x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Fashion Forward 2014 is bigger and better than before

Fashion Forward returns for its third season next month. Here are the local and regional designers to look out for.

Alexa Chung. Larry Busacca / Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week / AFP
Alexa Chung. Larry Busacca / Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week / AFP

It’s back and bigger than before. Fashion Forward will return to Dubai’s Madinat Jumeirah for its third season from April 10 to 13.

“Broadening our reach even further across the region has always been our goal and while we will continue to do so, season after season, our main focus must always be on showcasing the best and brightest design talent,” says Bong Guerrero, the founder and chief executive of Fashion Forward. “Season three does not disappoint, as we have selected a diverse and representative portfolio of designers from those who have shown in previous seasons and those who are new to the platform, but have significant and notable talent.”

Of the newbies, a total of seven fashion designers will make their debut this season including Saudi Arabia’s Lamia Asudari and Morocco’s Said Mahrouf. Organisers have also drawn upon Lebanon’s talent pool with the designer Ronald Abdala and the couturier Jean Louis Sabaji joining the ranks.

Keeping it in the family, the Dubai- and London-based brothers Zak, Zubair and Talha Timol will display a collection under their bespoke bow-tie label ­Velsvoir.

The new Emirati designers include Zareena Yousef, who will be showing under her label Zareena. Completing the line-up of first-timers are the sisters Reem and Hind Beljafla and their popular label DAS, which launched in 2008. Of the 11 names billed to make a reappearance, Furne One, Bashar Assaf, Essa, Ezra and Rami Kadi rank highly. Other popular shows are destined to be that of Zayan, Emperor 1688, Kage, Starch Foundation, Tahir Sultan and Taller Marmo.

While the complete agenda is yet to be revealed, Fashion Forward’s third season is widely tipped to be packed with not only catwalk shows, but also presentations and panel discussions with fashion industry experts.

Of the VIPs and celebrities to attend, none have so far been divulged, apart from the model and TV presenter Alexa Chung who will take part in a live Q&A.

Registration for tickets is expected to be available online in the coming days and visitors will again have access to the Fashion Gallery, Fashion Café and the popular exhibition space, The Garden. It’s being expanded to cater for more than 70 accessories designers from the region this season and while primarily aimed at key buyers, it’s bound to prove an equally big hit with customers who last year snapped up handbags, T-shirts, homeware and ­bespoke jewellery.

Fashion Forward Season 3 will be held at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai from April 10 to 13. For schedule updates and ticket registration, visit www.fashionforward.ae

rduane@thenational.ae