From new designers to returning favourites…
Dubai’s own fashion festival, Fashion Forward, is back for its 10th season, and the full list of 28 designers has been announced. It’s a perfect mix of new names and returning favourites, and this time around, five international labels are joining the party.
Taking place from October 26 to 28 in Dubai Design District, FFWD 10 will see shows from classics like Amato, Zareena, and Lara Khoury, as well as newbies like Ultruj and Asya Krasnaya.
Those international labels? You’re looking at names like Ukranian Anna K, Canadian Sid Neigum, and Korean Eudon Choi (we’re particularly looking forward to this one).
This season, shows will take place at the Design Quarter, and you can expect the usual mix of fashion talks, pop up stores, and workshops. In celebration of 10 successful seasons, standout collections from past showings will get another outing, and there’ll be photo galleries with a mix of images from the festival’s history.
Fashion Forward 10 designers
This young Ukranian designer has shown at New York Fashion Week and counts Kardashian matriarch Kris Jenner among her fans. She’s featured on Forbes‘s 30 under 30 and is known for feminine, whimsical designs.
Hailing from South Korea, Choi initially worked in menswear before training in womenswear at London’s Royal College of the Arts. His clothes are understated, fresh and beautifully tailored.
This Portuguese designer started his own label in the 1980s, and we have a feeling his embellished, high-glamour gowns will go down a treat here in the UAE.
Expect Elizabethan details and strong silhouettes from this Syrian-born UK designer. Legendary model Jerry Hall has worn his work, and Nayal is another graduate of the Royal College of the Arts.
This Canadian designer has a string of awards to his name, and draws comparisons to Azzedine Alaia. Expect a blend of the avant-garde and the wearable.
Always a FFWD mainstay, this Dubai designer has a knack for theatrical, dramatic shows. Not one to miss.
This luxury eveningwear label is all about dramatic skirts and beautiful embellishments.
Arwa Al Banawi
She’s Saudi-born and Swiss-raised, so Al Banawi’s designs have an international flair. Hard to believe this master of tailoring was once a banker. (She’s also an Emirates Woman Award nominee, by the way.)
Sequins, sparkly and fringing are this Lebanese designer’s watchwords. Some real-life fairy tale stuff.
Another Beiruti designer, this label focuses on creativity and individuality. Expect elegant draping and beautiful fabrics.
Madiyah Al Sharqi
Think modern dressing with a sense of grandeur. Al Sharqi is a former Woolmark Prize nominee and a member of the Fujairah royal family.
Expect bold monochrome looks and a Rick Owens aesthetic from this Saudi designer.
Another Saudi label, Sadeem is all about luxury ethical fashion. Previous collections have been inspired by art deco and New York.
This Lebanese designer has a focus on tailored womenswear with a contemporary edge.
Royaled by RH
This pret-a-couture brand hails from Saudi Arabia, and is known for its seasonless collections for women.
This Dubai-based label draws inspiration from its cosmopolitan hometown, dealing in clean lines, careful detailing and contemporary silhouettes.
Luxurious fabrics and rich embroidery are what this Dubai-based label is known for.
Based between Casablanca, Marrakech and Berlin, this men’s and womenswear label fuses urban aesthetics together with Moroccan heritage.
Started by two friends in 2012, this Dubai-based label’s colourful collections are inspired by Russian culture and lifestyle.
Established in Dubai in 2015, this couture womenswear label is all about delicate embroidery, artistic design and glamorous finishes.
This born-in-Italy label (helmed by Iranian designer Behnood Javaherpour) creates simple yet elegant ready-to-wear tailoring for the modern man.
Founded by Project Runway Middle East alumni and Egyptian designer Mohanad Kojak, this label plays with lines, textures and detailing.
This Jeddah-based designer specialises in delicate and feminine pieces.
Uniti by Babak Vosoughi
This Iranian label fuses street style and modern art in its urban menswear line.
This Jeddah-based label is renowned for its modest womenswear pieces with a contemporary aesthetic.
MINI Fashion Beyond Native presentation
Dress Addict by Artem & Victor
Founded by two Ukrainian designers in 2012, this Dubai-born brand has a focus on high-quality fabrics and clean silhouettes.
With designer Wael Hussain at the helm, this local label specialises in menswear tailoring, taking inspiration from Savile Row techniques and minimalistic lines.
The Dubai-based designer is known for his handmade couture techniques, including painting and embroidery.