Fashion, Dubai Shows the Way FFWD
Fashion Forward Dubai (FFWD) is about to enter its ninth season: the 3-day event kicks off today at the Hai in Dubai’s Design District. FFWD’s success mirrors Dubai’s positioning as the region’s fashion capital.
Backed by the Dubai Design and Fashion Council, there will be 38 designers from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Egypt – participating in this edition.
It will see some of the region’s best-known names – Amato by Furne One, Michael Cinco, Emperor 1688, Hussein Bazaza – present their collections.
FFWD is also a platform for budding designers, a few of who will be debuting at the event. That apart, there will be high-powered talks by luminaries such as Daniel Coutinho CEO of LVMH (OTCMKT:LVMUY)-owned Nowness, an accessories showcase, a celebration of street style and, of course, the after parties.
“As they say, a Cat has 9 lives – I think this 9th edition is a very important one,” says Bong Guerrero, CEO and co-Founder, FFWD, who moved to Dubai 25 years ago to launch his own fashion label.
The ability to adapt to new rules of the game, such as the advent of social media has been a game-changer, Guerrero believes.
“There was a time when fashion weeks were closed-door events: only those in the business saw the shows, so when collections went mainstream six months later, they still seemed fresh. Social media changed that.”
This time, Emperor 1688 will be showing a “see now, buy now collection”. The see now, buy now format, adopted by Burberry and Tommy Hilfiger, refers to designers removing the six-month lead-time and, instead, synchronizing catwalk shows with store deliveries.
Emperor, presented by Reebok, will make current collections available to buy immediately.
From the outset, FFWD aimed to be the region’s definitive fashion platform. But as it was not called a ‘fashion week’ and took place at a hotel, not a trade venue, many in the industry questioned the model.
Today, with FFWD going from strength to strength, talks of Dubai needing its own fashion week suddenly seem irrelevant.
“It’s just a name game: what is a fashion week? It’s a platform for local talent to present their collections – and that is exactly what FFWD does!” says Guerrero.