The new designers rocking the catwalk at Dubai’s biggest fashion event.
Dubai’s biggest fashion event of the year has just kicked off, and if you haven’t managed to bag a front row ticket, we bring you the low-down on the best new designers hitting its catwalk for the first time
How do you feel about showing your collection at Fashion Forward for the first time? I really believe that Fashion Forward has become the best platform in the Middle East and I am excited to be a part of the new emerging fashion culture surrounding it. Why did you choose Dubai to show your collection? My S/S16 collection is inspired by my Dubai heritage but it’s a modern interpretation. I believe the best place to do it is Dubai as the city was the driving force behind this collection.
should we expect to see in your collection this season? The collection is influenced by the history and beauty of pearls, as well as the stories of pearl divers who scour the seabed for them. I have crafted a collection in a palette of white pearl, ocean blue, black pearl and sandy grey. The collection is also reflective of nature in the use of texture and print. Smooth silk chiffon, jacquard, subtly textured fabrics, and delicate watercolour prints make it up and evoke the beauty of the water and sand. What has been the highlight of your career so far? Showing at New York Fashion Week and dressing Eva Longoria. Who is your designer inspiration? Coco Chanel, Raf Simons as well as the late Alexander McQueen. Which celebrity would you most like to dress? Diane Kruger, Natalie Portman and Sienna Miller – it’s impossible to choose just one! Where do you see the fashion industry in the UAE going over the next five years? Over the next five it will get even stronger thanks to exciting projects such as Dubai Design District.
How do you feel about debuting your collection here for the first time? We are very excited and hope to get some great exposure for the brand. Also, we are opening a store soon in the Dubai Design District, so it’s important to us that we be part of the fashion community here. What should we expect from your collection? The S/S16 couture collection is inspired by Japanese culture and particularly features the importance of the cherry blossom tree in the country. What has been the highlight of your career so far? Starting our company in Dubai and becoming part of Dubai Design District has been a very important step for us. Who is your designer inspiration?
Dior. Which celebrity would you most like to dress?
Charlize Theron. How do you see the fashion scene here developing? Dubai is on its way to gaining prominence in world fashion, and is becoming one of the important fashion hubs.
What is the most exciting part of being a fashion designer? One of the most rewarding parts of being a designer is seeing models wear your designs. It’s always a very proud moment for me to see how my vision comes together and what the reaction to the collection is. How do you feel about showing your collection at Fashion Forward? Bedouin is produced in Dubai by a small dedicated team and I spend half of the year here overseeing sample making and production, so it only seemed right. I also feel that Fashion Forward is a great platform for young designers and is well respected throughout the region. What should we expect from your collection this season? A summery, subtle colour palette, forward-thinking crease-free fabrics that are perfect for travel, lots of embroidery and a contrast of feminine and loose fitting silhouettes. Each collection is inspired by a different destination or tribe from around the world. What has been the highlight of your career so far? Seeing my collections in stores. Our first stockist in the Middle East was The Rail in Jordan and it is amazing to look back on three successful seasons with them. Bedouin was also part of the Harvey Nichols Pop Up last month. I showed the S/S16 collection at London Fashion Week in the Designer Showrooms. I received some incredible feedback from the press and buyers from all over the world, so I hope to show in London every season now.
Who is your designer inspiration?
Phillip Lim and Stella McCartney. Which celebrity would you most like to dress? Olivia Palermo would be amazing to dress, she is so effortlessly stylish. Where do you see the fashion industry in the UAE going in the next five years? The UAE strives for the best and so it should! I think with this kind of drive Dubai will become the fashion capital of the Middle East.
How excited about Fashion Forward are you? We can’t wait to show our S/S16 collection – everything we’ve been working on for the past six months will finally be unveiled on such a large scale! Why did you choose Dubai to show your new collection? As our production facilities and design studios are based here, we think it’s important to keep giving back to the community by showcasing our collections in the market that has always been so supportive of us. What should we expect from your collection? It’s an ode to the modern woman. The line-up will include tops, skirts, shirts and pants, dresses and gowns that are versatile and speak to the idea of multitasking and efficiency. What has been the highlight of your career so far? Witnessing a sustainable business grow from the ground up. We are now one of the few design houses in Dubai, which don’t outsource their services and products. It allows us to control all aspects of the brand. Who is your design inspiration? Every designer serves as an inspiration for me. Which celebrity would you most like to dress? Real women – it doesn’t matter whether they are celebrities or not. Where do you see the fashion industry in the UAE going? With the development of better infrastructure and institutions such as Fashion Forward and the Dubai Design & Fashion Council, the trend of a more sustainable and mature industry will surely grow.
How do you feel about showing your collection at Fashion Forward for the first time? I am really excited about this as it’s not only my first Fashion Forward show, but also my debut runway show. Why did you choose this event to make your debut? The Zena Presley brand was born in and is based in Dubai, so it seems only right that my first runway show be here. Additionally, it is the top platform in the Middle East and attracts a lot of attention from around the region and globally. What should we expect from your collection this season? It is based on art and is very colourful, with bold prints and expressions. My aim was to create pieces that maintain a balance between the bold and feminine, and that is what I am trying to communicate through the show – demonstrating how a woman can be strong and daring while still maintaining a ladylike sense of class. What has been the highlight of your career so far? As a newcomer, I really feel like the past few months were an achievement and I am excited about people’s reaction towards my clothing line.
Who is your designer inspiration? Delpozo’s Josep Font, Lebanese designer Krikor Jabotian and Mary Katrantzou. They have artistic elements in their works. Which celebrity would you most like to dress? Miroslava Duma and Olivia Palermo are on top of my list. Where do you see the fashion industry in the UAE going in the next five years? Fashion has definitely evolved over the past five years here and will undoubtedly continue to do so. Recently, we have seen people move away from high-end luxury brands towards new ones. People are much more experimental and are increasingly looking for pieces that will make a statement and stand out, and with that comes the region’s increased acceptance and support for emerging talent.