Fashion Forward Announces Season Three Programme


Esteemed International Guests Will Foster Discussion Through ‘d3 Fashion Talks’


Fashion Forward announces its diverse programme of talks, presentations and panel discussions which form this season’s ‘d3 Fashion Talks’. Alongside a schedule of catwalk and networking events, instigating debate and exchanging ideas on how to drive forward the region’s industry are integral to FFWD’s vision. This season a highly qualified selection of international guests, from various sectors of the industry, has been invited to share their advice and expertise throughout the event which runs from 10th-13th April at the Madinat Jumeirah.

“FFWD, with the support of Dubai Design District (d3), is committed to bringing high calibre experts to the region and each season we work together to curate a diverse roster of talks and discussions to complement the sartorial side of the event,” said Bong Guerrero, Founder and CEO of Fashion Forward.

“We have some of the most influential names in fashion joining us this April from internationally acclaimed designers, to esteemed academic experts and innovators in e-commerce. We are certain that this season’s ‘d3 Fashion Talks’ will further highlight the need for learning and discussion and help us to continue to evolve as an event and an industry as a whole,” added Guerrero.

“We are delighted to once again be supporting Fashion Forward. This is an important event in the industry’s calendar and it offers emerging and established designers an opportunity to showcase their collections to a local, regional and international audience, “ said Dr Amina Al Rustamani, Group CEO of Tecom Investments, the master developer behind Dubai Design District (d3).

“Once complete, d3 will be a dedicated creative home for the design and fashion industry, providing a unique network in which to exchange ideas and knowledge. We see Fashion Forward as a key partner as we work together to nurture talent and maximise the potential of the Middle East’s design and fashion industry,” added Dr Amina Al Rustamani.
Joining FFWD for Season Three and forming this season’s ‘d3 Fashion Talks’ are:

International Experts

Fern Mallis – The creator of New York Fashion Week, Fern Mallis, will share her incredible experiences and advice through her talk, “Fashion Week: Going Forward?”.

Mallis created Fashion Week in New York City in 1993, dramatically changing the face of the industry. She went on to lead the introduction of Fashion Weeks in Miami, Los Angeles, Berlin, and Mumbai and added Sydney and Melbourne to its portfolio, among others. An industry icon, Mallis serves on multiple boards and advisory committees across the world, has received countless accolades and awards.

Ennio Capasa- Designer and Creative Director of CoSTUME NATIONAL, Ennio Capasa, will discuss the design concept behind the brand through his talk, “The Deep Italian Brand; The Design Concept of CoSTUME NATIONAL”, presented by Domus Academy.

Capasa founded the fashion house in 1986, which has since become an internationally acclaimed brand of women and menswear collections. The mantra of CoSTUME NATIONAL is ‘evolution’ and Capasa encourages the subtle shapes, dark tones and attention to detail of his designs to be merged with the interpretation of the wearer.

Alexa Chung – The British former model, TV presenter, contributing editor to Vogue and fashion ‘It- Girl’ Alexa Chung will take part in a question and answer session entitled: “In Conversation With Alexa Chung”.

Having been discovered as a model aged 16; Chung has gone on to grace catwalks, television screens and also turned her hand to journalism throughout her varied career. A regular on front rows at international Fashion Weeks, as well as her talk, Chung will cast her eye over some of the FFWD designers’ runway presentations.

Dubai Design District

D3- Dubai Design District will host a dynamic panel discussion addressing the relationship between art and fashion.
Panellists will be: Carmela Spinelli, Professor, International Special Projects Representative, Savannah College of Art and Design; Ali Khadra,
Founder, Canvas Group; Patricia Millns, Artist and Advisor and Lindsay Miller, Managing Director of Dubai Design District.

Leaders in E-commerce

Boticca – CEO and co-founder of online accessories portal Boticca, Kiyan Foroughi, will lead a talk on the pressing issue of “Sourcing and Buying in the Decade of Personalisation”, focussing on the issues facing online fashion retailers.

“Fashion Forward showcases the best and brightest of the Middle East and Gulf region, which has become a burgeoning hub for designers for us, with an ever-increasing number of brands joining Boticca and selling successfully to customers around the world. I’m very much looking forward to discovering the next wave of talented designers at Fashion Forward,” said Foroughi.

There will also be a dedicated panel discussion to buying and online retail entitled: “E-commerce: Reshaping Buying Habits”.
The panellist will be: Delphine Edde, Publishing Director & Founding Partner, Diwanee; Hosam Arab Co-founder and Managing Director at Namshi and Ahmed Alkhatib, the Founder and CEO of MarkaVIP.

Local Innovation
Level – Locally created Level Shoe District will host a panel discussion on how home grown brands can make it on an international scale through their talk: “The Shoe Business: Emerging Talent to a Global Player”.

“Level Shoe District is delighted to partner with Fashion Forward and Dubai Design District (d3). As Level is a concept born from the region, we aim to inspire regional talent and emerging designers offering a platform to support the launch of the brands globally,” said Rania Masri, General Manager of Level Shoe District.

Panellists will be: Rania Masri- General Manager, Level Shoe District; Alberto Oliveros- Head Buyer, Level Shoe District; Ghanim Al Shamsi – Co- Founder, Private Collection; Anas Shanaah- Shoe Designer, Aennis Eunis and Amanda Navai- Shoe Designer, Amanda Navai.

International Brand
Swarovski – The world leader in premium cut crystal used in fashion, jewellery, lighting, architecture, and interiors, will hold a talk entitled “Crystal Inspiration Themes”. It will be given by Lee-Anne Carter, Head of Trend Research at the Swarovski Design Centre.

Academic Partners

FFWD continues its relationships with acclaimed international academic bodies: London College of Fashion who will host a talk on, “Writing vs Styling”; Domus Academy who are presenting Ennio Capasa and the Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T), who are giving a talk on, “Perspective On The U.S. Fashion Retail Market”.

The ‘d3 Fashion Talks’ form an important part of the wider schedule of events taking place at FFWD Season Three. Guests can enjoy 18 catwalk presentations, browse and purchase pieces from over 70 accessories designers in The Garden, and take the opportunity to network with fellow members of the fashion community.

The main focus of FFWD is nurturing regional design talent and this season, FFWD is making a commercial commitment to its designers by offering them the opportunity to work with crowd investment site Eureeca and also the chance to have their collections displayed at Galeries Lafayette.

There will also be a series of mentorship sessions taking place throughout the event for designers showing at The Garden. Swarovski and jewellery design brand Azza Fahmy will select a handful of designers, offering their expert advice and support.

Fashion Forward is the region’s definitive fashion platform, showcasing emerging and established designers from across the region. Season Three takes place at The Madinat Jumeirah from 10th-13th April.

Visitor registration for FFWD will be online at and will open on April 1st.


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