Everything You Need to Know About Fashion Forward Dubai this Season


Fashion Forward Dubai Season 9 | 23 – 25 March 2017 | Hai D3

Now in its 9th season, Fashion Forward Dubai Season 9 takes place this year from 23 to 25 March 2017 at Hai d3 at Dubai Design District – and we are super excited to list the main designers, shows and talks right here in The Luxe Diary. You can start planning your Fashion Forward Dubai weekend right here!

Fashion Forward Dubai is a fashion industry focused event but is also open to the public upon purchase of a daily or 3-day Access Pass. For buyers and industry, the event is free. Media, Buyers or Fashion Industry professionals must register online to be eligible for free or discounted registration fees.  To know if you meet the requirements for the above categories, please visit the Registration Page.

Fashion Shows, d3 Fashion Talks, The Showcase, activations, F&B outlets, after-parties and some social events within FFWD are accessible to all guests, with the exception of the below, which require invitation-only or accreditation badge:

  • Front and second row seating at the Runway Shows
  • The VIP Lounge
  • The Showroom
  • Privately hosted sponsor events

Between the Shows and Talks, attendees can network at social events, enjoy food, beverages and entertainment at The Fashion Village and end each day by dancing the night away at the FFWD Official After-Parties. 


Day 1 – Thursday, 23 March 2017


Presented by EPIC – Half Greek, half Jordanian and creator of the contemporary brand Nafsika embraces new ideas and modern clothes. The collections are built around an eclectic use of custom developed fabrics, a focus on tailoring, and subverting familiar pieces with subtle design features.


Under the mentorship of Rabih Kayrouz, the Starch Foundation has presented their chosen designers at each edition of FFWD to great acclaim. The designers this season are: Rony El Helou – from South of Lebanon has had a passion for fashion design since childhood, making clothes out of household items such as plastic bags. Diana Wassef, Fashion Creator of Emily Cremona, with her sustainable design, and using natural dyeing techniques and fibers, and Nour Najem will present her eponymous label.


Like her eponymous label, Saudi-born designer Arwa Al Banawi is an eclectic mix of contrasts. Designed for the subtle woman, her aesthetic is both classically cool and undoubtedly feminine – earning her recognition from Vogue.com and a finalist position at Jeddah Vogue Fashion Experience.


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.


An Emirati brand, established in 2011 in Dubai is inspired by the Arabic culture. Traditional abayas are given a modern twist with a variety of high quality fabrics and a kaleidoscope of colours. Each garment is the result of a long and rigorous artisanal savoir-faire that creates the ultimate experience in Middle-Eastern chic. 

ROYALED by RH – 21:30

Crafted for the modern-day women Royaled is a prêt-a-couture brand offering collections that can be worn all year round; seasonless and timeliness. Royaled is founded by Renad Hefni, a young Saudi visionary committed to empowering women through their senses of individuality bringing the brand essence “crown your confidence” to life.


Having wowed in Seasons One, Four and Six with his beautiful couture creations, Cinco returns for FFWD Season Nine. The Dubai-based designer is best known for his fabulous gowns, demonstrating innate creativity and masterful technique and has amassed an army of international celebrity clientele.

Day 2 – Friday, 24 March 2017

BY SADEEM – 15:00

A prêt-a-couture fashion brand by Saudi designer Sadeem Alshehail centered on creating collectible high-end pieces for a woman who is confident, elegant and sophisticated. An advocate of sustainable design, Sadeem embraces ethical practices, collaborating with companies that share the same principles. Sadeem’s fabrics are non-toxic and

EMPEROR – 16:00

In collaboration with Reebok – will return to Fashion Forward with its ‘See Now Buy Now’ collection. An international award winning menswear brand known for its cut, quality and accessibility, the collections are defined by the Golkar brother’s signature design and attention to detail with strong emphasis on luxury and an eclectic use of materials.


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


Kristina Fidelskaya is a Dubai-based label by designer 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. As an entrepreneur, a mother and a trendsetter, her collections symbolize the power and independence of the modern woman while maintaining the traditionally refined femininity and class.

GHUDFAH – 20:00

Ghudfah is a luxurious abaya and ready-to- wear line that caters to the elegant women designed by Sarah Albaz who was born and raised in Riyadh. The line is known for its intricacy of details, selection of luxurious fabrics, and its high-end finishing. 


Presented by LUX – 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.

CHEYMA – 22:00

Born in the capital of fashion Paris, Cheyma graduated from the Institute of Political Sciences of Paris with a Masters in Fashion & Luxury Marketing. She worked for some of the most prestigious fashion brands in Paris including Christian Dior Couture, Chloé, and Saint Laurent Paris, with digital experience at Lacoste, from which she got her sportswear touch. Cheyma describes her aesthetic as whimsical and ethereal.

Day 3 – Saturday, 25 March 2017


Ghain Ghada specializes in Dara’a, evening wear, casual wear and Grade A Python skin bags. The brand is featured in prestigious stores like Harvey Nichols, Revolution Boutique, Al-Othman Boutique, and in Dubai: Das and Sauce.  Ghain Ghada went from launching a yearly collection to three collections a year: S/S, F/W, and Ramadan. 

6Degree – 16:00

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 9. This is 6Degree’s first foray into the Middle East market.

TAIR – 17:00

 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. The brand explores the relationship between the masculine and the feminine and has led the designer to experiment with classic menswear textiles.

ANAYA – 19:00

Anaya is a contemporary women’s wear designer label launched in Dubai in 2011. Since then, it has been picked up by leading magazines in the UAE and its fashion forward pieces have been chosen by celebrities. The designer, Chathuri Samaraweera’s work reflects a contemporary, feminine handwriting with unique cuts and fabric manipulations.

BEDOUIN – 19:30

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.


Launched in 2013, 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. 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.


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.

The Showcase

In addition to the designers showing apparel, FFWD presents The Showcase – a carefully curated space for a selection of the best regional jewellery and accessory designers. Showing this season are; Alessa Jewelry, Azra, Belquis, BIJA Jewels, Joudesign, Jude Benhalim, LYA LYA, Madiso, Rosa Maria Jewellery, Rula Galayini, Sam Jewels, Shveta and Vinita Michael.

The Showroom

Designers are invited to showcase their collections at the onsite Showroom throughout the three-day event. Regional and international buyers will have the opportunity to interact with designers and view collections first hand. Members of the media are also invited to book appointments at the Showroom.

d3 Fashion Talks

Trade Show or Showroom: Increasing Your Reach

Catching the eye of international buyers is one of the biggest challenges for emerging designers. What is the best platform to get their attention? Etienne Cochet, CEO of Who’s Next and Premiere Classe – one of the world’s most prestigious trade shows, will discuss what trade shows can offer designers. We will also debate the value of showrooms as the market evolves as well as what buyers are more interested in and what the best fit for designers from the region is.

The Art of Digital Storytelling in Fashion

Daniel Coutinho, CEO, Nowness (LVMH), an expert in digital storytelling, will share his perspective on how investing in the right visuals and video content can help fashion brands find innovative ways to reach new audiences at a time when increasingly consumers tune out traditional online marketing channels. 

Building a Brand That Lasts: The Azza Fahmy Story 

Azza Fahmy and her daughter, Fatma Ghaly share their story of how they took a small brand, that celebrated Arabic design, grew it into a business with a factory that employs over 200 people and is now known as one of the leading brands from the Middle East. In a candid discussion, she will share how she overcame challenges as a young design entrepreneur and how her daughter has worked with her to grow the business. 

See Now, Buy Now: Can it work? (DDFC Talk)

Some of the biggest names in Fashion have jumped on board the See Now, Buy Now movement. Consumers who want instant gratification love it, but can this model work for our region? We have industry experts weighing from both the retailer perspective as well as creative. 

E-commerce: How to Jump Into the Online Marketplace  

How will regional designers fare as online retailers establish a stronger foothold in the region? We will explore how smaller designers can benefit from these platforms. 

Getting Smart on Fashion

How do you kick start your fashion career? What can a fashion education do for you? What options are available to fashion entrepreneurs for continuing education? As the fashion education sector flourishes with new options, Fashion Forward invites the leaders of some of the top fashion institutions from across the region and Europe to share their thoughts on some of the most important lessons learned in fashion school. 

Data is the New Black: Technology and Fashion

Eddie Mullon, founder of Fashion GPS and President of the newly formed company Launchmetrics.

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