Dubai, a city renowned for its penchant for luxury and fashion, has set its sights on achieving global recognition in the competitive world of fashion. The Spring/Summer 2024 edition of Dubai Fashion Week showcased the city’s growing ambition, came to an end this Sunday. Featuring prestigious international designers like Carolina Herrera and Jil Sander, the event displayed promise, yet acknowledged there is work to be done before Dubai firmly establishes itself among the esteemed fashion capitals.
The vibrant heart of the Middle East’s fashion scene, Dubai, anchored by the iconic Dubai Mall, is a thriving ground for fashion enthusiasts, offering a glimpse into the city’s potential as a global fashion hub. Previous attempts at establishing a globally relevant fashion week, such as Fashion Forward Dubai and Arab Fashion Week, witnessed varying degrees of success. However, Dubai Fashion Week, born from the rebranding of Arab Fashion Week in 2023, is gaining momentum and consistency, signaling a potential shift towards the global fashion stage.
Dubai Fashion Week’s Remarkable Journey
DFW organizers demonstrated resilience, forging ahead with the SS24 event despite ongoing regional challenges, including the Israel-Hamas conflict, which led to the cancellation of numerous events across the Middle East. While adapting to these circumstances, DFW maintained its shows while canceling the after-party to prioritize safety. With DFW orchestrated by the Arab Fashion Council and Dubai Design District (D3), a dedicated business hub for creative industries, the fashion landscape of the Middle East is gaining a more organized and long-term vision.
Carolina Herrera, recognizing the Arab region as its second significant market after the US, praised Dubai’s fashion-savvy women and their enthusiasm for diverse styles beyond evening dresses. The SS24 collection, originally showcased in New York, took the stage, emphasizing the city’s importance to international designers.
Shaping a Global Hub, Embracing Diversity, and Fostering Talent
DFW prominently featured regional designers like The Giving Movement, Dima Ayad, Michael Cinco, The Emergency Room, and Blssd, among others. The event’s ability to attract international brands from the Global South underlines the demand for a fashion perspective that transcends Western influence, positioning Dubai as a potential global fashion hub. The collaboration with educational institutions like FAD International Academy further enriches DFW, fostering industry integration and exposure for emerging talents.
As Dubai aims to attract global attention, DFW also strives to boost buyer interest in regional talent. The introduction of a ‘mega showroom’ concept and ‘Shop the Runway’ pop-up allows designers to present their collections beyond the runway, enhancing exposure and accessibility. While challenges like timing in relation to Paris Fashion Week persist, industry experts believe DFW’s consolidated and integrated approach positions Dubai on a promising path toward a more significant presence in the international fashion arena. The journey towards global fashion prominence is underway, and the country’s perseverance and innovation are paving the way for a potential fifth fashion capital.
Supermodel Naomi Campbell Elevates DFW’s Global Appeal
In a stride fresh from Paris Fashion Week, iconic supermodel Naomi Campbell graced DFW, making her debut on the runway for Malaysian brand Rizman Ruzaini. The launch of the second edition of DWF commenced at D3, showcasing the creative prowess of 25 designers and labels from over a dozen countries. This season, the esteemed New York label, Carolina Herrera, stood as the guest of honor, unveiling its spring/summer 2024 collection, drawing a distinguished audience that included creative director Wes Gordon.
Prominent regional names also took center stage, including Michael Cinco, The Giving Movement, Dima Ayad, and Lama Jouni. DFW, a collaboration between D3 and the Arab Fashion Council, previously recognized for organizing the Arab Fashion Week, is gaining prominence.
Naomi Campbell, an eminent figure in the world of fashion, brought her wealth of experience to the event, marking her presence in Dubai, a city she has been part of for various fashion events. The illustrious supermodel, at the age of 53, continues to be one of the most sought-after models in the industry. Her previous appearance on the Dubai runway was at Arise Fashion Week, an exclusive event celebrating Nigerian fashion and music at the Armani Hotel Dubai.
Designers Rizman Nordin and Ruzaini Jamil recognized as esteemed dressmakers in their home country of Malaysia, made their debut in the UAE during DFW, showcasing their much-anticipated spring/summer 2024 collection. Khadija Al Bastaki, senior vice president of Dubai Design District, expressed excitement about the lineup of designers, emphasizing their diverse and innovative approaches to fashion.
The exclusive Dubai Fashion Week shows are by invitation only, underscoring the prestigious nature of the event and the importance it holds within the global fashion community.