Dubai Fashion Week (DFW) recorded a 55% growth in RSVP’s compared to Arab Fashion Week in March 2022. The global event, which is supported by Dubai Design District (d3), a member of TECOM Group PJSC, and the Arab Fashion Council, was one of the most popular in many years.
Runway shows and events saw a full house each night, with buyers and designers from the major global fashion capitals out in full force.
“Dubai Fashion Week was a spectacular way to debut Dubai as the fifth global fashion capital,” said Khadija Al Bastaki, Senior Vice President of Dubai Design District (d3), part of TECOM Group. “Designers demonstrated the highest calibre of creativity and craftsmanship throughout the week. As a global creative platform, we at d3 are thrilled to see Dubai help shape the global creative dialogue. Not only did DFW provide regional and international talent a gateway to new partnerships, markets, and opportunities, but it also answered a global call for inclusivity and diversity in the fashion world. This was possible thanks to Dubai’s multicultural melting pot and commitment to nurturing the creative economy.”
Evolving from the successful Arab Fashion Week, Dubai Fashion Week is Dubai’s new definitive fashion fixture and part of the city’s bid to become the fifth fashion capital destination – alongside Paris, New York, London and Milan. The event that became part of the international fashion week calendar debuted with the city and region’s most dynamic runways and programme yet spread across six days. A range of over 45 shows, presentations and events took place on the Fashion Calendar. Some 28 designers from more than 10 countries showcased their Autumn Winter 23/24 and Women’s Haute Couture 2023 collections.
Stand out moments from the inaugural edition included:
The shows saw a strong buyers’ presence with representatives from Asia, Europe, the Americas and the Arab world in attendance. d3 and the Arab Fashion Council presented the first-ever Buyers Talk, which brought together a prestigious panel of buyers from the UAE and Europe to shed light on the elements of a successful working partnership between the designer and the buyer, from commercial viability to planning schedules.
The panellists included: Milan-based Dani Stenin from Antonioli, Paris-based Raphael Deray from Printemps, Caterina Ercoli from Level Shoes, Georgina Gainza from Al Tayer Group (which includes Harvey Nichols and Bloomingdales), and Martina Solino from Tryano & Saks.
Following the panel, a Designers Lookbook Review was held, giving the designers the opportunity to engage directly with buyers and showcase highlights from their collections.
A number of other exciting new initiatives were launched too. A steering committee for Dubai Fashion Week was unveiled, alongside a new buyers committee, and a permanent designers committee, all of which work under the Arab Fashion Council's supervision. They serve to ensure Dubai Fashion Week's ambitious vision is met and steer the future of the event in a dynamic and sustainable way. The announcement on the committees will be made at a later stage featuring all pertinent details including the agenda and the names of its esteemed members.
Jacob Abrian, Chief Executive Officer of the Arab Fashion Council, said: “The new Dubai Fashion Week is off to a great start. We have already surpassed the momentum gained during Arab Fashion Week, if the packed shows and positive response from talent, buyers and audiences alike are anything to go by. We are already working with d3 to ensure that the next edition raises the bar further and establishing Dubai as a core contributor to the global fashion dialogue.”
Along with custom-built, flexible structures for the event, Dubai Fashion Week took place in unique, alfresco surroundings – including the basketball court and skate park at The Block at d3. Exclusive events also took place across the city as part of the vision to broaden the reach of Dubai Fashion Week and unite the city and region’s fashion scene.
Fashion partners added to the hype with a host of invite-only experiences. Emergency Room and Byhpe held exclusive after parties, while Dubai Fashion Week member designer Hussein Bazaza held an intimate fashion presentation and party. Ferragamo hosted a Styling Masterclass event with Lana Qatramiz and Gaelle Hojeily at Dubai Mall Boutique celebrating the SS23 collection launch; Level Shoes collaborated with Gallery Collectional to launch their new in-store personal shopping services, By Appointment: Where Fashion Meets Design, and the Stella McCartney label invited guests to a private preview and workshop for the limited-edition Emerald Capsule Collection for Ramadan. Etoile La Boutique hosted a private lunch to discover Serena handbags and there was a special buyers’ dinner at Caviar Kaspia in celebration of the first edition of Dubai Fashion Week.