Dubai Fashion Event Set To Make A Fresh Entrance

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Fashion Forward (FFWD), Dubai’s premier and bi-annual fashion event is set to make a comeback this October after a two year hiatus. The event was halted for two years after facing ‘viability’ concerns from stakeholders.

Bong Guerrero – Co Founder, Fashion Forward (FFWD)

Designers who take part in Fashion Forward (FFWD) in Dubai will be required to pay a “very approachable package” priced anywhere between AED25,000 ($7,000) to AED80,000 ($22,000) in order to participate in one fashion show at the bi-annual event, according to co-founder Bong Guerrero.

He claimed that designers would “easily pay four times the amount” if they were to set up a fashion show independently, as FFWD provides “shared tech production and venue costs” among other expenses.

“Designers pay a very approachable package to participate. It includes complete production from hall to sound lights and we have various packages,” Guerrero said.

FFWD’s revenue stream depends mainly on designer participation and brand advertising.

“We’re a commercial platform so we get revenue from designers for participation and from brands like Evian, Pepsi, Mac, L’Oréal …” he said.

“One of reasons we paused for a few seasons is that we needed to reassess the viability of the platform for our stakeholders, this why we tweaked the format. There was a lot of growing concern over timeliness and format with regards to the buying cycle of fashion globally,” Guerrero said.

“So we had to reassess and re-evaluate the viability of platform… [also due to a] bit of a downturn in the economy, it was a blessing in disguise that we took the time off to revaluate” he added.

The company will continue to set up fashion shows for designers but will now offer consumers the chance to buy the collections showcased off the runway via an online platform.

Fashion Forward (FFWD)

The event will run from October 30 to November 2 at Dubai Design District, and will celebrate the best of fashion in the UAE, including runway shows, couture presentations, ready-to-wear and accessories designers. The event aims to provide development, exposure and a progressive direction for the regional fashion industry.

The change in format also comes a year and a half after co-founder Ramzi Nakad told Arabian Business that FFWD will become consumer-centric rather than industry dependent by evolving the business into a fully integrated offline and online fashion platform versus its current physically limited bi-annual event “manifestation.”

Taking a cue from brands and fashion houses around the world who have already adopted the ‘shop now’ formula, you’ll be able to buy what you’ve seen on the runway, without waiting for it to hit the high-street.

For people attending the event, there will be pop-up shops available from which to buy items on the spot however, there will be a digital platform running alongside so that online shoppers can make their purchases as well. The list doesn’t stop at just clothes – shoes and accessories will be available too.

Khadija Al Bastaki, Executive Director of Dubai Design District said, “we’re delighted to welcome back Dubai’s leading fashion event, Fashion Forward to d3 this year. This year will see even more designers participating and a greater number of our own business partners playing a central role in the programming.”

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