DUBAI: Arab Fashion Week is set to take place from March 24 to 28 in a physical and virtual hybrid format, with leading emerging and established talent showcasing their creations.
The event will feature regional and internationally renowned designers presenting their fall 2022 ready-to-wear collections at Dubai Design District, also known as d3, as well as online via a partnership with Meta, formerly named Facebook.
“The main mission of AFW is to create an international platform for home-grown and regional talents to expand their audiences and gain opportunities,” Khadija Al-Bastaki, the executive director of Dubai Design District told Arab News.
This year, AFW goers can expect a diverse collection of shows. The event will bring together the highest number of Arab designers from the region, and Al-Bastaki said that she is looking forward to the launch of the Swiss-made Ferronato bags.
“These bags are made from unique meta fabric that aims to protect user privacy, bringing fashion and technology together to enhance human security,” she explained.
Other participating talent includes Saudi label Death by Dolls, Filipino couturier Michael Cinco, Beirut-based brand Emergency Room, Palestinian couturier Ihab Jiryis and Polish label Poca Poca, among others.
Additionally, as part of the ongoing partnership between the Arab Fashion Council and The Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode (the governing body of the French fashion industry and Paris Fashion Week), French label Weinsanto will also be presenting during AFW.
In addition to over 25 runway shows, there will also be art installations, retail pop-ups, and roundtables to experience during the five-day event.
The Arab Fashion Council and AFW announced that they joined forces last summer. The partnership was no doubt a strategic one as, Al-Bastaki explains, Dubai Design District is home to the city’s creatives, designers and artists.
“We strive to provide these creatives an enabling ecosystem where they can inspire, innovate and rethink the regular, and to be able to do so on a global scale,” Al-Bastaki said.
Following the partnership, the change in AFW is apparent.
It has become a leading creative platform in the region after introducing several exciting additions, including a supplementary new fashion platform dedicated entirely to menswear.
“Arab Fashion Week is one of the only fashion weeks to do so alongside Milan and Paris,” explained d3’s executive director.
It was also the first platform to pioneer “Ready Couture,” a mix of ready-to-wear and haute couture that is more expensive than high-end ready-to-wear but less costly than luxury couture.
Throughout the years, the region’s fashion industry has made its mark on a global scale with these flagship fashion events and environmentally conscious ethos.
Consumers are becoming more aware and concerned with their environmental impact on the world, a mission that Al-Bastaki wants to continue to foster.
“Our goal at d3 is to continue nurturing an infrastructure that makes it easier for brands to adopt more eco-friendly practices, in support of our government’s sustainability agenda and Road to Net Zero by 2050 strategy,” she said.
The AFW is among a lineup of existing fashion weeks in Dubai, which includes Middle East Fashion Week, Arab Men’s Fashion Week, Fashion Week DXB and Fashion Forward.