Obsessed with accessories? Fashion lovers will have a unique opportunity to score a range of original accessories from the Middle East at the inaugural Fashion Forward (FFWD) event next month.
Jewellery, headwear, handbags and scarves all designed by designers from the region will be displayed in the FFWD Pop-Up Shop, catering specifically to our region’s love of individuality and style.
More than ten designers associated with the Middle East will showcase a curated selection of their pieces at the FFWD Pop-Up Shop at the Madinat Jumeirah from April 26-29th, as part of the first season of FFWD.
The designers include three Emirati brands: Bint Thani – Khulood Thani’s stylish ladies’ turbans in a range of colours and fabrics; Sugar Vintage – Leila Al Marashi’s hand embellished t-shirts with fun prints; and Tresors Sauvages – Amalie Beljafla and Soraya Alali’s collection of ‘Elephant’ silk scarves.
“Accessories actually represent the fastest-growing segment of the international fashion landscape in terms of sales and emerging designers,” said Bong Guerrero, CEO and creative director of FFWD. “Responding to the universal appeal of inspired, well-crafted pieces, FFWD has carefully curated a diverse, hand-picked selection of some of the region’s very best accessories.”
“The concept of the Pop-Up Shop enables our guests to purchase their own piece of FFWD. Jewels, bags, scarves and pieces of wearable art showcase the creativity of designers from the Middle East while adding significantly to the bottom line of the region’s overall retail sector,” he added.
In addition to Bint Thani, Sugar Vintage and Tresors Sauvages, the following designers are taking part in the inaugural FFWD Pop-Up Shop:
A brand of bags that is synonymous with femininity, glamour and sophistication. Using original designs and fabrics, Amal Khourshid, a Kuwaiti designer of Palestinian origin, crafts high quality leather and snakeskin bags and clutches, and small leather goods.
Lebanese artist and designer Nadine Kanso’s jewellery line includes rings, earrings, bracelets, pendants and cufflinks that draw on the inherent beauty, calligraphic shape and lyricism of the Arabic alphabet. Using yellow, white and rose gold, along with dazzling precious and semi-precious stones, Kanso updates the traditional letters with her own funky twist, creating a new contemporary visual language.
Young Lebanese designer Cynthia Pennikian’s handbag line is iconic and individual. Cynthia uses regionally inspired number plate designs on the finest leather to create distinctive and desirable clutches. CeeCode is every woman’s personality code, attitude and style. It delivers free spirited designs with a reflection of funky fun, love for life and elegance.
Dalia Hamdallah’s line consists of a variety of statement rings, bracelets, cuffs, bangles, necklace chokers and long pendants all wired up into one-of-a-kind pieces. The entire collection is made with material and stones carefully selected from Cairo silver market from the wires to each stone used in the designs.
The range comprises mainly of rings, as designer Sevag Dilsizian believes people tend to express themselves with their rings more than any other jewelry item. Sevag wants to move away from the idea of jewellery solely as a luxury item, and to value each ring as expressive artwork.
Marwa Kharsa has designed a fun and cheeky fashion jewellery line that juxtaposes hard and edgy motifs such as skulls and spikes, with soft and girly stars and hearts. Daring designs in striking colours and vibrant precious stones set in 18 kt gold give Mar Mar its effortless rock ‘n roll wearability, making it a modern jewellery line for the hip and fun.
Yasmine Pharaon’s label combines a love for vibrant, fresh and striking colours, and a whole-hearted belief that good luck charms can go a long way. Yasmine’s designs offer the wearer a chance to express the happier side of fashion. The Hand of Fatima and the elephants – both believed to bring good fortune – are two motifs that dominate her designs.
Moe Khadra’s subtle yet fashionable pieces have quickly gained the Lebanese designer a reputation for distinguished men’s jewellery. The collection has expanded from cufflinks to jewellery as Khadra experiments with twisted wrap around necklaces of concrete, sterling silver and textures of gold and diamonds.
Lebanese designer Roula Ghalayini, ranked #14 on Vogue’s top 100 handbag designers, creates pieces with strong geometric exterior forms juxtaposed by bright, brilliant colour emanating from underneath. All her designs have an element of colour peeking through either through material layering or her perforated signature Arabesque metal.
Designer Roula Dfouni handcrafts an exquisite collection of contemporary jewellery made of black and white oxidized silver sterling with a touch of rough, uncut coloured gemstones. The silver designs are layered and fused together allowing them to bond but not to completely blend. The uncut, unpolished effect gives each piece its roughness. The geometric origins of the forms are clear in the silhouette but the simplicity is transformed by a gemstone, which gives each piece a distinct personality.
In addition to its Pop-Up Shop, the inaugural FFWD will feature four days of catwalk presentations complemented by a comprehensive programme of workshops, panel discussions and events to elevate the discussion around fashion from the Middle East. FFWD aims to be the region’s definitive, bi-annual fashion movement, which enables progressive growth for designers, the retail sector and the industry as a whole.