Meet the 17 Designers Making Their Fashion Forward Debut
BY Samantha Hamilton Rushforth /
Mar 16 2017 /
We introduce the accessories and ready-to-wear names you need to know ahead of FFWD Season 9
HESSA FALASI - Hessa Falasi, an Emirati brand established in 2011 in Dubai was inspired by all aspects of Arabic culture. Giving traditional abayas a modern twist with on-trend silhouettes and a bold palette of colours, each piece is crafted with love and care from start to finish.
Look out for: Artisanal abayas that stand out from the crowd.
GHUDFAH - Ghudfah is a luxurious abaya and ready-to- wear line that caters elegant Arab women who crave style as much as functionality. Designed by Sarah Albaz who was born and raised in Riyadh, the line is known for luxurious details including the fabric and finishing of their abayas.
Look out for: Modest fashion with a modern update.
JOUDESIGN - Embodying modern designs with an oriental twist, their collection reflects Arabic spirit and identity. Established in 2014, their mission is to spread happiness among the fashion lovers.
Look out for: Pop-art inspired clutches you need to be photographed with.
GHAIN GHADA - Specialising in evening wear, casual wear and Grade A Python skin bags, Ghain Ghada is stocked in the likes of Harvey Nichols, Revolution Boutique, Das and Sauce. The brand has evolved from launching a yearly collection to three collections a year, for S/S, F/W, and Ramadan. In 2015, Ghain Ghada also released the brand's very first cosmetic line called, Stained.
Look out for: Accessories and A-list worthy gowns.
DIANA WASSEF - Fashion Creator of Emily Cremona, Diana Wassef was raised in Beirut and currently based between Beirut and New York City. Boasting a rich background in fashion, costume and theatre design, she launched her eponymous collection Emily Cremona in 2009. Since 2013, Wassef has been exploring the future of materials and sustainable design, and working with dyeing techniques, natural fibers and fabric marbling.
Look out for: Slick styles with a sustainable edge.
CHEYMA - Graduating from the Institute of Political Sciences of Paris with a Masters in fashion & luxury marketing, this designer knows the industry inside-out. Having worked with some of the most prestigious fashion houses in the world it was a stint at Lacoste that gave Paris-born Cheyma her interest in sportswear.
Look out for: Outerwear with a fun, feminine spin.
BIJA Jewels - The label’s designer Simräl was born and raised in the Netherlands where her passion for making jewellery started during her University studies. After establishing herself firmly within the Dutch jewellery sector, she quickly gained a strong regional following.
Look out for: High-quality materials with an Arabic touch.
AZRA - This born-in-Dubai accessories label designed by Azra Khamissa celebrates minimalism and is handmade by local leather craftsmen. Founded in 2015 premium leather styles are their main USP.
Look out for: Luxury leather bracelets and more.
ANAYA - Launched in Dubai in 2011 this contemporary womenswear label has gone from strength-to-strength. Founder and designer Chathuri Samaraweera’s work reflects an artistic yet practical aesthetic with a focus on sharp silhouettes and architectural hemlines.
Look out for: Slick jumpsuits and work-to-dancefloor pieces.
ABED MAHFOUZ - Known for his love of detail and femininity the Lebanese designer showcased his first Couture collection during Fashion Week in Rome in 2002, "Alta Roma" and was one of the first Lebanese designers to join Alta Roma, continuing to showcase his Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter Couture collections there.
Look out for: Incredible gowns worthy of a red carpet.
SHVET - Launched by siblings Shweta Golechha and Saurabh Sukhani the brand combines fashion and artistic influences into a refined jewellery collection. Fusing traditional adroit hand techniques with art and sterling silver the result is a collection that pushes boundaries.
Look out for: Pearl encrusted earrings and
Shvet takes part in the best of fashion and lifestyle exhibitions across the country and is ready to dazzle the globe with its creative instinct.
SAM JEWELS - The CEO and founder Sabrina Mittler has been working in the jewellery and accessory business since the age of 18. After gaining work experience with a goldsmith, the German designer uses photography and art as huge aspects of her brand.
Look out for: Standout gold accessories with an oriental influence.
BY SADEEM - An advocate of sustainable design, pret-a-couture Saudi Designer Sadeem embraces ethical practices, collaborating with companies that share the same principles. Sadeem’s fabrics are non-toxic and are sourced from companies that employ sustainable practices. A core value of the brand is to provide fashion that has a positive impact on the global environment and society.
Look out for: Gorgeous prints and silky soft fabrics.
ROYALED By RH - Seasonless and timeless are the two characteristics of all Renad Hefni’s designs. The young Saudi visionary uses her garments to empower women and allow them to let their individuality shine with confidence.
Look out for: Bold colours and out-of-the-box designs.
RONY EL HELOU - Roni Helou won first place at a national fashion design competition hosted by Persil in 2014 and as a result, he was sent to Milan to participate in a workshop at the Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti. In 2017 the designer was selected by Starch foundation to launch his brand and showcase his first collection at the Starch foundation’s shop at Saifi Village, cementing his position in the fashion scene.
Look out for: A great use of draping and elegant skirts.
LYA LYA - Embodying elegance with an edge, Layla Shugri, was inspired by the vulture and its physical characteristics for her latest creations. The result is a collection of darker, more off-beat shapes from the brand that allow women to show off their creative side.
Look out for: Raw, gothic-inspired elements.
JUDE BENHALIM - The young, Cairo-based jewellery designer founded her namesake brand at just 17 years old with her mother and partner, Rana Al Azm. Constantly pushing herself creatively the young talented designer cites her clients as her main inspiration.
Look out for: Lots of detailed silver necklaces and rock ‘n’ roll rings.