Fashion Trust Arabia’s (FTA) annual awards returned last night with a glittering gala bringing together attendees from around the world in Doha. Aiming to support emerging designers, the Qatari nonprofit organization dedicates USD $200,000 every year with an exclusive mentorship program by Matchesfashion.com.
This year, the organization received more than 800 applicants, competing for five awards: Ready-to-Wear, Eveningwear, Jewelry, Accessories, and Guest Country. With the presence of HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Honorary Chair of FTA, and co-chairs HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani and Tania Fares, the advisory board and jury included renowned industry figures Elie Saab, Zuhair Murad, Olivier Rousteing, Natalia Vodianova, Virgil Abloh, Alexa Chung, and more. In attendance at the National Museum of Qatar were Naomi Campbell, Pierpaolo Piccioli, Gillian Anderson, Afef Jnifen, Farida Khelfa, and Irina Shayk.
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The first award of the night, for the Eveningwear category, was given to Moroccan designer Mohamed Benchellal‘s eponymous couture label by HH Sheikha Moza. The 2020 Vogue Fashion Prize winner is known for his glamorous designs with sustainability at their core. The Ready-to-Wear award was received by Iraqi designer Zaid Affas, after competing with finalists including Cynthia Merhej and Lama Jouni. Emirati designer Alia Bin Omair was given the Jewelry Award, while Algerian eyewear designer Bilal Fellah won the Accessories Award; designer and founder of El Tayeb Nation AbdelGader El Tayeb Al Sadig won Debut Talent, and the handcrafted garments designer Agustin Nicolas Rivero won in the Guest Country category. Jordanian-Romanian footwear designer Amina Muaddi was also honored with the Entrepreneur of the Year Award by Abloh.
Powered by the BFC Fashion Trust, Fashion Trust Arabia was launched in 2018 under the patronage of HH Sheikha Moza, and HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani and Tania Fares. Aiming to empower ambitious regional designers and talents, the organization is revered worldwide for providing financial support and mentorship programs.