The 13 finalists for the 2017 DDFC/Vogue Fashion Prize have been selected. Following a vote by a jury comprising senior executives from Vogue Arabia, the Dubai Design & Fashion Council, and both the regional and international fashion community, five ready-to-wear designers, five accessories designers, and three high jewelry designers have been chosen from a pool of more than 100 applicants from 13 countries across the region.
The first of its kind in the Middle East, the Fashion Prize endowment was launched in 2015 to support regional designers by offering a global platform for emerging talent. “Investing in emerging talent is one of Vogue Arabia’s most important goals,” said Vogue Arabia’s Editor-in-Chief, Manuel Arnaut. “Through programs such as the Fashion Prize, we’re able to showcase our region’s budding talents, now including the high jewelry category, and to highlight the Arab world’s potential on a global stage. Our inspirational selection committee will also help to expand the awareness of these young brands.”
Thirteen of the region’s rising designers will now compete for the 2017 DDFC/Vogue Fashion Prize. The winners of the ready-to-wear, accessories, and high jewelry categories will share an endowment valued at more than US $250,000. The prize includes a financial production grant, retail distribution from partners including Harvey Nichols – Dubai and Bloomingdale’s Kuwait, substantial media coverage from Vogue Arabia and other publications, mentorship from the selection committee, and a Vogue ad campaign for the Spring 2018 launch. The three winners will be announced at a gala event in November.
Jazia Aldanhani, CEO of the Dubai Design & Fashion Council, said: “The Dubai Design & Fashion Council is committed to encouraging and supporting designers in the region to further elevate and develop the design industry. We’re excited for another edition of the DDFC/Vogue Fashion Prize, a successful initiative that is testimony to the incredible talent of our community. We wish our finalists the best of luck.”
Below, Vogue.me reveals the 2017 DDFC/Vogue Fashion Prize ready-to-wear, accessory, and high jewelry design finalists. Head to www.fashionprize.com for in-depth coverage and to follow each designer’s journey through the competition, or on social media at the #FashionPrize hashtag. Good luck to all of the finalists!
Ready-to-Wear Finalist Faissal El-Malak: Hailing from Palestine, the Dubai-based designer incorporates various crafts from different Arab countries into his designs.
Ready-to-Wear Finalist FMM Dubai: Fatma Al Mulla is an Emirati visual artist and designer who combines pop culture with Arabic tradition in a quirky and coveted way. She launched FMM in 2012 with a line of T-shirts.
Ready-to-Wear Finalist Lama Jouni: Having gained experience at Rad Hourani and Balmain before heading up her own eponymous label, Lebanese Lama Jouni is known for her minimal and practical aesthetic.
Ready-to-Wear Finalist Twisted Roots: Latifa AlGurg is an electric-engineer-turned-designer from the UAE. AlGurg, who launched Twisted Roots in 2015, is inspired by travel, incorporating it into each of her collections.
Ready-to-Wear Finalist Nour Najem: Born and raised in Beirut, Nour Najem launched her fashion label in 2013 after working for Lebanese designers Elie Saab and Rabih Kayrouz.
Accessories Finalist Alia bin Omair: Alia Bin Omair launched her eponymous contemporary jewelry label in 2015. The designer, who was born and raised in Dubai, seeks to combine art and fashion into luxurious wearable pieces.
Accessories Finalist LaLaQueen: LaLaQueen is a contemporary Middle Eastern handbag label based in Beirut. Headed by Lebanese designer Sally Sarieddine, it is best known for its iconic Dr Bag. Sarieddine sees sustainability as a major focus as the company continues to go from strength to strength.
Accessories Finalist Liudmila: Najeeba Hayat is a Kuwaiti accessories designer who launched her own line of ‘Birthday Shoes’ made to, “surprise and delight without moving into the realm of obvious sexy or kitsch,” said Hayat. At 21-years-old, Hayat’s collections thus far have been inspired by everything from the mermaid lagoon in Peter Pan to Iranian artist Mahmoud Farshchian.
Accessories Finalist Hooked | HKD: Lebanese fine jewelry designer Farah Nasri launched Hooked in 2013. Her background in architecture fosters a design aesthetic that stands out for its sculptural shapes that challenge conventional ways of wearing jewelry. Nasri is a returning finalist, having taking part in the 2016 DDFC/Vogue Fashion Prize.
Accessories Finalist Joanna Laura Constantine: Lebanese designer Joanna Laura Constantine’s fascination with fashion, jewelry, and accessories drove her to the Parsons School of Design, where she obtained a degree in Fashion Design before launching her eponymous line of jewelry in 2010.
High Jewelry Finalist Nadine Ghosn Fine Jewelry: Lebanese-American Nadine Ghosn’s passion for jewelry was fueled by her time at luxury French maison Hermès, which led to the launch of her namesake label. The brand has found fans among the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Rihanna, Beyoncé, and Pharrell Williams to name a few.
High Jewelry Finalist Gafla: Gafla is the brainchild of Hamad bin Shaiban, Abdulla BelJafla, and Bushra bint Darwish. Drawing inspiration from their shared Emirati heritage, the designers tell a story with each stand-out, hand-made collection.
High Jewelry Finalist Nuun Jewels: Born and raised in Saudi Arabia, HRH Nourah Al Faisal launched her fine jewelry label Nuun Jewels in 2014 in a Paris boutique to showcase her geometric designs crafted with precious stones and gems.
Editor’s Note: Due to unforeseen personal circumstances, Gaelle Khouri has stepped down from the 2017 DDFC/Vogue Fashion Prize. Gafla Jewellery will instead be a competing finalist within the High Jewelry category.