Marking its 70th anniversary, the house of Dior rolled out its 12-month initiative to empower women in the workplace quite aptly on International Women’s Day on March 8 and has since seen a flurry of supporting events take place worldwide. Dubai was also in the fold for the program, which is spearheaded by creatives from Dior’s own ranks mentoring female students across key fashion cities. At the last high-profile event by Dior Middle East in Dubai, the brand’s beauty ambassador Bella Hadid was in attendance for the opening of the Dior: The Art of Color exhibition at the Fashion Catwalk Atrium in The Dubai Mall. Clearly, the UAE fashion capital is firmly on the Parisian label’s list of cities to tap, considering this female empowerment project only listed 10 cities – including Tokyo, London, and Paris – with Dubai being pride of place among its checklist.
The exclusive Middle Eastern event was hosted at Vogue Café in The Dubai Mall and saw six professionals from Dior Middle East across categories including retailing, HR, and PR representing their career trajectories. The event played host to a group of students, six of whom are studying at the Canadian University of Dubai. From enjoying high tea to in-depth talks from the Dior team, the students gained insights into the working world of high fashion. On the mentoring team was senior PR Sandra Abi Chahine. “I am so proud to be one of the mentors selected for Women @ Dior,” Abi Chahine told Vogue Arabia. “Empowering young ladies to dream big and not give up on their ambitions is extremely important, especially in a region where women are sometimes expected to compromise their careers.”
The project certainly made fashion news the world over and may not come as such a surprise, considering the maison‘s appointment of its first female creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri. Chiuri marked her debut ready-to-wear collection for the Spring 2017 season and included a T-shirt emblazoned with the slogan “We Should All Be Feminists” that quickly garnered a cult following among A-list circles. The quote is inspired by author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book of the same name, and has since been worn by Rihanna, Natalie Portman, and regional street style mavens Karen Wazen Bakhazi and Lana El Sahely. We anticipate more girl power to exude from the storied fashion house come the fashion month ahead.
“No one should wake up to a job they hate,” Abi Chahine added. “I am a big believer in dream jobs and through this mentorship program I am given the chance to guide a young lady into finding hers.” While you may have missed the chance to partake in the program, you can step inside its debut Dubai event here and see how the mentors gave the students a taste of working in fashion’s fast lane (with macaroons aplenty). Click through the gallery above to see highlights from the Dior Middle East Dubai event.
Vogue Cafe is located at Level Shoe District in The Dubai Mall. Lead image: Christian Dior Fall 2017. Indigital