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DXB Fashion Photography grabs spotlight in DSF’s “Journey into Style”

DXB Fashion Photography grabs spotlight in DSF’s “Journey into Style”

448Organised by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), DXB Fashion Photography exhibition opened today (7 January) at Mall of the Emirates – as life-size works of distinguished local, regional and international photographers put the spotlight on refreshing takes on fashion, beauty and lifestyle.

Held as part of the 20th anniversary celebrations of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) – the much-awaited attraction at Mall of the Emirates saw the International Festival of Fashion Photography from Cannes come to life in Dubai. Suhaila Ghubash, Director, Festivals and Events, DFRE along with the acclaimed fashion photographer of Louis Vuitton, Mazen Saggar, unveiled the exhibition in the presence of Hussain Moosa, Associate Director, Shopping Malls at Majid Al Futtaim Properties and a host of senior officials from DFRE and Mall of the Emirates.

DXB Fashion Photography is a powerful collection of select images showcased at the International Festival of Fashion Photography including those by the likes of Anita Bresser, Iris Brosch, Marcelo Benfield, Daniele Cipriani, Sune Czajkowski, Lucia Giacani and Nancy Fina among others. Works of well-known Emirati photographers including Nasser Ali and Fatma Hilal in addition to those of Beirut-born Maha Nasra Eddé, Atif Abu Samra from Sudan and Adel Rashid from Syria, have also been included in the exhibition as part of the Festival’s Dubai edition, which is open for viewing at the Galleria during mall hours until 14 January.

Hussain Moosa, Associate Director, Shopping Malls at Majid Al Futtaim Properties, said: “Mall of the Emirates in collaboration with the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment is honoured to host the debut of the International Festival of Fashion Photography exhibition, a prestigious event that showcases some of the best fashion photography in the world including those by regional artists, reinforcing our leadership as the leading luxury, fashion and arts destination. Through  this event, our aim is to further boost Dubai’s thriving arts and culture landscape while creating unique experiences and great moments, every day for our guests this festival season.”

“Art has always been an integral part of life and culture in Dubai and in the recent times the city has emerged as a bustling hub for both local and international artists from various fields to showcase their talents. Bringing the International Festival of Fashion Photography from Cannes to Dubai truly gives the ongoing DSF celebrations an artistic flair and puts the focus on the festival’s inspiring “Journey Into Style”. We hope that DSF visitors and residents will thoroughly enjoy this exhibition and appreciate the creativity of these gifted local, regional and international photographers,” said Suhaila Ghubash, Director, Festivals and Events, DFRE.

“DXB Fashion Photography is a great initiative organised by DSF. It is an honour to unveil this ensemble of powerful images from the portfolios of distinguished international photographers,” said Mazen Saggar. “I am always inspired by discovering new imagery, so it is a great pleasure to have the opportunity to meet the group of passionate photographers based in Dubai whose work has also been selected for this exhibition - a testament to the remarkable talent rising out of this region. Photography is a powerful medium that enables us to express emotions and connect with people, and we hope this DSF exhibition will offer inspiration to all visitors,” said Mazen Saggar.

Following the opening of the exhibition, participating local photographers had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enjoy an exclusive Q&A session with Mazen Saggar who keenly shared his photography tips and tricks over an exclusive lunch gathering.

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FFWD Pushes Forward The Regional Fashion Industry

FFWD Pushes Forward The Regional Fashion Industry

498Fashion Forward (FFWD), the definitive fashion platform in the Middle East, continues its commitment to driving the region’s fashion industry to a global audience with its Fourth Season this October 4th-6th. FFWD is the only fashion platform to solely champion Middle Eastern design talent, and as it enters its fourth edition, the movement has become a catalyst in the growing success and international visibility of the regional industry.

Commenting on the platform’s growth Bong Guerrero, Founder and CEO of Fashion Forward said: “The considerable traction we have made since our inception little over a year and a half ago has been phenomenal. It validates the vision we had and the need we identified for a unifying platform upon which to showcase the design talent of this region. Being able to offer visibility to these designers not only to their peers in the local and regional fashion communities, but also to an international audience, means we are succeeding in our mission to create a regional fashion eco-system which resonates globally.”

For Season Four, FFWD has partnered with WGSN and Fashion GPS to further engage the global fashion community. All FFWD catwalk show imagery will be displayed on the WGSN portal, facilitating international trend reporting from the Middle East. The designers’ runway images will also be uploaded to Fashion GPS’ exclusive industry-only community, GPS Radar.

On the partnership with FFWD Eddie Mullon, Founder & CEO of Fashion GPS said: “Fashion GPS was founded with the aim to connect the global fashion industry through technology. We are excited to bring the catwalks from FFWD to our international network of editors, buyers, stylists and beyond. Via GPS Radar designers from Dubai will have exposure to over 20,000 of fashion’s elite worldwide.”

FFWD’s commitment to fashion and the development of regional talent has been praised by Dubai Design District (d3), a new creative community dedicated to fostering the growth of the Emirate’s design, fashion, art and luxury industry.

Commenting, Dr. Amina Al Rustamani, Group CEO of TECOM Investments, the developers and operators of d3, said: “FFWD’s dedication to nurturing regional talent mirrors d3’s ambition to grow designers from this region into international brands. Our main participation in FFWD is support of the ongoing academic and developmental programmes that run throughout the event, these platforms are particularly important in helping to develop regional talent as new designers are able to gain true insight into the industry first-hand from some of the world’s leading fashion and design names. By inspiring these designers to flourish through events such as FFWD and building the infrastructure they need at d3, we will enable the growth of the industry and assist in the vision of the diversification of Dubai’s knowledge economy. FFWD has become an important contributor to the region’s fashion community and I am delighted that once again, d3 will be a strategic partner.”

Taking place at The Madinat Jumeirah from October 4th-6th, FFWD is also proud to once again be part of the official “Eid In Dubai” celebrations.

Suhaila Gobash, Events Director at Dubai Festivals & Retail Establishment (DFRE), an Agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) said: “DFRE have always been an avid supporter of high calibre fashion events in Dubai, many of which were embraced by its main international festivals, such as Dubai Shopping Festival, Dubai Summer Surprises and Eid in Dubai. FFWD has evolved to be one of the main fashion events on the regional calendar, and it will surely be a main attraction for “Eid in Dubai” local and regional visitors. Our support for this benchmarking event comes in line with our commitment to position Dubai as a fashion hub in the region, and we look forward for another successful edition this year.”

Since its first season in April 2013, FFWD has welcomed over 45,000 members of the local, regional and international fashion community to Dubai, and has showcased over 35 of the finest couture and ready-to-wear design talent who are either based in the region or of Middle Eastern origin. Over 70 regional designers have also showcased in the accessories hub, The Garden.

The ‘d3 Fashion Talks’ has welcomed a host of international fashion experts such as Steven Kolb, the CEO of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), Fern Mallis, the Creator of New York Fashion Week and international designers such as Rabih Kayrouz, Nanette Lepore, Ennio Capasa and Reem Acra. The expertise imparted by such guests has not only advised and informed FFWD on its growth, but has also created a firmer bridge between Dubai and the international fashion hubs of London, New York, Paris and Milan.

The first three seasons of FFWD have seen considerable success for participating designers both regionally and internationally.

In April 2014, FFWD was selected as the official nominating body for the International Woolmark Prize (IWP) for the UAE. Following their nomination from FFWD, Dubai based Iranian-British designers The Emperor 1688 won the menswear regional final of the Woolmark Prize for the Middle East and India. They will now go on to showcase in the international finals at London Collections: Men in January 2015.

The regional IWP womenswear winner Rayya Morcos will also showcase her collection with her brand Bird On A Wire on the FFWD runway this October.

Several designers have attracted the interest of international retailers and celebrities following their presentations at FFWD.

April 2013 saw Paloma Faith wearing a Michael Cinco dress straight from the FFWD runway to the 2013 Met Gala. Colbie Caillat wore a gown from Ezra’s Season One collection to the 2014 Grammy Awards in January of this year. Ellie Goulding wore Amato by Furne One at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) and this year’s VMAs saw Jennifer Lopez champion Middle Eastern design wearing FFWD designer Charbel Zoe.

Considerable retailing orders have been made following FFWD shows for designers including: Zayan who secured orders with Harvey Nichols in Riyadh, Dima Ayad who sold to House of Fraser, accessories designer Nathalie Trad who launched her collection at FFWD and was subsequently picked up by Harvey Nichols, Amira Haroon had her largest ever order from Harrods following her FFWD show and Essa has sold to Dadu Luxe.

Through FFWD’s partnership with the crowdinvesting site, accessories designer Roula Ghalayini was able to secure significant funding for her brand Poupée Couture which has grown her company exponentially.

FFWD partnerships with international media outlets have further bolstered global visibility: all catwalk imagery is shot, edited and hosted by Getty Images; each show is live-streamed on, the first Condé Nast fashion and beauty publication in the Middle East, and Fashion TV broadcast highlights of the event to their international audience which exceeds 30 million.

“Looking forward to Season Four and beyond, FFWD will be more closely aligned with the objectives of the newly appointed Dubai Design and Fashion Council (DDFC),” said Guerrero. “FFWD will continue to focus on consistency and quality to determine who the strongest and most viable regional designers are, and to further develop a cadence, professionalism and rigor within the region’s fashion sector. FFWD will continue to see memorable, far-reaching and tangible success for its showcasing designers as they command space in shopping malls in the region, and beyond.”

With Dubai as its base, FFWD is perfectly placed to continue the growth of the Middle Eastern fashion industry to an international market, bringing the region into the global fashion conversation and making it a viable and sustainable destination for international designers, media, buyers and industry influencers.

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Discover a healthy way to fit into your dream wedding dress

Discover a healthy way to fit into your dream wedding dress

4222A woman’s wedding day is one of the most important events in her life. That is why a bride takes great effort on all the hard work and meticulous planning that goes into her special day, including finding that dream wedding gown!

The pressure to look their best on the day of their wedding pushes most brides to resort to quick fixes to shed off excess pounds. Unfortunately, quick fixes are not fool proof. Right Bite, a pioneer in customised healthy meal deliveries, shares secrets for brides-to-be on how to lose the bulge before their big day.

Maria Abi Hanna, Dietitian, The Right Bite Nutrition and Catering Services L.L.C., said: “To begin with, ask yourself whether you want to lose weight, drop a dress size or if you simply want to tone up and get in better shape. Set realistic and achievable goals with a logical time frame before you start. Then, follow these easy tips below and you are guaranteed to fit into the dress of your dreams:

Stay hydrated

Drink plenty of fluids (water or herbal teas); aim for two liters spread throughout the day and you’ll feel more energized and alert. Water will also improve your skin and complexion, as well as curb your appetite. Make sure you don’t drink all your calories by replacing water with fluids such as juices, sodas, black tea, coffee or alcoholic beverages. Make water your first choice.

Don’t skip meals especially breakfast

The famous saying “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” is very true. Breakfast not only kick-starts your metabolism and regulates your appetite, but also keeps your sugar levels controlled providing you with the energy needed for a productive day ahead!

Maintain regular eating patterns

Consume 3 main balanced meals with 1—2 snacks throughout the day. Keep healthy snacks readily available at hand so you don’t end up going for unhealthy options or overeating. Remember to include all five food groups (grains, protein, dairy, vegetables, and fruits) everyday. Opt for whole-grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean meats. Aim for five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day.

Eat mindfully and put your fork down between bites

The clock is ticking and the big day will arrive sooner than expected! You can’t afford to ‘waste’ calories by eating mindlessly from the fridge, cooking pot, or while you’re on the go. Keeping a record of your food and beverage intake will help you keep track of what you are eating. No matter how hectic things get, make sure you sit down during your meals and eat slowly. After all, it does take your brain twenty minutes to signal to your stomach that you are full!

Be selective during your meals and make smart food choices

Being a bride-to-be means there will be many pre-wedding events and dinner invitations. Watch your waistline while enjoying all the happy celebrations by:

Always opting for items that are grilled or steamed instead of fried

Choosing whole-grain products (brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, multi-seed bread) instead of refined ones as they are richer in fiber which will fill you up and satiate your appetite longer

Choosing lean cuts of protein like beef fillet, skinless chicken breast, and fish fillet rather than lamb, drumsticks and chicken wings

Avoiding cream and creamy sauces in the dishes, and replacing them with tomato sauce

Starting your meal with a big bowl of green salad dressed with lemon-vinegar sauce; this will help fill your stomach faster and thus make you eat less

Skipping the bread and butter basket

Downsizing your plate and practicing portion control

Be active

No time for exercise? Take advantage of all the running around to be done before the wedding by using a pedometer to track your daily steps; this tool will help you track your activity level and will motivate you to be more active. For healthy adults, the goal is to reach 10,000 steps a day.”

The Right Bite Nutrition Centre is located in the heart of Dubai, with telephone numbers +971 4 3388763 and +971 4 3425208. It also operates in Abu Dhabi, with a satellite office located at The American Surgecenter, 26th Street, Villa 408, Al Rawdah Area, telephone number +9712 4430909.

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Fashion Forward announces ‘d3 Fashion Talks’ with stellar line-up of international experts

Fashion Forward announces ‘d3 Fashion Talks’ with stellar line-up of international experts

4299Fashion Forward (FFWD) furthers its commitment to fostering discussion and nurturing the region’s fashion industry by offering a formidable line up of international experts in this season’s d3 Fashion Talks.

With the support of d3 (Dubai Design District), FFWD welcomes industry leaders in design, education, e-commerce, buying, manufacturing and media to Season Two. The d3 Fashion Talks will offer advice and generate debate through a series of carefully curated presentations and panel discussions.

“Instigating discussions and learning are integral parts of our vision for FFWD,” said Bong Guerrero, Founder and CEO of Fashion Forward.

“With the recent governmental announcements regarding d3 and Fashion 2020, we have seen a surge in interest in the Middle East as a sustainable fashion hub. The d3 Fashion Talks this season offers the highest calibre experts from vital areas of the industry, whose advice will enhance the development of the region’s fashion industry going forward.”

Dr Amina Al Rustamani, Group CEO of TECOM Investments, the developers of Dubai Design District commented: “We are delighted to be partnering with Fashion Forward to form the d3 Fashion Talks. This collaboration is part of our unwavering commitment to the successful development of the design and fashion industry in Dubai. Initiatives like this allow us to act as a bridge for knowledge sharing between industry experts, up and coming talent, and all those willing to learn in order to unlock the industry’s full potential.

The d3 Fashion Talks will run alongside the catwalk presentations throughout the four day event during Eid Al Adha, this October 15-18, giving exclusive insight into the workings of the global fashion industry, and how one can use this information to grow in the Middle East.

International Designers and Brands

In addition to the diverse programme of talented regional designers showing their collections this season, FFWD welcomes celebrated international designers, to offer their experience and insight to guest and emerging designers alike.

CFDA member and renowned designer Nanette Lepore will talk on “Crafting High Fashion: What it Takes to Manufacture Locally”. Known for her bold colours, evocative prints and signature silhouettes, Nanette Lepore has become one of the leading names in contemporary American fashion.

Fresh from London Fashion Week, following a hugely successful collaboration with Matthew Williamson, international jewellery brand Azza Fahmy join us at FFWD Season Two.

The Managing Director, Fatma Ghaly, will give a talk on “Going Global: Expanding your brand to new markets while preserving your identity.”

FFWD mentor and celebrated Lebanese designer, Rabih Kayrouz returns for Season Two, bringing with him not only his three Starch Foundation designers, who will show their collections on the runway, but will also mentor three additional designers throughout their FFWD experience, as well as hosting an industry panel.

Making his first ever visit to the region is the Chairman and CEO of iconic American label HALSTON, Ben Malka.

He will be joined by fashion blogger and designer Ascia_AKF in a discussion on “Into the Modern Zone - How Heritage and The New Generation Drive Innovation.”

The discussion will draw from Ben Malka’s wealth of expertise as a fashion industry veteran, and Ascia’s knowledge on the importance of digital marketing in the modern day. His visit to the region comes just weeks after the label launched its first ever HALSTON HERITAGE store in the Middle East in The Avenues in Kuwait, through the brand’s partnership with Majid Al Futtaim Fashion. The discussion will be moderated by Asil Attar, CEO, Lead Associates. Malka will also bring with him to FFWD, a number of vintage HALSTON gowns, which he will unveil at an exclusive High Tea during the event.

Brand Building

Giving regional designers international commercial exposure is a key aim of FFWD and to encourage this, leading names in e-commerce, brand building and technology will be present for Season Two.

Former model and Not Just A Label (NJAL) founder Stefan Siegel will share his experiences on launching the site in a discussion on Creative Entrepreneurship. The online resource tool launched in 2008 and since then has kick-started the careers of many an unknown fashion talent by allowing up-and-coming designers to showcase their work through its dedicated portal and online shop. NJAL today maintains a database of over 6,000 emerging fashion designers from 88 countries.

Photographer Jonathan Bookallil has worked as a fashion and celebrity photographer in New York, London, Paris, Milan and Australia as well having been Elizabeth Hurley’s official photographer. He will talk at FFWD on “The Role of a Photographer as an Effective Visual Communication Tool to Build a Brand”.

Media and Technology

Further to the incredible support given to FFWD designers from regional press, the quality of design talent in Season One also attracted great interest from international media. So much so that for Season Two, some of the most respected and relevant publications will travel to the region to give their support and expertise.

Photographer Kevin Tachman, who has covered fashion weeks the world over, brings to Dubai his expert eye and lens, capturing the catwalks of FFWD for

Refinery29’s co-founder Philippe Von Borries will discuss ‘How to Build an Audience’ from his experience in launching the hugely popular fashion portal, and how since 2005, the site has grown to draw one billion page views per year.

The role of technology in the fashion industry will be discussed in a panel discussion hosted by d3. Danish Farhan, CEO and Founder of Xische Holdings, will discuss “Technology Disrupting Fashion”, debating how technological advances, social media engagement, crowd funding and online retailing is changing the fashion industry on a global level.

Academic Partners

Leading academic institutions London College of Fashion and Domus Academy Fashion School build on their support from Season One, and are this season joined by Parsons The New School for Design, offering the expertise of their esteemed members and influential contacts.

Dean of Fashion from Parsons, Simon Collins, has worked with some of the world’s leading brands: Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, Fila, Zegna, and Marks & Spencer. As creative director for Nike’s Asia Pacific division, he led a $900USD million apparel business that launched collections he created in collaboration with Junya Watanabe of Comme des Garcons, Naoki Takizawa of Issey Miyake, and others. At FFWD he will draw on this experience to talk on “Design Thinking: Creating Beautiful Solutions”.

London College of Fashion lecturer and experienced fashion journalist Paul Tierney will give two talks: ‘How to Make it as a Fashion Journalist’ and “The Rise of the Fashion Blogger: Digital vs Print”.

Head of Domus Academy Fashion School Milan, Barbara Trebitsch returns for Season Two and will give a presentation to guests on “Fashion Matrix - a Contemporary Approach to Fashion Design’.

Domus Academy will also bring with them Editor in Chief of Marie Claire Italia, Antonio Mancinelli. He will present “Made in Italy and global style setter”, covering the story of iconic Italian brands and the secrets to their international success.

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Fashion Forward Season Two sees 85% returning designers alongside bright new regional talents

Fashion Forward Season Two sees 85% returning designers alongside bright new regional talents

4105Fashion Forward, the Middle East’s definitive fashion platform, ushers in its second season with 85% returning talents from Season One alongside some of the region’s brightest designers making their catwalk debuts.

With four full days of catwalk presentation, talks, educational sessions and networking events, Fashion Forward is set to be the must-visit destination for Eid Al-Adha among the region’s fashion buyers, commentators, collectors and influencers.

Fashion Forward Season Two, taking place from 15th-18th October, will welcome over 18 designers from across the region, showing couture pieces as well as ready-to-wear.

As a new addition for Season Two, more than 40 accessories designers have been hand-picked to show their collections at The Garden, giving guests and industry professionals the chance to purchase their own piece of original Middle Eastern fashion.

Throughout the four day event, guests will be able to see the latest creations from across the Middle East as the designers descend on Dubai from Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi, Qatar and the wider UAE.

“To have significantly more than three-quarters of the designers from Fashion Forward’s inaugural event return for Season Two demonstrates the viability and demand for this platform in the region,” said Bong Guerrero, Founder and CEO of Fashion Forward (FFWD). “It is a testament to Fashion Forward’s vision to be a sustainable, bi-annual event which will nurture and grow the long-term prospects for these regional designers, offering a platform for them to consistently showcase theirdesigns to a regional and increasingly international audience.”

“We are also excited to introduce a number of exciting industry newcomers from the Gulf, bringing even further diversity to the already eclectic portfolio. FFWD is an intrinsically regional platform, and the recent headlines about the need for fashion and design incubation in the GCC underscore our commitment to its growth,” added Guerrero.

Among the new design talents showing at Fashion Forward Season Two:

Aziz Humaid - The young Saudi designer uses minimalistic and monochromatic design with strong silhouettes and asymmetrical lines. The womenswear label aims to fight against the decadently superficial, and revolutionise fashion in the Kingdom.

Endemage - Omani sisters, Nadia and Lubna created Endemage, meaning “the merging of two” in 2010.The brand incorporates ultra-feminine dresses, billowy evening gowns and Arabic-infused styles, drawing inspiration from traditional Omani designs.

GISELLAblu - British/Australian SachaPlumbridge and British born Nana Agyemanform Dubai based label GISELLAblu - creating uniqueembellished evening dressesmade from Italian silk and punctuated with sequins and crystals.

House of Fatam - The House of Fatam or HOFwas created by three Emirati sisters based between Dubai and Abu Dhabi: Lamya, Shaimaand Fatma Gargash. The brand shows colourful and modern takes on classic Arab garments.

Madiyah Al Sharqi - SheikhaMadiyah Al Sharqi is the daughter of the Ruler of Fujairah, HH Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi. Al Sharqi offers effortless eveningwear with an updated edge, evolving the traditional vision of elegance.

Reem Al Kanhal- The young Saudi designer creates distinctive ready to wear pieces with an eclectic and androgynous feel. Reem’s passion for fashion is clear through her unique designs, characterised by her developed prints and row cuts.

Complementing these new shows, and building on their phenomenal success from Season One are these 13celebrated designers, with more to be announced in the coming weeks:

Amato - Since 2002, Dubai-based Furne One has been creating innovative pieces of couture, loved by his international clientele and celebrities alike. In keeping with couture traditions, Amato textures its own fabrics, fashioning lavish materials adorned with rare embellishment techniques.

Amira Haroon - Of Pakistani origin, but raised in the Middle East, Amira set up her label in 2009, her piecesemployluxe fabrics, laces and detailed hand- embellishments utilising fine and age-old craftsmanship from the region. The result is a part vintage and part luxe-bohemian silhouette.

DimaAyad - DimaAyadlaunched her unique brand of eveningwear in 2010.The Lebanese designerstrives to provide women with ‘fashion that makes you feel good’ - stylish, sophisticated and stunning dresses with a ‘wear-and-go’ philosophy that accentuate and celebrate their bodies, no matter what shape or size.

Dina Jsr - Lebanese by origin, Dina Jsr was raised in Saudi Arabia. Her designs include cocktail and evening dresses celebrating grace and style and Dina Jsr’s collections tend to be inspired by fine lines and geometric architecture.

The Emperor 1688 - Offering stand-out luxury menswear, The Emperor 1688 is the concept of three Iranian brothers who set up the label in 2007. Their collections combine exquisite tailoring, with regal prints and classic cuts made of the finest European fabrics.

Essa - Of Indian origin, but of Arab sensibilities, Essa’s designs consistently try to weave together the traditional and the modern by relying on materials and prints that have iconic cuts and are universally flattering, creating extraordinary, colourful and contemporary ready to wear pieces.

Ezra - For over a decade, Dubai-based, Filipino designer Ezra has been producing exquisitely- made, extravagant couture, establishing his brand as synonymous to elegance and beauty.

Kage - Childhood friends Arwa Abdelhadi and Basma Abu Ghazaleh created their label in 2009, offering playful and chic contemporary womens wear. Kage mixes Lace, velvet, furs, luxurious tweeds and metallic embellishments in their fun, stylish ready to wear pieces.

Starch - Three Lebanese designers Hussein Bazaza, Bashar Assaf, and Lara Khoury present their collections under RabihKayrouz’s mentorship.

Before studying fashion design in Esmod, Hussein Bazaza experimented in many artistic fields including illustration, photography and artistic direction.

Bashar Assaf is a Lebanese fashion designer currently based in Beirut. The signature behind his label is its ability to challenge the female body with brave geometry complimented with sensibility to material and craftsmanship.

Lara Khoury, launched her eponymous label Lara in 2010, she makes her Fashion Forward debut this October.

Toujouri - Doha-based designer Lama El-Moatassem launched Toujouri in 2009. In each collection translate effortlessly for any glamorous occasion whether evening, cocktail or red carpet. Draping and structure are signature designs for Toujouri evening wear and contrast the billowing fun of kaftans.

Zayan The Label - Lebanese designer Zayan Ghandour’s girly, contemporary luxury ready-to-wear designs use premium silks and crochet knit fabrics, in vivid colours and innovative billowing silhouettes.

In addition to the catwalk presentations, guests at Fashion Forward Season Two will be treated to The Garden - a carefully curated selection of over 40 accessory designers who will display an eclectic mix of bags, accessories, home ware and jewellery which will all be available for purchase. The Fashion Forward team hand-picked these designers from across Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi, the UAE and with some even making the journey from the United States.

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Fashion Forward showcases diverse range of Middle East-based design talent

Fashion Forward showcases diverse range of Middle East-based design talent

454Capacity crowds, including industry influencers, retail buyers, academic heads and fashion decision-makers, flocked to Madinat Jumeirah from 26-29 April for Fashion Forward’s first season. The public programme of workshops and panels, ranging from directional to practical themes, drew hundreds of participants who engaged in lively debate with speakers, while 18 catwalk presentations across three locations saw standing-room-only crowds experiencing new collections from some of the Middle East’s emerging and established designers.

From accessories lovers trawling for a special piece in the pop-up shop to discussions, catwalk shows, and related social events, more than 12, 000 guests experienced the first season of Fashion Forward.

Season one closed with an exclusive industry luncheon with celebrated designer Reem Acra, who was discovered by a fashion editor while studying at the American University of Beirut, as Fashion Forward’s guest of honour.

On his first-ever visit to the Middle East, Steven Kolb, CEO of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), the not-for-profit trade association representing the interests of more than 400 North American fashion and accessory designers, gave a keynote presentation outlining a roadmap for the creation of an industry body aimed at nurturing and regulating a vibrant, sustainable fashion industry.

“Fashion is a universal language, and programmes like Fashion Forward fuel creativity and stimulate the economy,” said Kolb, during his keynote.

“The feedback from our participating designers, speakers and panelists such as celebrated Lebanese designer Rabih Kayrouz, our academic partners and retailers, editors, and bloggers is that Fashion Forward is the timely, well-executed platform which the Middle East needs to provide structure, focus and momentum for the fashion sector,” said Bong Guerrero, CEO of FFWD.

“The support received from a number of the world’s leading academic institutes, who are looking to host scholarships for students from the Middle East; the sheer numbers of guests who attended; and the calibre of designers who have already shown interest in participating for season two, all underscore the enthusiasm and goodwill for the success of Fashion Forward as the region’s definitive twice-annual fashion event,” he added.

Of particular benefit to a number of participating designers were private mentoring sessions with the New York-based Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), the first of their kind in the region, providing insight on how to address challenges specific to their individual brands, from positioning to merchandising, funding, and marketing.

Season two of Fashion Forward, taking place in October 2013, will see an expanded focus on mentorship and scholarships as well as the evolution of a non-commercial trade body aimed at setting professional standards and establishing a code of best practices for the Middle East’s fashion industry.

“We’re now accepting applications from and meeting with designers keen to take part in Fashion Forward’s season two. Our first season has provided tremendous insight into what the region’s aspiring and existing designers need to develop further, as well as the roles which academia and the retail community can play, and we will incorporate these elements into season two so that Fashion Forward continues to evolve in an informed and dynamic way,” Guerrero added.

Interested designers of fashion and accessories as well as members of the academic and retail communities can contact Fashion Forward about opportunities to participate in season two via As a bi-annual fashion platform, created by event management agency BRAG, FFWD is establishing itself as the region’s definitive movement to foster growth and enrichment for designers, the Middle East’s retail sector and the industry as a whole.

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Print, Pastels and Beyond…Namshi’s Spring Summer 2013 Collection Revealed

Print, Pastels and Beyond…Namshi’s Spring Summer 2013 Collection Revealed

The first look is always a testament to the degree of brilliance the rest of the collection will embody

2194United Arab Emirates – Dubai, December 11, 2012- Namshi, the Middle East’s leading online destination for lifestyle and fashion shopping celebrated its one year anniversary and launched its new ‘Spring Summer Collection’ at a private viewing held at the Meydan Beach Club on Monday, 10 December 2012. The online department store has been at the forefront of the Middle East online fashion scene. The show brought together highlights from the runway and the most talked about designer labels in the fashion industry.

Launched a year ago in December 2011, Namshi has quickly emerged as the premium destination for online fashion shopping in the Middle East. Namshi currently serves the entire Gulf market with fast deliveries and free returns. The portal offers customers over 550 brands, hosting the widest fashion range available online in the Middle East with new products appearing almost every day.

The private viewing unveiled exclusive looks from the ‘Spring Summer 2013 Collection’, featuring numerous brands of clothes, shoes and accessories. The collection was heavily influenced by a fashion fusion of prints, stripes, florals and effervescent colors. The color palette featured pastels highlighted with hints of white. Neons continued to be key during the next season in both women’s and men’s collections.

Georgina Hills, Buying Manager – Apparel, Namshi, commented, “In just a span of one year, Namshi today dominates the Middle East online fashion industry. We are proud of this achievement and thankful to our partners and customers. This season we worked on featuring the latest trends on the runway. The women’s collection is filled with whites, metallics, monochromatic stripes, geo prints, and extreme color. The men’s collection is less busy with a domination of resort florals, stripes, embroidery, and conversational prints. Military print was present in both collections making it a unified trend and a must have item in your wardrobe this season.”

“At the core of our philosophy is to offer our customers the latest, most up-to-date fashionable pieces, while making sure it suits the region and culture we live in”, said Louis Lebbos, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Namshi. “Our mantra remains that no matter how trendy an outfit really is, if one is not comfortable wearing it, then it’s best to avoid it. Confidence is the essence of looking good! “

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276Miss Seychelles 2012 Sherlyn Furneau gives charm and beauty to her country to let people know the islands of the Indian Ocean and to support charity projects through Italian art and fashion with the contribution of stylist Michele Miglionico.

The Seychelles islands are not a common place but as the slogan says “another world”. Here you can live unique experiences: you can travel with your mind, your spirit is enriched and you can discover the innocence looking at a varied and lush nature. Amongst the local flora and fauna, pristine beaches and sea, tropical forests like those of Praslin and Curieuse where you can find the  Coco de Mer , unique in the world and declared UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We are not surprised that in the past people thought that this was the biblical garden of Eden.

Today the Seychelles are inhabited by friendly and peaceful people, born from the fusion of different ethnic groups. Also in this paradise, though, you can find unfortunate realities, like children in need that don’t live in poverty but are in need of care and attention.

The photographic project “Seychelles  Glam  Secret Dream – Walking in the Roman’s Beauties” was born as a charity project for the relief organization “Children’s Homes Foundation” strongly supported by the First Lady of the Seychelles Republic Mrs Natalie Michel and that has the aim of helping financially and socially the children in need and their families.

The promoters have believed from the beginning that the idea of combining fashion and territory could be a winning idea to enhance the exclusive union between the charm and natural beauty of the archipelago and the creativity of Haute Couture. They are two completely different heritages but they have in common the fact that they cannot be reproduced in different contexts: in other words, the Seychelles would not be the same in any other part of the world and the creativity and excellence of ‘Made in Italy’ have no equals.

Protagonist of the shooting was the newly elected Miss Seychelles 2012 Sherlyn Furneau shot by the fashion photographers Cinzia Carbonelli & Adriana Seganti.

To sustain this project Michele Miglionico, Seychelles Tourism Board Italy and Mrs Dorothy Furneau have thought of several special initiatives to create awareness of “Children’s Homes Foundation – Seychelles” involving the world of fashion, entertainment and sport for charity.
This is the reason why Michele Miglionico has created an essential t-shirt with iconic details of the latest collection autumn winter 2012 that is inspired by the graphic art of the African archipelago of the Seychelles with the slogan “Children of Seychelles – childhood should not be denied”.
The stylized pattern represents an open hand that recalls the gesture of giving help highlighting the opening towards those in need but also the refusal of children pain. Each finger of the hand has a colour of the Seychelles flag.
The stylized rose, floral pattern that is common in the creations of the stylist, is in a central position like Michele Miglionico, the centre of this charity project.
Also in this project Michele Miglionico wants to combine the glamour of fashion with projects of charity and social sustain to create a bridge between the African and the Western world in the name of the emancipation, independence and cultural diversity wishing to give support to the development of a society where children and families can feel loved, nourished and safe.

This project hopes to get also the sustain of visibility of the photographic work from the airline companies that connect the Seychelles (Emirates Airlines, Etihad Airlines, Qatar Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Blue Panorama) with the publication of the images on the onboard magazines.
The photographic outfits have been realized with the support:
Montalbano & Di Loreto hair stylist for Compagnia della Bellezza
Yolly Leon make up artist using Mac Cosmetics
Chopard-Ginevra, haute joaillerie for the jewels in gold and diamonds of the collections Classica and Happy Diamonds
Monies for the jewels-sculptures in horn, bone, coconut, ebony and resin
Loriblu luxury shoes and clutch

Biblioteca Angelica Rome
Macro Museo Arte Contemporanea Rome
The First Luxury Art Hotel Rome
Antica Enoteca Rome
The event “Seychelles  Glam  Secret Dream – Walking in the Roman’s Beauties”   took place in the establishment of the Minister of Culture Biblioteca Angelica – Galleria Angelica di Roma as a collateral event in the calendar of AltaRoma AltaModa.

“Children’s Homes Foundation – Seychelles” is a non-profit organization founded in 2006 by the First Lady of the Seychelles Republic Natalie Michel  and it has the aim of creating a society where children and families can feel loved, nourished and safe.

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Acclaimed Amato confirms show at World Luxury Fashion Week, Abu Dhabi

Acclaimed Amato confirms show at World Luxury Fashion Week, Abu Dhabi

2218World Luxury Fashion Week, Abu Dhabi, continues to attract big name designers, and lauds the recent signing of the acclaimed Amato, the renowned Dubai-based designer who completes the four day event schedule.

Amato joins an already impressive list of local and international fashion flair which includes Carolina Herrera NY, DAS Collections, Ermanno Scervino, Herve Leger, Nina Ricci, Paul Ka ‘Black Carpet’ Collection and Walid Atallah.

Amato’s collection will jet in from Los Angeles just in time for World Luxury Fashion Week.

Dubai-based, Amato, meaning ‘beloved’, has amazed glamorous fashion crowds globally with consistently fabulous and unique collections of bespoke gowns by the creative master, Furne One.

Since its establishment in 2002, Amato’s avant-garde designs have continuously pushed the boundaries in the style stakes. Infusing the classic, the unconventional, the east and the west, the couture brand has sky-rocketed up the fashion barometer in Dubai and beyond. With well-received shows in LA, London and Miami, Amato has morphed from a local fashion favourite to a respected global player.

Commented Furne One, “From ethereal bridal wear to playful prêt-a-porter, Amato collections are all about celebrating the real woman - expressive, opinionated, and quirky with soaring self-respect and the confidence to revel in the power of her femininity. As a UAE-based designer, I am looking forward to participating in an event like WORLD LUXURY FASHION WEEK that celebrates the region’s position as a key hub for the luxury fashion market.”

Amato boasts a long list of international clientele that includes supermodel Heidi Klum and Singing sensations Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj, Shakira, Nicole Scherzinger, Neon Hitch, and Amber Rose.

World Luxury Fashion Week, in a move which demonstrates the importance of high quality production standards, recently announced an agreement with MMG Eventz, arguably the most well respected fashion show production house in the UAE.

“Our team will work closely with World Luxury Fashion Week to ensure the very best production standards, exceed the expectations of an event of this calibre”, said Managing Director Gosia Golda.

World Luxury Fashion Week is supported by iconic partners Abu Dhabi Motors, BMW, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Rowenta, Hästens International, Etihad Airways and Avenue at Etihad Towers (Abu Dhabi’s first luxury shopping destination).

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“Story of Alia” by Al Mayyasa

“Story of Alia” by Al Mayyasa

246-a collection for today’s stylish teen–

23rd July 2012 Dubai, UAE – Al Mayyasa, a Dubai- based fashion label by Emirati designer Fatma bin Fahad, has unveiled “Story of Alia” its debut collection for teenagers specifically targeted to fill the gap in teen fashion market. “Story of Alia” features exuberant coloured jackets, vests, jump suits and dresses for 13 to 19 year olds and infuses bohemia and glamour to give a stylish yet comfortable look. The collection uses traditional textiles and fabrics like jersey, tulle, chiffon and sheer fabrics to give a sense of depth and scale.
Natalia, the daughter of former Miss Romania, Ms. Carmen McMillen, has been appointed as the muse for “Story of Alia” collection. Al Mayyasa selected Natalia to reflect a fashion line that embodies energy, vitality and style sense for this generation. As the Al Mayyasa brand evolves to include a teenage label, every young fashionista will now have the opportunity to add a little designer piece to her wardrobe. “Story of Alia” collection reflects every teenager’s inherent super-girly, fun style with the right amount of feminine sophistication.

“Whilst there are plenty of high street stores for teenagers, there are not many designers that cater exclusively for the designer-brand teen fashion market. This new collection was designed to cater to this segment giving the fashion conscious teenagers that special piece for their wardrobe” explains Fatma bin Fahad, Al Mayyasa.

“Story of Alia” is currently available exclusively at Al Mayyasa boutique on Safa Road. For more information please visit;;

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