Celebrity stylist Anita Patrickson, commented on her experience at FFWD: “Everything is so fabulous, well-organized, and everyone is respectful and friendly. At fashion events, especially in Paris and New York, the guests tend to rush in, sit down and keep to themselves so it’s been such a cool experience here at Fashion Forward as everyone is so welcoming and so warm.”


“I think it’s invaluable to have platform like this for an emerging market and for emerging designers. I think this is the showcase for them. This is their moment and the event is not overly saturated, it has just the right amount of shows and it seems that everything has been cherry picked. In Paris and America, you see hundreds of hundreds of designers which can be overwhelming. Whereas Fashion Forward is beautifully curated so you get the sense of different designers, different options, style and personality.”


Bringing technology and innovation into the fashion forefront, FFWD partnered with Samsung to enhance the experience for attending guests, while empowering those that could not attend. During the event, Samsung integrated its latest ecosystem: Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, Gear VR and Gear 360 – showcasing the convergence between fashion and technology – bringing the front row experience in a 360° view of all the fashion shows to the connected and fashion savvy consumers.


“We are very pleased with the outcome of our collaboration with FFWD. Throughout the event, we harnessed the strength of Samsung’s technologies and ecosystem to enhance the consumer’s experience at FFWD. It was a pleasure to be part of the fashion discussion on how technology is enabling and simultaneously transforming the fashion industry in the region,” said Abdo Chlala, the Regional Head of IT and Mobile Division at Samsung Electronics MENA. “This collaboration with FFWD is one of the examples of our association in the fashion space and we look forward to extend the partnership with the designer enablement program and next FFWD season.”


Abdo Chlala hosted a panel discussion on Technology’s Role in the Fashion Space Today, inspiring a passionate conversation amongst the panelists and audience about the impact of technology on the fashion industry in the region, focused on traditional and new publishers of content and new emerging communication platforms. He also participated as a panelist in the 3D Printing to Wearable Tech: The Future of Fashion discussion, highlighting the importance of collaborating with key stakeholders in this industry to expand a meaningful product experience in the wearable technology category.


In line with FFWD’s quest to fuse fashion and tech, social media heavyweight Twitter brought the coveted ‘Twitter Mirror’ to Fashion Forward, used at international fashion weeks and by celebrities including Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid. FFWD’s collaboration with Twitter, offered exclusive videos and photos of designers and influencers alike, resulting in over a million Twitter impressions throughout the weekend. As a result, #FFWDDXB officially trended across the region.


Fashion Forward Dubai is a progressive platform, adapting each season to meet the needs of the growing Middle Eastern Fashion industry. To keep up to date with all our latest news please visit the FFWD website.