The Huawei Arab Fashion Week (HAFW) wrapped up a star studded five days with some of the most recognised names in fashion. The biannual industry event that is presented by title sponsor Huawei and managed by the Arab Fashion Council (AFC), offered a program of established and emerging designers who showcased their talent throughout the week, and was attended by some of the biggest names in the industry, including HE Prof. Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council and Cavaliere Mario Boselli, Honorary President of the Arab Fashion Council and Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana (National Chamber of Italian Fashion) who officially inaugurated the event, in front of a full audience including the United Nations for Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and participating international institutions.
The HAFW was Emirati designer Lamya Abedin, with her label Queen of Spades inspired by fairground, circus and Alice in Wonderland motifs. The program also presented labels by prominent regional designers including Sheikha Alanoud Alattiya (Qatar), Arwa Al Ammari (KSA), Aiisha Ramadan (Lebanon), and Nicolas Chahine (Lebanon), as well as international headliners Ingie Chalhoub (France), Ilse Jara (Paraguay), and Cristiano Burani (Italy) amongst others.
This edition of the HAFW also exclusively introduced the first Emirati model, Rafeea Al-Hajsi to the fashion audiences, who walked in Aiisha Ramadan’s show on day four. Making his Middle Eastern debut was New York celebrity designer and CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) member LaQuan Smith, who lists A-listers Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian and Rihanna amongst others, as his clientele.
With 23 participating designers, Huawei also presented three exclusive designers: Algerian born Yacine Aouadi who showcased his contemporary urban style and Rad Hourani who presented his UNISEX label and pop-up store throughout the duration of the event, both official members of the élite Fédération Française de la Couture du Prêt-à-Porter des Couturiers et des Créateurs de Mode in ParisLebanese designer Rami Kadi, presented a retrospective in partnership with Huawei showcasing his fashion-ology haute couture collection which included technologically inspired outfits which glowed in the dark at the Huawei Terrace Lounge during a VIP cocktail.
HAFW also saw special guest appearances by singer and YouTube sensation Adam Saleh, pop youth singer Harris J and American producer, rapper, songwriter, and actor, Silento, who hosted a meet and greet for fans on day four. On the final and fifth day, they performed Silento’s popular single “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)“, which reached number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 at the Red Carpet Gala Dinner FashionAwards where Saleh was recognized as ‘Best Arab Influencer’ and announced as Honorary Ambassador for AFC.
The Fashion Awards for this season were presented to:
- Best Menswear Collection: Sartorial Monk
- Best Womenswear Collection: Aouadi Paris
- Innovative Collection: Rad Hourani
- Red Carpet Collection: LaQuan Smith
- Fashion-ology Collection: Rami Kadi
- Business of Fashion: Ingie Paris
In addition, the AFC has recognised HE Dr. Sheikha Hend Al Qassimi for her achievement towards women empowerment.
Hosted at the spectacular Meydan Hotel, the HAFW aims to establish the UAE and Dubai, as the destination for “ready-couture” and the fifth fashion capital after New York, London, Milan and Paris.
Dates for the next edition to be held in March 2017, will be announced soon.