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Exclusive: Fashion Trust Arabia announces first round of judges for inaugural prize

Exclusive: Fashion Trust Arabia announces first round of judges for inaugural prize

Supporting Middle Eastern talent

Text: Maddison Glendinning


In some of the most exciting regional news this year, Fashion Trust Arabia is making its way to our shores with a host of international heavyweights...

There are times when news lands on our desks that has us fistpumping the air in excitement, and the launch of Fashion Trust Arabia (FTA) is one such story. March 2019 will mark the very first Fashion Trust Arabia Prize, awarded to one Middle Eastern designer by a panel of esteemed industry experts. Developed under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser (who is also FTA's Honourable Chair) and co-chaired by Her Excellency Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani, the non-profit organisation is the brainchild of Tania Fares. Born in Lebanon and now based in London, Tania is the Founder of Fashion Trust, which first came under the umbrella of the British Fashion Council. Now, Tania has set her sights on the Middle East and has wrangled a top tier team of industry experts as judges for the inaugural FTA prize. 

There will be 15 judges in total and we can exclusively reveal the first seven today, with the following eight to be announced in the coming weeks. The judging panel will include Valentino's Pierpaolo Piccioli, Balmain's Olivier Rousteing, Zuhair Murad, Haider Ackermann, Natalia Vodianova, Sara Sozzani Maino and Matchesfashion.com's Co-Founder and Executive Chairman Ruth Chapman. The judges will assess a shortlist of designers in March 2019, each of whom will present their collections before the panel, before deciding upon the winner. The winner will receive prize money, as well as invaluable mentoring from FTA's esteemed executive council which includes Nez Gebreel, The Modist's Founder Ghizlan Guenez, Reem Acra, Caroline Issa and more. 

The prize is open to all womenswear designers in the MENA region across eveningwear, ready-to-wear, accessories (shoes and bags) and jewellery and applications, available in both English and Arabic, are open now until the end of January 2019. 

In a release, FTA describes the prize as offering emerging talent "a one-of-a kind opportunity... that will propel careers and bring global awareness to the region's fast-growing fashion industry." 

The Middle East's fashion industry has boomed in recent years and the announcement of the prize serves to further cement its credibility on the international scene. It provides designers with unprecedented opportunity for success and the chance to have their works viewed by some of the biggest names in the industry. Matchesfashion.com will also partner with FTA to help mentor and support the finalists and ultimate winner. 

To apply or for more information on the FTA and the prize, visit Fashiontrustarabiaprize.com

Now, see our exclusive preview of Kage's debut Resort 2019 collection

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