From March 23rd - 25th, Fashion Forward Dubai (FFWD), one of the year's very anticipated event in the fashion industry will showcase a carefully curated selection of the Middle East's most coveted ready-to-wear, couture, accessory and jewelry designers.
A region's progressive fashion platform, FFWD is endorsed by Dubai Design and Fashion Council. Dubai Design District (d3) is also his Strategic Partner. Fashion Forward Dubai has announced its lineup of over 30 designers participating in its 9th edition, including nine designers from Lebanon, who will showcase their apparel and accessories collection.
Presented by LUX – Abed Mahfouz will grace Fashion Forward this season with a highly-anticipated runway presentation. Born in 1956, designer Abed Mahfouz was raised in the arms of a modest family in Lebanon. Known for his intricate and refined gowns for the graceful woman, Mahfouz was one of the first Lebanese designers to join Alta Roma. Mahfouz added a new addition to his brand – a luxurious evening ready-to-wear line designed to entice women with a new taste for the brand.
Lebanese designer Hussein Bazaza first showed at FFWD Season One as part of The Starch Foundation, and in April 2015 he showed his first solo collection at Season Five. The brand is based on a merge of classic and modern fashion; feminine but edgy. Bazaza’s ready-to-wear line is a combination of wearable pieces and couture details with lace collage and, geometric cuts, story-telling prints and intricate details.
Launched in 2013, the Paris-based Lebanese designer Lama Jouni produces high-end ready-to-wear with its own unique style and bold designs. Her pieces have discernible and inspiring cultural referents, in outlines or details, and are made to be worn by independent and passionate women. Lama Jouni was recently selected to showcase on the catwalk at Fashion Scout during London Fashion Week A/W 17 as part of an EPIC initiative in partnership with FAD Institute of Luxury Fashion & Style Dubai & Fashion Scout.
Under the mentorship of Rabih Kayrouz, the Starch Foundation has presented their chosen designers at each edition of FFWD to great acclaim:
Rony El Helou – Roni Helou was born in Lebanon in 1992. In 2013, he was accepted at Creative Space Beirut, a fashion design school offering free education. One year later, Roni won first place at a national fashion design competition hosted by Persil (Henkel). As a result, he was sent to Milan to participate in a workshop at the Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti. Roni graduated from Creative Space Beirut in December 2017. His thesis collection was shown as the finale in a live fashion show at Dar El Nimer for Arts and Culture.
Diana Wassef - Fashion Creator of Emily Cremona, Diana Wassef is a fashion creator raised in Beirut and currently based between Beirut and New York City. Her eclectic background in Fashion, Costume and Theatre Design lead her to create her label Emily Cremona in 2009. Since 2013, Wassef has been exploring the future of materials and sustainable design, and working with dyeing techniques, natural fibers and fabric marbling.
Nour Najem - born and raised in Beirut, graduated in fashion design from ESMOD Beirut in 2012. Throughout her career, she has interned at several Lebanese designers, such as Elie Saab, Rabih Kayrouz and Caroline Seikaly. She launched her eponymous fashion label in the spring of 2013. Nour adresses the modern and independent woman through fluid lines, luscious fabrics, and intricate details. She is inspired by a wide range of traditional artistry; artisanal crafts and the know-how that she applies to her designs.
ROSA MARIA JEWELLERY
Rosa Maria’s creations are made from a mix of silver and gold combined with a wild array of stones, such as rose-cut diamonds in different colors, rubies, sapphires, tourmalines and topaz. The raw, organic shapes of her pieces give wearers endless possibilities for adding more styles and combining them with one other each season.
Rosa Maria is a Lebanese jewellery designer, born in Beirut during Lebanon’s Golden Era and who has been since her youth fascinated with the old antique jewelry.
Vanina is a sustainable fashion label that was founded in Beirut in 2007, by close friends Tatiana Fayad and Joanne Hayek. The brand with its motto ‘never fully dressed without a smile’ presents statement pieces of fashion jewelery, accessories and apparel, known for their joyful and audacious spontaneity that the founders qualify as ‘responsably capricious’. ‘Responsible’ for the social and environmental contributions they aim for, capricious’ for the spontaneity, lightness and whimsical quality of their collections. 100% of their products are ehtically-sourced and handmade in Lebanon, engaging in community development through handcraft and innovation.
Born in Lebanon and raised in Canada, Rula Galayani launched her brand in 2007. The brand is a reflection of the woman who wears it: strong, edgy, and sensual; a power-bag and a contemporary statement piece. Her collections are designed for the everyday, yet tailored for the surprises that one never expects. With its playful metal work, buttery leathers, streamlined geometric designs and contrasting colors, her bags are as distinct and remarkable as the women who carry them.
RULA GALAYINI is designed in Dubai, and fully manufactured by skilled artisans in Beirut, truly making it a proud "made in the Middle East" brand.