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Meet The MatchesFashion 2020 Fashion Trust Arabia Winners

Addison Rae wearing Andrea Wazen pump

Fashion Trust Arabia (FTA) is a non-profit initiative that aims to support fashion designers in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. A unique philanthropic initiative, the initiative focuses on scouting, funding and nurturing design talent across the MENA region, while bringing global awareness to its burgeoning fashion industry. It is the first and only prize that provides financial, business and mentoring support to emerging local designers in the region. FTA was launched in 2018 under the patronage of HH Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser as honorary chair and is co-chaired by HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani and Tania Fares.

The partnership with Fashion Trust Arabia (FTA) is part of MatchesFashion’s commitment to champion emerging designers on a global level. The designers launching on MatchesFashion were the selected winners of the FTA 2020 Awards, by a panel of leading industry experts. Natalie Kingham, MatchesFashion Global Fashion Officer and member of the FTA Advisory Board, stated, “We are so proud to continue our partnership with Fashion Trust Arabia. Championing global design talent has always been at the heart of our business and Fashion Trust Arabia has opened up a great opportunity to shine a light on new and innovative designers from the MENA region.”

In addition to receiving financial support of up to $200,000 from FTA, designers are also part of a yearlong mentorship program with the MATCHESFASHION buying team and have participated in digital workshops with the business leaders in content, communications, branding, logistics and e-commerce.

MatchesFashion will continue to collaborate with FTA for the 2021 Awards as their global retail partner and will be offering the mentorship program to the winning 2021 designers.
The FTA 2020 designer winners are now available to shop in 5 Carlos Place and online at

The winning designers for this year’s edition are:

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Amany Shaker founded AMMANII in 2015 with a vision of creating jewellery that transcends cultural barriers, having left a career in global conflict resolution spanning eight countries over two decades. Drawing on her Egyptian heritage, she combines ancient motifs and precious stones with contemporary settings cast from gold vermeil to create an aesthetic that feels opulent and symbolic in equal measure. The result is a collection of earrings, necklaces and rings, all designed to inspire purpose and emotional connection, meticulously handcrafted in Hong Kong.

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Sister of infamous digital influencer, Karen Wazen, Andrea Wazen grew up in Beirut and returned there to found her eponymous footwear label. She honed her craft at the Istituto Marangoni in Paris and London’s Central Saint Martins, as well as under the tutelage of Rupert Sanderson and Christian Louboutin. As the winner of Fashion Trust Arabia’s 2020 Accessories Designer of the Year award, she supports local Lebanese production by designing and producing her pieces in the same area.

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A meticulous focus on shape and construction defines Omer Asim’s eponymous label. It was founded in 2011 following the designer’s education in architecture and psychology, teamed with stints at Vivienne Westwood and Maurice Sedwell of Savile Row. A focus on innovative pleats and drapery is inspired by the folds of the Sudanese thobe – a garment that wraps around the body, made from a single 4.5 meter piece of fabric. Expect a sophisticated collection of dresses rendered in muted hues.

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