This Arab Fashion Week Edition Elevates Its Digital Experience
For the first time ever, Dubai’s most exciting fashion event will be presented by Microsoft and will feature French designers!
Arab Fashion Week (AFW) will be a virtual affair once again, the Dubai-based Arab Fashion Council (AFC), which coordinates and endorses the bi-annual event, has confirmed. Ready to enthrall fashion lovers from 21-24 October, the fashion extravaganza will continue its full programme virtually with spots around the emirates to enable viewing the designers’ spring/summer 2021 collections in person.
"The entire world is passing through a transitional period of stepping into the new world’s revolution which is governed by technology and artificial intelligence; we, at the AFC, are taking the right steps to ensure our fashion community is ready to be part of the big change,” said Jacob Abrian, Founder & CEO of the AFC, the world's largest non-profit fashion council and INGO for the Arab world.
A Microsoft First
With AFW being presented by Microsoft for the first time, fashion designers will be encouraged to utilise the full digital capacity of Microsoft services and devices. These are geared towards optimising designer productivity and deliverables under the theme 'Dream Bigger, the power to achieve more.'
“The creative industry at large with its designers, creators, and the entire value chain are looking at new ways to innovate and differentiate,” Ihsan Anabtawi, COO and CMO of Microsoft UAE, said. “The Microsoft cloud and devices are supporting and empowering fashion designers and everyone in the industry to innovate, create and collaborate in new ways while helping the industry meet changing customer demand in the digital age."
In addition, the entire event is set to go live exclusively on Facebook Inc platforms, broadcasting AFW to its 2 billion users. Fashion enthusiasts will have the opportunity to shop their favourite runway looks directly through Instagram shopping technology and through AFW’s dedicated shop-the-runway e-commerce. In addition, trend lovers will be able to visit selected pop-up stores throughout the emirates to try on the collection and purchase it directly.
Plus, as Joana Jamil, Facebook’s Strategic Partner Manager of Public Figures & Social Influencers in the MENA region explained, the company’s platforms host lots of short-form, long-form and interactive content formats that make for great storytelling.
Another multi-national company, Nikon, will be the fashion shows’ imaging partner. The collaboration with the Japanese specialists in optics and imaging products enables regional photographers to select their cameras and imaging devices from Nikon and get access to film the fashion shows and backstage.
Over 30 fashion designers from across Asia, Europe and America will showcase their collections during this edition of the world’s fifth largest fashion week. Additionally, “Brazil Noble,” a full day dedicated to Brazilian designers, is set to be one of the highlights. The schedule also includes designer showrooms in partnership with the leading digital showroom platform, JOOR, that exceeds monthly transactions of 1.35 Billion US dollars and connects over 260,000 international buyers with designers. And the AFC, which aims to promote Arab fashion designers internationally, disseminate fashion culture in the region and position the Arab world on the international map of fashion, has partnered with the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, the French institution that organises Paris Fashion Week (PFW). Thanks to the ‘Parisians in Dubai’ initiative, French designers will be involved for the very first time. The new project targets connecting the PFW members to the Arab fashion industry and creating a bridge between the two fashion industries.
Lebanese superstar Maya Diab, who has been named Fashion Icon of the Arab World, will be opening the week’s shows and activations via a live special appearance. ‘The Hue of Fashion,’ an interviews and panel discussions platform amongst the industry experts and celebrities, will follow. The exciting programme is coordinated by the leading celebrities’ agency in the region, Humanagement, and hosted by Sally Hajjar.