THE VIEW: Firras Alwahabi

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::photo_caption::Firras Alwahabi, founder of Faux Consultancy::/photo_caption::

Dubai-based fashion mogul and founder of emerging designer-focused Faux Consultancy, Firras Alwahabi, on representing a new breed of Middle Eastern designer.

By Claire Carruthers
Sep 02, 2013

What aesthetic traits do you see in a lot of Middle Eastern designers specifically – do they have a signature in common?
Many designers in the region gravitate towards occasion wear, using opulent fabrics and feminine silhouettes; I think, as a result of the lifestyle in this part of the world.

How do you spot if an emerging designer has potential career longevity?
It’s normally easy to tell actually. The designers that approach us and have their production organized, follow international market dates and have some form of a business plan, are already more likely to enjoy a successful career.

What do you think of the fashion scene in Dubai, in terms of its value to the global market?
I think the fashion scene here is developing; there are a handful of designers that could potentially break into the international market. If you had asked me this two years ago, that would not have been the case. What I find so ironic is that designers in the West actively try to break into this region, whilst regional designers are so quick to want to expand to the Western market.

Who, in your mind, are some of the most exciting regional designers at the moment? And what sets them apart?
Madiyah Al Sharqi, Endemage, Dima Ayad and Maryam Omaira are redefining evening wear with their silhouettes and fabrics. Mochi has created a whole new concept with its embroidery focus at an accessible price point. And Bleach has completely redefined the abaya.

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