It’s been a long road for the contestants of Project Runway Middle East but last night the arduous journey proved worth it for 32-year-old Lebanese designer Alaa Najd. Joining the fashion industry much later then most of his rivals, Najd stole the show with his collection of unique designs in a kaleidoscope of eye-catching colours.
Algerian-French actress and former model Farida Khelfa joined globally renowned designer Elie Saab and Tunisian supermodel and former Bazaar cover star Afef Jnifen on the judging panel to make the final decision. A host of VIP guests, industry professionals and celebrities, including famed fashion blogger Bryanboy who jetted in from London, were also in attendance to see who would take out the top spot.
Following the announcement head judge Elie Saab said, “Throughout the season, the show has showcased some tremendous talent and creativity, not to mention a great competitive spirit between the designers. I’ve always said that I want to promote fashion and design in the Arab world, and thanks to MBC Group becoming the incubator and optimising that goal, we’ve been able to enter every Arab household - thus enabling all family members, not just the fashion enthusiasts, enjoy the show.”
As the winner of the season Najd will not only have one of his winning designs grace the front cover of the January edition of Harper’s Bazaar Arabia with an editorial inside, but will also walk away with just under Dhs185,000 ($50,000 USD) from Maybelline New York to put towards his own fashion show, a one-year contract for his own design space within Dubai and a one-year membership to the Dubai Design & Fashion Council.
From Team Bazaar, congratulations to all of the contestants, and to Alaa Najd. We can't wait to see the future of Arab fashion continue to grow in the region, particularly from January 2017.