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The Emperor 1688

United Arab Emirates

Since initially launching their brand, Dubai-based brothers Babak, Haman, and Farhan Golkar have been making the most of their education from the UK’s best fashion schools: Central Saint Martins, London College of Fashion, and Chelsea College of Art. The sharp tailoring and clean-cut designs in their menswear collections earned them a spot as finalists in the International Woolmark Prize. Apart from having an international clientele, which includes musicians Robin Thicke and Timbaland, the brand has also been featured in a number of international publications, such as CNN, BBC, Sky News, and GQ.

The Emperor 1688 debuted its womenswear during the first season of Fashion Forward in 2013, introducing jackets and shorts inspired by a man’s closet. The collection received positive reviews and led the designers to invest more time in the women’s collections. Sourcing inspiration from classical architecture, world culture, and traditional English tailoring, the designers aim to produce pieces for the contemporary urban woman.


1. What does the – DDFC Fashion Prize mean to you?

To be based in the Middle East and operate our brand from this region is an honor for us. This prize will not only recognize our brand, but also our determination to be part of the fashion industry in the Middle East.

2. What message are you trying to convey with your designs?

Cut and quality are at the forefront of our design process. To be able to alter a woman’s self-esteem and confidence with what she wears is a great responsibility and privilege.

3. Why do you think that you are best-suited to win the Fashion Prize?

Over the years, we have stayed true to our brand’s roots in Dubai. We continually showcase our fashion shows in the region and are determined to demonstrate that the Middle East is a place of great beauty. This prize will launch us as an international business, helping us carry our message to all corners of the globe.

4. Which designer most inspires you?

All three of us have very unique inspirations; Babak is inspired by Alexander McQueen, Farhan loves the story and evolution of Givenchy, and Haman likes the quality of products produced by brands like Brioni and Hermès.

The Emperor 1688

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