It’s not a secret that the fashion industry is buzzing over the unexpected departures of Alber Elbaz from Lanvin and Raf Simons from Dior, yet over in Dubai, fashion enthusiasts were looking to the future of the industry with the Who is on Next? Dubai competition.
Who is on Next? Dubai, a talent scouting initiative mainly focused on emerging designers from the Middle East, Asia and Africa, is the newest addition to the Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience. Launched by Vogue Italia and Emaar Properties, in collaboration with Altaroma and with the support of Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, Pitti Immagine and yoox.com, online retail & media partner, the project covers three categories: womenswear, menswear and accessories.
Unlike many other competition that focus solely on providing winners a quick 15 minutes of fame, Who is on Next? provides distribution, production and media exposure, which are priceless incentives for emerging designers. This year’s prospects were selected by a panel of globally-renowned fashion experts, and the winners will have amazing opportunities to showcase their collections during a number of high profile events in 2016, including: Pitti Uomo, Florence, Altaroma Rome, Milan Fashion Week, Palazzo Morando, during the September edition of Milan Fashion Week and Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience 2016 with a special catwalk.
There is absolutely no denying that Who is on Next? is an incredible initiative that is providing immense opportunities to designers in regions with limited access to all that the industry has to offer. From the moment we stepped into the expansive Star Atrium in The Dubai Mall, we were impressed with the cultural diversity of the 25 designers, and the innovation of their creations.
The 25 talented designers were: Abcense, Adriaan Kuiters + Jody Paulsen, Anita Quansah London, Beyond Closed, Brother Vellies, Byungmun Seo, CA&LOU, Cynthia & Xiao, Dent de Man, Elio Abou Fayssal, Faissal El-Malak, Hussein Bazaza, J Moon, Jourden, Maryam Omaira, Matter Matters, max.tan, MaXhosa by Laduma, Nathalie Trad, Sindiso Khumalo, sulvam, Susana Traça, Ujoh, Yirantian and Youjia Jin.
One can only imagine the difficulty the jury experienced while attempting to select one winner, as if picking the perfect diamond out of a treasure chest of jewels. The international panel of globally-renowned fashion experts took their time evaluating each collection.
(Top left: Nez Gebreel CEO, Dubai Design & Fashion Council, Christian Louboutin, luxury footwear and fashion designer and Miroslava Duma, writer/ entrepreneur)
On Friday, October 30th – During the charity gala dinner hosted at the Armani Pavilion in support of the World Food Program, the winners of the first edition of Who is on Next? Dubai was announced.
Hussein Bazaza, Lebanese designer, has been honored by Altaroma with the chance to present his collection during Altaroma.
Teppei Fujita, the Japanese designer of the brand Sulvam, awarded by Pitti Immagine, will present his menswear collection at Pitti Immagine Uomo.
Milan Fashion Week will welcome, thanks to the support of Camera della Moda Italiana, Anais Mak, Hong Kong based designer, and Jourden Sindiso Khumalo, Botswana native designer raised in South Africa.
(Left to right: Hussein Bazaza, Anais Mak and Teppei Fujita)
Vogue Talents, the showcase project promoted by Vogue Italia organized at Palazzo Morando, will support the talent of Vellies Aurora, Canadian/Ghanaian designer of the footwear brand Brother James, Nathalie Trad, handbag Lebanese designer of the eponymous brand, and Anita Horsfall, Nigerian/Ghanaian designer of the jewelry brand Anita Quansah London.
Yoox.com, online retail & media partner, will give to 3 brands the opportunity to be globally distributed through its premium platform: Laduma by Maxhosa, menswear label designed by South African Laduma Ngxokolo, Susana Traca’s shoe line and Jourden’s collections.
The creations of the winning brands will also be sold at special temporary stores within The Dubai Mall. We surely can’t wait to see what the talented designers do next!
Written by: Chandia Brennen
Chandia Brennen is a Certified Image Consultant and CEO of ItsGood2bME Fashion Consulting and Image Management based in Los Angeles CA, Chandia has been in the Fashion industry for over four years. She has worked for dozens of publications and holds the title of Senior Fashion Editor in both LA and NY. Chandia is a fashion scout for a Design Agency in NY and Brand Ambassador for HairEverywhere Luxury.