Your Essential Guide to Fashion Forward Dubai SS’17

FFWD Fashion Forward ss 2017 Luxe Diary

The Luxe Diary is pleased to bring you its essential guide to Fashion Forward Dubai (FFWD) SS’17 | Dubai Design District | 20 to 23 October 2016.

Our guide is packed with information on the designers and timetables of runway shows, talks and presentations.

Fashion Foward FFWD Dubai Luxe Diary

FFWD is the definitive fashion platform for Dubai and the Middle East. FFWD takes place in October and April each year. It delivers catwalk shows and presentations by the best couture and ready-to-wear designers of Middle Eastern origin or region based, a curated space dedicated to accessories and designers called The Showcase and the d3 Fashion Talks which foster industry discussion.

FFWD is an industry event but is also open to the public (15+ years old). You can access FFWD with a daily or 3-day pass (AED 100 per day or 200 AED for 3-day access). Click here to buy tickets www.fashionforward.aeFor directions to Dubai Design District click here. Valet parking is available on site.

Runway Timetable

Day 1 – Friday, 21 October 2016


Under the mentorship of Rabih Kayrouz, the Starch Foundation has presented their chosen designers at each edition of FFWD to great acclaim. The three designers this season are:

SALIM AZZAM – Azzam is a Lebanse illustrator and designer. He is inspired by enacting social change through collaborating with communities and works with local craftswomen who embroider his designs and illustrations onto shirts and dresses.

/Pər’vərs/ – Perverse ConceptEstablished by Lebanese designer Lobnan Mahfouz in 2015, is a unisex and conceptual brand that provides distinctive pieces targeting venturous individuals around the globe inspired by the melting pot of genders and ethnic backgrounds.

Starch alumni, Timi Hayek returns to FFWD this season with her dreamy ready-to-wear line and stunning prints. In 2010 she won the Liberty Art Fabrics Award, where her winning print design was sold at the renowned British department store, Liberty & Co.


Saudi-born designer Arwa Al Banawi features expertly-tailored, androgynous suits and separates in unexpected prints and hues. Designed for the “suitable woman”, her aesthetic is both classically cool and undoubtedly feminine – earning her a recognition from and being a finalist at Jeddah Vogue Fashion Experience.

MARAM – 16:30

MARAM, meaning aspiration in old Arabic is a high-end women’s wear label born out of an obsession for old-world craftsmanship and storytelling. The brand was founded in September 2014 by Egyptian designer Maram Aboul Enein after training in Paris and moving to Montreal to open her atelier.

KAGE – 17:30

Dubai-based label KAGE designed by Basma Abu Ghazaleh, launched in 2009 and offers ready-to wear womenswear. Each collection brings a modern feel while staying loyal to the inherent daring nature of the KAGE girl: self-loving and unobstructed, she lives a life without boundaries, where style is what she chooses to express with the freedom of individuality.

SOTRA – 18:00

Jeddah-based label Sotra makes its return to FFWD for a second season. Designed by Saudi designer Nouf Hakeem, in collaboration with her partner Mariam bint Mahfooz, the brand creates collections that focus on juxtaposing modern cuts with playful feminine details; to enliven urban wardrobes with colour and texture.


A Dubai-based label spearheading by Kristina Fidelskaya who mixes vintage styles with her current cultural fascinations. The eponymous label effortlessly creates elegant and timeless clothes that speak to every woman.

HÂSHÉ – 20:30

UAE raised Persian Ava is fueled by the Middle Eastern culture, architecture, art and environment that inspires Hâshé’s custom-made clutch, RTW and hat collections. Each handmade clutch possesses its own unique geometric shape and design with stones, studs and vintage brooches. Hâshé’s ready-to-wear line exudes old-world elegance with a modern spin.

EZRA – 21:00

A formidable influence in the region, Ezra creates modern and classic sensibility with a twist. Drawing attention to the female silhouette with the perfect fusion of minimalism and opulence, his approach to essential lines and shapes lies in masterful cutting and tailoring with refined embroideries and embellishments.


Having made their FFWD debut at Season Five, HOUSE OF NOMAD returns to the runways this October. The nomad – a wanderer who travels from place to place in perpetual motion – is the inspiration behind Dubai’s most beloved homegrown label, House of Nomad. Staples of the label include bomber jackets, cropped tops and jumpers updated with quirky details and innovative fabrics – a nod to their love of the sports-luxe aesthetic.

Day 2 – Saturday, 22 October 2016


Jordanian, Dubai-based designer Zaid Farouki’s fashion house attempts to blur the lines between fashion and art with its detailed womenswear collections. Each piece is handmade and abides by couture techniques, embroidery, and finishing. What’s more all prints are hand painted onto the fabric by Farouki himself; transforming the wearer into a walking piece of art.

LAMA JOUNI – 15:30

The eponymous label of the Paris-based Lebanese designer 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.

TAIR – 16:00

t a i r was created in 2013 in Dubai by Aliya Tair who finds an ultimate inspiration in far eastern aesthetics and a uniqueness of modern time – these tendencies emerge through geometric silhouettes and a minimal mood. The brand explores the relationship between the masculine and the feminine and has led the designer to experiment with classic menswear textiles.

SALTA – 17:30

Showing for a second season at FFWD, Kazakhstani designer Saltanat Baimukhamedova founded her label SALTA in 2008. The label offers freedom and comfort yet with a touch of modern ethnic creativity – a contemporary yet affordable aesthetic with a cosmopolitan touch and flawless shapes and lines produced for successful, creative and feminine woman.


Syrian-born, Dubai-based designer Zena’s affection for the acceptance of diversity within culture is paramount throughout her ready-to-wear womenswear collection. By collaborating with international artists whom commission patterns and prints, her signature style has been established.


Moroccan-born, Said Mahrouf studied fashion design both in Holland and New York. Mahrouf’s love of costume design, artistry and partiality to feminine elegance defines his collections. Mahrouf will show for the fifth time at FFWD this October. 


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.

BEDOUIN – 21:00

Designed and developed by Central Saint Martins’ graduate Andraya Farrag, BEDOUIN is a contemporary womenswear label that aspires to create flattering, easy-to-wear collections with a confident, spontaneous style. Sleek designs with a combination of relaxed silhouettes and feminine materials; simplicity is key in every collection.

MRS. KEEPA – 21:30

Egyptian-French designer Mariam Yehia takes inspiration from her Middle Eastern roots playing on patterns, fabric and colours merges with European elegance and sensibility.  The label features flattering silhouettes, feminine and vintage inspired pieces. This is Mrs. Keepa’s first showing at FFWD.

ZAREENA – 22:00

Having previously showcased her elegant couture collections at FFWD, Zareena returns with timeless, one-of-a-kind pieces. Known for her use of luxurious fabrics and rich embroidery, Zareena has established her trademark needlework and exquisite adornments.

Day 3 – Sunday, 23 October 2016


Dubai-based fashion designer of Indian origin will present his signature style of imperial inspired menswear for the first time this season. Marwah draws upon his Indian roots to create clean lines, contemporary silhouettes and attention to detail.


6Degree is one of India’s first fashion talent and tech companies that provides opportunities for fashion professionals to showcase their talent by unifying individuals related to the fashion domain. 6Degree has exclusively partnered with FFWD to present three selected Indian designers to showcase their signature collections during Season 8. This is 6Degree’s first foray into the Middle East market.


The young brand out of Doha presents ready-to-wear that marries a dramatic avant-garde with sensibility with timeless simplicity. Created by Qatari designer Hissa Zainal, the label has received much acclaim and will be making its FFWD debut this October. 

MIRA HAYEK – 16:00

After interning at the ateliers of Elie Saab in Beirut and Erdem in London, Beirut-based designer Mira Hayek was selected by the Starch Foundation in Beirut to launch her first ready to wear collection in 2011. The brand is dedicated to dynamic women with an effortless sense of style. They seek contemporary pieces with a fun and sporty edge that can be worn day and night, fitting perfectly in their bustling urban lifestyle.


Making her FFWD debut, by Amal Al Raisi presents a ready-to-wear collection with a touch of couture that pays tribute to strong women. Amal began designing traditional Omani dresses before entering into creating beautiful, modern abayas and jalabiyas.


Faiza Bouguessa is a French-Algerian born fashion designer and is the founder of Dubai based label, Bouguessa. Taking inspiration from art, architecture and global culture Bougessa merges modern and modest fashion for the forward-thinking women of our era. Her signature designs lie in highly modern silhouettes, bold lines, geometric precision, sharp edges and great attention to detail.


Having shown at FFWD Seasons One, Two and Six, Amira Haroon returns this October. Of Pakistani origins, but having grown up in the Middle East, Haroon launched her brand in 2010. She designs for a woman who has a Middle Eastern soul with a trans-regional outlook and attitude, a confident and globally travelled woman.


Returning for her fifth season at FFWD, Emirati designer Sheikha Madiyah Al Sharqi offers graceful eveningwear with a contemporary edge and opulent designs, evolving the traditional vision of elegance. Daughter of the Ruler of Fujairah, UAE, HH Sheikha Hamad bin Mohammed, Sheikha Madiyah Al Sharqi grew up immersed in the world of high fashion. A finalist for the coveted Woolmark Prize in 2013, Al Sharqi has since earned a number of other awards including being named a “Vogue Talent” by Vogue Italia. Her intricate tailoring and ultra-feminine fabrics have also made her a favorite of supermodels Alessandra Ambrosio and Karolina Kurkova.

ORKALIA – 21:00

The ready-to-wear brand based in Dubai, presents lifeless elegance with a modern twist designed by American-born designer Orchid Ganji. ORKALIA’s aesthetic combines traditional techniques with contemporary applications, and prides itself with being at the forefront of neo-couture.

DIMA AYAD – 21:30

Dubai-based label by Lebanese designer Ayad, returns to the FFWD runways this October with ‘fashion that makes you feel good’ – stylish, sophisticated and stunning dresses with a ‘wear-and-go’ philosophy that accentuate and celebrate their bodies, no matter what shape or size.


Known for his natural ability to craft extravagant and artistic designs, Dubai-based Furne One has rapidly worked his way up the fashion ladder, and is celebrated both regionally and internationally for his impressive couture creations. From ethereal bridal wear to playful prêt-a-porter, Amato collections are all about celebrating the real woman – expressive, opinionated, and quirky, with soaring self-respect and the confidence to revel in the power of her femininity.


In addition to the designers showing apparel, for SS ’17 FFWD once again presents The Showcase. The Showcase is a carefully curated space for a selection of the best regional jewellery and accessory designers. Showing this season are: Alessa Jewelry,Amal Haliq, Bana Sunglasses, Belquis Bags, Inaaya, Madiso, Myriam SOS, Narinee, Natalie Trad, NS by Noof, Rula Galayini, Vanina and Vinita Michael.


Supporting d3’s objective of nurturing talent through education and knowledge sharing, Season 8’s d3 Fashion Talks will take on a ‘back to basics’ theme aimed to give designers access to invaluable advice from international and regional industry professionals. Taking into consideration the current challenging retail climate, each talk will present essential elements that emerging design entrepreneurs require to empower and grow their businesses; from Sourcing, to Funding and Trend Forecasting, the talks will offer practical information to propel industry development.

In Conversation with Farida Khelfa 

Iconic French-Arab Model, Muse, Filmmaker and Ambassador for the House of Schiaparelli will share her inspiring rise through the fashion industry.

WGSN Trend Forecasting

Jane Boddy, Director of Colour and Womenswear for WGSN, the world’s leading trend authority, will share Spring/Summer ’17’s seasonal message as well as preview Autumn/Winter ’17 macro trends. 

DDFC Talk: Funding a Fashion Business

Leaders from the world of finance and retail will share their advice on how to develop a business that can attract funding and be commercially viable. 

Finding Design Inspiration: Baume & Mercier Design Director Alexandre Peraldi

Alexandre Peraldi, who heads the design studio for the iconic Swiss watchmaker, will be sharing insights on how to innovate, while retaining a sense of heritage and identity. 

Hot off the Runway: From Footwear to Fashion

Global retail giants will review this season’s latest trends straight off the runway

Sourcing: From Sampling to Manufacturing – How to Find the Right Partner?

Riccardo Vannetti of Pitti Immagine and Barbara Trebitsch of Domus Academy will take designers through the process of how to work with manufacturing partners. 


For more events in Dubai and Abu Dhabi this month, click here!

#LuxeList #Fashion #Luxury #Review #AbuDhabi #Dubai #Date #LuxeDiary #LuxeEvents #Calendar #LuxeApproved #LuxuryLifestyle #Lifestyle #Magazine