FASHION FORWARD DUBAI – Fall/Winter ’16 Shows

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Fashion Forward Dubai (FFWD) is the definitive fashion platform for Dubai and the Middle East, which provides a platform and a progressive direction for fashion.

This time all the labels were Presented At Custom-Made Venue In d3 from 31st March – 3rd April 2015.

The key components of FFWD included: catwalk shows and presentations by the best couture, ready-to-wear designers of Middle Eastern origin, or region based. All the days the d3 Fashion Talks were on scedule, to foster industry discussion and a dedicated day to connect buyers and industry professionals directly with the designers.

There was also a special space, The Showcase, a curated space dedicated to accessories designers. This season we also  saw a bespoke new location as the event has entirely moved to Hai d3 in Dubai Design District (d3), where before we took part of all the talks and special lectures.

Entering its seventh season, Fashion Forward Dubai (FFWD) unveiled its roster of design talent who showed Fall/Winter ’16 collections. Having recently earned an endorsement by the Dubai Design and Fashion Council (DDFC), FFWD shows and supports regional apparel and accessories designers.


The designers showing at FFWD Fall/Winter ’16 were:


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. Having launched his first ready-to-wear label at FFWD SS ’16 in October 2015, this season we saw the second collection from One’s accessible line.

Amato by Fourne One



Army Of 1 is a contemporary brand that embodies understated, cool, everyday luxury. It is designed to complement the modern style of women by offering an edgy mix of high-end knits and technical fabrics. The Army Of 1 woman is internationally minded, independent, confident and strong. She understands design and has a unique and laid back approach to her personal style.

Army of 1



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. The minimalistic clean design remains flattering and adaptable, allowing BEDOUIN to become the go-to brand in every woman’s wardrobe.




Showing for the first time at FFWD, Emirati designer Khulood Thani was the first UAE national to hold a degree in Fashion Management and Marketing from ESMOD Paris. Her label Bint Thani, launched in 2012, quickly became known in the region for its distinctive silk turbans, and most recently for everyday luxury designs that are grounded in Dubai yet have global relevance.

bint thani



Faiza Bouguessa is a French-Algerian born fashion designer and is the founder of Dubai based label, Bouguessa. Through her designs, she merges the latest fashion trends to modest fashion. Her work is inspired by art, architecture and global culture, and her signature designs lie in highly modern silhouettes, bold lines, geometric precision, sharp edges and great attention to detail.




Saudi designer Daneh Buahmad’s driving force is to create wearable chic statement pieces. Easy to wear looks come together to make for timeless basics with a twist of urban luxury. Wild yet basic, classic yet innovative, her fresh and feminine twist makes for a playful outfit base.




Dubai based label Dee By Dalia was created by Dalia Ali who takes inspiration from her personal loves: vintage items, butterflies and ballerinas. The label offers fun, playful pieces with a twist of Dalia’s own personality and style. This season was Ali’s FFWD debut.

dee by dalia



Lebanese designer Hussein Bazaza is known for his intricate pieces where every cut reflects a different story, a personal emotion that creates a one of a kind experience – fashion with a soul. Bazaza recently won the inaugural – DDFC Fashion Prize and is also a professor at ESMOD, Beirut.

hussein bazaza



Serbian-born Jelena J. Bin Drai, a former model, and now a reputed fashion designer in the UAE, creates beautiful bespoke gowns that transcend both East and Western cultures.




Mixing vintage styles with her current cultural fascinations, Dubai-based Kristina’s 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.




The eponymous label of the Paris-based, Lebanese designer produces high-end ready-to-wear. Jouni moved to Paris in 2007 to pursue her designing career, and launched her own label in 2013. 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



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.




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.

FFWD_Mira Hayek Presentation_064



Nasiba is considered one of Saudi Arabia’s most successful and coveted designers of womenswear, available at outlets throughout the Kingdom. Her collections reflect a love of colour, with design elements often inspired by vintage fabrics and styles.



A couture house and ready-to-wear brand based in Dubai, ORKALIA’s aesthetic represents timeless elegance infused with modern sophistication. The brainchild of American-born designer Orchid Ganji, ORKALIA prides itself with being at the forefront of neo-couture, combining traditional techniques with modern aesthetics and applications.




Kazakhstani designer Saltanat Baimukhamedova founded her label SALTA in 2008. In 2016 the label relocated to Dubai, UAE, furthering Saltanat’s aim to become a Middle Eastern designer with global vision. 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. This was be SALTA’s FFWD debut.




Showing for the first time at FFWD this season, Tunisian designer Fatma Ben Soltane founded her label after having studied a master’s degree in Finance. Following her passion, she creates pieces to make every woman feel strong, powerful, self-confident, independent and well cultured.




Jeddah-based label Sotra makes its FFWD debut this 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. Stylish and comfortable, Sotra reflects the confidence and versatility of its customers.




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 were:

Starch alumni BASHAR ASSAF – Beirut-based Lebanese fashion designer Assaf’s garments tend to accentuate the female body with sophisticated yet demure silhouettes, solid colors and clean cuts.

Bashar Assaf


/Pər’vərs/ – Perverse Concept – Lebanese designer Lobnan Mahfouz graduated from ESMOD in 2011 and following several internships around the world, launched /Pər’vərs/  in 2015. It is a unisex and aseasonal brand that provides distinctive pieces targeting venturous individuals around the globe inspired by the melting pot of genders and ethnic backgrounds.


SALIM AZZAMA Lebanese illustrator and designer, Azzam is inspired by enacting social change through collaborating with communities. He works with local craftswomen who embroider his designs and illustrations onto shirts and dresses. Through their work, these women will tell their own stories with their own needles and threads, echoing the village’s voice in the fashion world.

Salim Azzam


TALLER MARMO – Taller Marmo are Dubai-based design duo Riccardo Audisio and Yago Goicoechea. The label merges European elegance with Middle Eastern charm and uses fine Italian tailoring with a minimal approach, fused with Arabic traditions. Taller Marmo were recently awarded with the 2015 Regional Woolmark Prize for India, Pakistan and the Middle East.



THREE FIFTY NINE – Egyptian label THREE FIFTY NINE aims to introduce wearable art collections that are inspired from art pieces and patterns with crisp colours, edgy graphic prints and playful sophistication.

three fifty nine


ZAYAN THE LABEL – Zayan the Label is designer Zayan Ghandour’s contemporary ready-to-wear line featuring signature hand-embroidered motifs and prints, innovative cuts and modern silhouettes. A decidedly feminine spirit informs every collection, be it through the dainty use of a signature narrative, an unexpected design twist or a bright pop of colour where you least expect it. Every season, a tale of love and light is unraveled, and the delight is always in the detail.


As this time I could not manage to go to Dubai myself, I am so glad I got all the materials and thrilled about the next one in autumn, which is not far away anymore.


See more pictures of all the collections in the Gallery above.


Photos: Binosh Photography, Fashion Forward Dubai, Getty Images

Karin Bizjak Vercellotti

The Cute Queen (Editor in Chief)

Little Cutie full of energy and good will. New challenges, new knowledge, inspirations, creations, fell of beauty and greatness, is what guides me in life. I love to be with people that inspire me and flow with my energy. With them I am building my dreamlife, my Cute Life. Be Cute

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