fta1 1636403354

Fashion Trust Arabia Announces 2021 Prize Winners

New York, London, Milan, and Paris were once considered the only capitals in which great style could be found. With the ever-increasing globalization of the fashion industry, however, this antiquated notion is falling by the wayside and emerging designers in once overshadowed corners of the globe are finally getting their due.

One hub on the horizon is the Middle Eastern and North African region (MENA), thanks in part to the hard work of the Fashion Trust Arabia (FTA). Established in 2018 by honorary chair Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser alongside co-chairs Her Excellency Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani and Tania Fares, the not-for-profit organization seeks to cultivate a thriving fashion community in MENA by offering young designers an international platform on which to showcase their work. One of these programs is the FTA Prize.

On November 3, the FTA hosted its third-annual awards ceremony, granting six winners $200,000 as well as a one-year partnership with luxury e-tailer MatchesFashion.com and access to mentorship from FTA affiliates. This year’s ceremony took place at the National Museum in Doha, Qatar—the first in-person FTA event since the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the fashion industry at large.

fashion trust arabia judgment day 2021

Fashion Trust Arabia 2021 Judgment Day

AISHA ALMUSALLAM

The winners of the FTA Prize were carefully selected during a showcase event by a jury of elites that included ELLE’s own editor-in-chief Nina Garcia, stylist Law Roach, fashion designer Gabriela Hearst, and chief commercial officer of MatchesFashion.com Elizabeth van der Goltz. Presented by model Irina Shayk and Al Jazeera TV host Fairouz Ziane, the awards ceremony was just as star-studded: attendees included Naomi Campbell, Virgil Abloh, Pierpaolo Piccioli, Catherine Deneuve, Waris Ahluwalia, Farida Khelfa, Carine Roitfeld, Elie Saab, Juergen Teller, and Afef Jnifen.

Amina Muaddi, a Jordanian designer whose eponymous shoe line amassed a cult-like following, received the first installment of the Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Aimed at celebrating Arab entrepreneurship with global impact, this award fits Muaddi like Cinderella’s glass slipper (or the designer’s now-iconic Begum pumps). Her sexy candy-colored stilettos, which often feature whimsical details such as Swarovski crystals and feather embellishment, have inspired shoe-envy the world over.

Much like Muaddi’s shoes, the work of the six FTA prize winners below is sure to be spotted everywhere in no time. Good fashion, after all, does not stay secret for long. Although their upbringings are as varied as their design aesthetics, what these individuals share is a perspective that could only be found in the MENA area.

fashion trust arabia prize 202 awards ceremony

Fashion Trust Arabia Prize 202 Awards Ceremony

Dave Benett

Zaid Affas: Ready-to-Wear designer winner

This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Born in Kuwait, Affas immigrated to Great Britain at the age of ten where he received a degree in Menswear from the prestigious Central Saint Martins college. Affas lived in cities as far reaching as New York, Milan, and Ximena, China, before moving to Los Angeles to establish his brand in 2014. His work takes a global approach, fusing rigorous tailoring from London’s Savile Row with more fluid, organic shapes signature to his hometown. The clash between masculine and feminine brings striking tension to his collection. Affas’ creations are suited to the woman who needs a rotation of goes-with-everything hero pieces to outfit her transatlantic lifestyle.

Benchellal: Evening Wear designer winner

This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Moroccan designer Mohammed Benchellal made a career out of show-stopping evening wear that can out-rival even the most storied of French couture houses. His label, based in Amsterdam, emphasizes sustainable production methods to boot. Often making use of recycled or deadstock fabrics, Benchallal breathes new life into these materials with self-taught techniques. His collections often feature monastic silhouettes, punchy colors, and a healthy splash of bows and frills for added whimsy. He counts Helena Christensen and Camila Cabello as clients and caters to a bevy of well-heeled women in need of modestgowns that comply with modesty restrictions.

Port Tanger: Accessories designer winner

This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Port Tanger is an eyewear brand steeped in Arabic tradition, creating objects that hold value far beyond their practical use. To create the collection, designer Bilal Fellah calls upon his childhood memories from Tangier, the Moroccan city after which the brand is named. Each pair of covetable sunnies evokes the curvaceous lines of Moorish architecture. By sticking to a sumptuous palette of brown, pink, and yellow hues, Fellah’s offering will whisk you away to a sun-drenched riad. Aside from providing structural support, the six points that appear on either side of the frames, a Port Tanger signature, form arrows that are a symbolic reminder to appreciate the past and cherish the present.

Alia Bin Omair: Jewelry designer winner

This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

A member of The Cultural Office Women’s Creative Network and a board member for the jewelry sector at Sharjah Business Women Council, Emirati jeweler Alia Bin Omair is a champion for female-driven design in the Middle East. Bin Omair, a Dubai native, sources materials from the United Arab Emirates in an effort to celebrate the area’s cultural heritage. She fuses an eye for the contemporary with respect for the traditional, imbuing every piece in her collection with a timeless quality that ensures they will become cherished family heirlooms. Bin Omair’s Satami collection, for example, features rubies and golden disks reminiscent of the traditional coin necklaces worn by Emirati elders.

El Tayeb Nation: Franca Sozzani Debut Talent Award

This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

French-Sudanese designer Abdel El Tayeb is no stranger to the upper-echelons of fashion. After completing his studies at the Olivier de Serres school in Paris and later the La Cambre Mode[s] in Brussels, El Tayeb gained industry experience at prestigious brands such as Maison Margiela and Bottega Veneta. He physically weaves his own identity into the garments he creates, developing intricate and innovative textiles that stem from the rich traditions of his native Sudan. El Tayeb’s bold use of color and embellishment is only matched by the couture-like structures that feature prominently in his collections. With this seamless blend of African and European sensibilities, the designer’s “nation” is one that knows no borders and represents a uniquely modern way of dressing.

A New Cross: Guest Country Award

This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Agustín Nicolás of A New Cross champions a minimalist ethos. The Columbian designer’s lineup of unisex pieces are stripped down to the essential, leaving room for the wearer to experiment with and assert their identity. Like a hug from a loved one, silhouettes wrap and support the body in a sensual manner. For Nicolás, tactility is prescient as fabrics are handwoven in Columbia and represent the ties that bind a community: warp and weft rely on one another to create something stronger than their individual parts. Ensuring his pieces are ethically produced, the designer uses his collections as a means to uplift urban and rural communities in Colombia and ensure the survival of Colombian artistry. A New Cross is slow-fashion at its finest.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *