The fashion industry can be a hard nut to crack, one where it can feel like who you know, rather than what you know, is the only thing that will help you get ahead.

However, a new programme headed up by Fashion Forward Dubai (FFWD) aims to give regional designers a boost up the ladder with a range of business development opportunities.

EPIC (which stands for Empowerment Programme through Industry Collaboration) will deliver a range of events, workshops, sponsorship opportunities, influencer and scholarship programmes for local fashionistas.

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In collaboration with Samsung MENA, these intiatives hope to tackle some of the key challenges faced by regional designers.

According to a recent report the Middle East’s fashion industry is enjoying a bit of a boom, but EPIC plans to give local designers more exposure and access to investors and customers.

fashion forward dubai

FFWD is renowned for it’s educational industry talks

Ramzi Nakad, COO and co-founder of FFWD said: “Building upon the success of Fashion Forward Dubai, which has catapulted regional designers to attain international and regional visibility, EPIC is designed to nurture talents, working as a catalyst for creatives to benefit from sought after industry resources while developing the skills and know-how needed to progress in an ever-growing and highly competitive landscape.”

This year, EPIC will focus on maximising exposure, fostering partnerships, creating business and higher education opportunities, and offering practical tools that will enhance designers’ brand.

A series of workshops will be held by industry professionals on topics such as making the most of social media, how the internet is affecting buying, and how best to hold catwalk presentations.

Fashion students and designers will also have the chance to apply for university scholarships to attend Master level courses at Domus Academy in Milan, and programme participants may also get the chance to mingle with the fashion set at FFWD’s showroom space in Paris during Paris Fashion Week.

Fashion Forward Season 8 will run from October 20 to 23 at Dubai Design District (d3).

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Images: Supplied