04 Apr

Fashion, A Creative Force In The Arab World

Fashion Trust Arabia presents inaugural prizes in Doha to six Arab brands, in line with its vision of a united, inclusive regional fashion industry emerging.

Its co-chairwoman Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad al-Thani acknowledges ‘political climate was different’ when awards were conceived but say they’re open to all.

As the owner of Valentino, Balmain and Harrods, the Gulf state of Qatar has lofty ambitions in the world of luxury fashion. Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, the mother of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, the ruler of Qatar, is one of the most stylish royals in the world. And in the country’s capital, Doha, has what British newspaper The Times called “the most extraordinary building of the decade”.Built at a cost of US$434 million, the museum opened last month in the presence of, among others, artist-actor Johnny Depp, former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, Japanese artist Takashi Murakami and Italian fashion doyenne Miuccia Prada.

It was on this stage that the inaugural Fashion Trust Arabia Prize awards were presented. Prizes went to six winners from the Arab world for ready-to-wear, evening wear, shoes, bags, and jewelry. Each will be granted up to US$200,000 to further their business, along with mentorship support from industry leaders and global luxury retailer matchesfashion.com, which will stock the winning collections.

Held under the patronage of Sheikha Moza and co-chaired by the sister of the emir, Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad al- Thani, chairwoman of Qatar Museums, and Tania Fares, founder of the British Fashion Council (BFC) Fashion Trust – which provides grants to support designers – the prizes were judged by a panel including fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, Olivier Rousteing, Alexander Wang, and Giambattista Valli, Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet, Dutch model Imaan Hammam and Indian actress Sonam Kapoor.

Originally published on www.scmp.com

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