There’s a trend of supporting emerging talent bubbling up in the region where Middle Eastern designers are breaking out across the global fashion scene. As the 2017 DDFC/Vogue Fashion Prize nomination applications are now open and with Dubai-based designer Amira Haroon winning the DDFC x FAD Dubai Fashion Showcase, the time is ripe for brands and designers to make some noise on the world’s fashion stage.
Case in point: the Middle East’s first fashion institute, Esmod Dubai, has joined forces with Syrian couturier Rami Al Ali to give young, aspiring fashion designers a unique internship opportunity. The collaboration, which supports young talent in the region, invites undergraduate students to develop their very own capsule collections with the aim of winning an internship experience at Rami Al Ali’s Jumeirah atelier. The opportunity includes designing a collection that is to be sold exclusively at Pôlette Concept Store in City Walk, Dubai, this September.
“This is a great initiative to help the next generation of fantastic designers. Having them experience what we do on a daily basis is great for both the student and our team, as we also get a fresh mind coming into the company with ideas,” Al Ali tells Vogue Arabia. As for his role in the initiative, Al Ali explains, “I will be helping the student with their own three-piece capsule collection, which is slightly different from them helping us with our collections. However, it will be exactly the same process as what we do each season.”
Iconic names across the industry began with internships, from Karl Lagerfeld’s mentorship with Pierre Balmain to Azzedine Alaïa working as tailleur at Christian Dior. “An internship is the perfect way to gain industry experience in the real world, so making the most of it is very important,” says Al Ali. “Absorb every bit of information and don’t be afraid to ask questions. You’re here to learn, and do every task with enthusiasm. It will definitely leave a lasting positive impression.” As for the qualities he looks for in a winner? “Being driven, great team player, and having a positive attitude.”