On Wednesday, Vogue Arabia announced the 2017 DDFC/Vogue Fashion Prize, where emerging Arab designers across ready-to-wear, accessories, and now, fine jewelry will present designs to a jury, including Vogue Arabia editor-in-chief, Manuel Arnaut, Anya Ziourova, Reem Acra, and Aquazzura’s Edgardo Osorio. See the full jury list here. The winners will receive a financial production grant, retail distribution, mentorship from the selection committee and a Vogue ad campaign for Spring 2018, valued at more than US $250,000.
Last year’s initiative saw UAE-based ready-to-wear brand Reemami and Egypt-based accessories label Okhtein win in the ready-to-wear and accessories categories, respectively. “Winning last year’s Fashion Prize was the experience of a lifetime,” Aya Abdelraouf of Okhtein says to Vogue Arabia. “It’s the moment we had been anticipating since the launch of Okhtein – to be given recognition for doing what we love. We were truly honored to win this prize. Not only did it help the brand flourish, it helped us grow as designers too.” Okhtein has just opened its first boutique in Cairo, and is a go-to brand for celebrities including Gigi Hadid, Izabel Goulart, and Olivia Culpo. Here, Aya and Mounaz Abdelraouf of Okhtein share their winning tips for flourishing in the 2017 DDFC/Vogue Fashion Prize contest:
#1: All criticism is constructive. Have an open mind to push your brand forward.
#2: Stay calm throughout the entire experience so you can enjoy it and overcome any stress.
#3: When presenting, share your story like you’re speaking to a friend. Don’t get intimidated.
#4: Spread love and positivity to the other contestants. You’ll learn a lot from them.
#5: Keep it real.
2017 Fashion Prize applications are now open online.