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Fourteen of the Middle East’s best-known design houses have confirmed their participation in the inaugural Fashion Forward (FFWD) event, taking place 26-29 April 2013 at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai. Additional designers, including event ambassadors, are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

Couture, ready-to-wear, and menswear are all key elements of the fashion presentations at Fashion Forward, as designers based in Beirut, Dubai, Kuwait, and Riyadh have shown firm commitment to the region’s fashion incubation platform – Fashion Forward. To finalize the schedule for Fashion Forward’s first season, the event’s creators are currently in discussions with both established and emerging designers from across the Middle East for the limited number of presentation spots still available.

Initial participants in Fashion Forward include:

Ayesha Depala – Ready-to-wear, couture, and bridal designer whose quality, detailed designs appeal to modern women.
C’est Moi! – The exquisite brand with the vision of catering to glamorous women of all shapes and sizes, enabling all types of bold women to experience the timeless pieces inspired by the designers. http://cestmoime.com/thehouse.html
Dina Jsr – Cocktail and evening gowns from a Lebanese designer celebrating elegant women and their fashion choices. http://www.dinajsr.com.
Emperor 1688 – An innovative luxury menswear brand that prides itself on using the finest fibers and fabrics. http://www.theemperor1688.com/
Essa – UAE-based ready-to-wear designer gracing the limbs of the Middle East’s most elegant women and men.
Ezra – Dubai-based atelier creating dreamy, extravagant couture for an international clientele. http://www.ezrafashiondesign.com/
Furne One – Dubai-based designer and celebrity favorite on the global fashion stage. http://amatohautecouture.com/
Golkar Couture – Luxurious design masterpieces are the hallmark of this atelier in the Emirates, which focus on the quality of the fabric and its movement.
KAGE – A contemporary womenswear fashion label, whose designs embody effortless chic and a playful way of life. http://www.bykage.com/
Michael Cinco – Dubai-based designer best known for his fabulous gowns, demonstrating innate creativity and masterful technique. http://www.michaelcinco.com/
Rami Al Ali – Syrian-born, international couturier combining Eastern femininity with Western elegance. http://www.ramialali.com/
Ronald –Pret a Porter, couture and bridal creations from one of Lebanon’s most versatile and creative designers. http://www.ronaldabdala.com
Tahir Sultan – Kuwaiti womenswear designer whose luxurious pieces are stocked in Dubai, India, the UK and worldwide. http://www.tahirsultan.com/
Zayan – Multifaceted designer whose ready-to-wear collection is dangerously flirtatious and determinedly girly. http://zayan.com/


In addition to confirming a constellation of regional fashion stars, Fashion Forward’s organizers are finalizing a comprehensive education programme in collaboration with leading global fashion institutions, as well as support from a range of hand-selected sponsoring brands. The inaugural event in April will feature panel discussions and a diverse schedule of interactive sessions enabling aspiring and existing fashion industry professionals to learn firsthand about current trends within the sector.