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Arab fashion week returns to Dubai

Dubai hosted its bi-annual Arab Fashion Week in November for the fall-winter preseason. Founded in 2015, the fashion week is organized by the world’s largest non-profit fashion group, the Arab Fashion Council (AFC).

Advertised as “the world’s only ready-couture & pre-collections fashion week,” the fashion week aims to appeal to those who desire couture pieces right off the runway. This differs heavily from other fashion weeks, as they take place months in advance and require pre-orders of the next season’s pieces.

Jacob Abrian, chief executive of the Arab Fashion Council, notes the revolutionary approach to fashion buying.

“Arab Fashion Week defined the term ‘ready-couture’ back in 2015,” said Abrian. “Looking back, the fashion ­industry started with haute ­couture then.”

“With economic and social revolutions, the need for ready-to-wear and mass production emerged. Today, all the major fashion houses are ­creating exclusive and limited-edition pieces, but allowing clients to change fabrics and alter certain elements…and that’s what we call ready-couture,” said Abrian.

The new approach to fashion buying is not the only notable element of the event. Showcasing local and international designers such as Saher Dia and Tony Ward, the fashion week works to promote local designers but also to bring international brands to the country. The event thus broadens Dubai’s and the Arabic countries’ influence in the worldwide fashion industry. Dubai hopes to spearhead the immersion into the industry that many Arab countries were not already a part of, as the Arab Fashion Week is the one of the internationally-recognized fashion weeks in an Arabic country. Arab Fashion Week thus intends to become a recognized fashion week in the fashion industry, alongside the previous four major fashion weeks in New York, London, Milan, and Paris.

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