Omaima Azzouz, head of the Fashion Designing Committee at Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) has announced an initiative, backed by a recently conducted feasibility study, to create over 2,500 technical, administrative and marketing jobs for Saudi women in the fashion industry over the next five years. The initiative seeks to expand the fashion design sector in the Kingdom where investments exceed SR15 billion ($4 billion), and includes the proposed creation of garment-production facilities within the Kingdom.
The fashion design industry in the Kingdom currently consists of a multitude of individual entrepreneurs working alone, and often promoting their products through social media. Penetrating the fashion market can be extremely difficult due to barriers to entry, including financial barriers, and the entrepreneurial designers often sell their designs locally via social media. The goal is to set up a number conglomerates consisting of three to five small business entrepreneurs who will build collaborate to build garment factories and then to use the facilities to produce a specialized fashion line. This will give the designers a stronger and wider platform from which to promote their designs and greater control over production.
The project is still in the planning stage, and workshops are to be conducted to discuss the challenges that the project will face and to address issues such as licensing concerns.