Organizers among the Arab fashion community state that the second annual Arab Fashion Week in 2016 (held from March 16th to March 19th in Dubai) was largely about moving forward via change. One featured designer, Lamya Abedin, was a sound example of such progress. After designing abayas for eight years, the designer of U.A.E. origins was showcasing a collection of clothes bearing a strong resemblance to those of the Western World. She titled her collection “Queen of Spades.”
Although the talented designer and seamstress have created works for individual clients and capsule collections in the past, the release of “Queen of Spades” marked her first released line of clothing. This line was given the name “True Love,” and served as the grand finale of the prestigious event, which lasted a total of four days. The majority of the event featured the works of at least fifteen other designers coming from a variety of different locations around the world. Catwalk shows were the primary mode of exhibition. However, various events that took place included seminars, group discussions, and even an awards gala dinner/charity ball. The latter paid tribute to each designer with trophies that signify outstanding work within the field of fashion.
Previously mentioned designer Lamya Abedin stated that her participation in the event was largely fueled by hopes of large-scale exposure of her new line. She continued to explain her long withstanding desire to broadcast her passion on a global scale, and how this event served as the perfect platform for worldwide recognition. She concluded by emphasizing what a personal achievement this was for her.
Arab Fashion Week was a very new concept; the first seven-day event occurred only last year (2015) in Dubai. The Arab Fashion Council sponsors and organizes the affair, and also aims to represent twenty-two different Arab countries. The council states that their primary goal is to highlight Arab fashion designers within an international market that are largely dominated by Western influence. Mario Boselli, who formerly held the title of Italian Fashion Chamber President, is now the official chief of this council.
The events for 2016 already differ from the following year. Examples include a kid’s fashion show (held on March 16th,) as well as a newly developed focus. Promoting art through fashion (according to Ilham Abbas, executive strategy officer for the event) served as the primary goal for Arab Fashion Week. Abbas mentioned that an environmental aspect is heavily influenced. Through focusing on global changes in climate, the event seeked to promote sustainable creativity and innovation. The carbon footprint left by the event was also evaluated during the event, further emphasizing eco-friendly policies within many realms.
Also, regional designers will also be heavily featured, (including Hamda Al Fahim of the U.A.E., Alanoud Al Attiya of Qatar, and Turk Jadallah of Saudi Arabia.) Participating designers hope to open new doors to success and cooperation by exposing their works both regionally and internationally.