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Attempting to make Dubai more fashionable


Will a new fashion event be able to add legitimacy to the region's fashion scene?

April 9, 2013 7:03 by

“Global brands dominate the market here in Dubai. It is time for local brands to hold their own,” says Bong Guerrero, CEO and creative director of Fashion Forward. He makes a fair point—after many failed attempts (cough, Dubai Fashion Week) to establish a legitimate fashion platform; could Fashion Forward be the event that takes the local fashion scene to international levels?

Guerro certainly thinks so: “Without a fashion platform of our own we will be totally dependent on the trends of the international scene. We have top talent in this region-from Beirut to Dubai, they just need a magnifying glass to bring them to the forefront and that is what Fashion Forward aims to be.”

Taking place from 26th to 29th April, Fashion Forward consists of a series of talks, workshops and panels at the Madinat Jumeirah, which will feature execs from Milan’s Domus Academy, London College of Fashion, New York-based Fashion Institute of Technology and the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

“We want Fashion Forward to be the definitive fashion platform in the region. We want to highlight the talent of the regional designers to be held to international standards. Fashion Forward is a movement and it will help move the fashion industry of the Arab world to compete with the fashion capitals of Paris, London and New York” said co-founder Ramzi Nakad.

The international aspiration of the movement is clear enough. Fashion Forward’s business development manager, Saira Mehar, said:  “We weren’t just looking for someone who was creative, but someone who has a vision. We are looking for designers with an integral business focus or business sense because we want designers who want to go international.”

Aiming high is all very well, but does Fashion Forward have what it takes to rise above the city’s reputation for being a trend-follower and establish Dubai as the fashion capital of the Arab World? It remains to be seen.

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