Guests snap a selfie at Fashion Forward Dubai's Paris showroom


Fashion Forward Dubai returned to Paris with a second edition of their fashion week showroom to showcase Middle Eastern designers.

Fourteen emerging brands from the region — or with a regional connection — met with buyers and press from March 2 to 6 in a suite at the InterContinental Paris Le Grand hotel.

The brands were a mix of returning labels that had attended the inaugural event last season and new additions to the lineup.

“We want people to get a taste of the variety of Middle Eastern fashion, but it’s also important for buyers to see that consistency,” said Ramzi Nakad, cofounder and chief operating officer of Fashion Forward.

The voice of the Middle East’s nascent fashion scene is getting stronger every year, according to Nakad.

“Before we had seen a lot of designers let go of their Middle Eastern ethos and try to become more Western,” he said. “Now we see more designers who are taking the region’s rich history and culture and using it to tell a story that is relevant and accessible today.”

Syrian-born eveningwear designer Rami Al Ali, whose clothes are stocked at high-end department stores in the Middle East including Galeries Lafayette Dubai and Harvey Nichols Dubai, was one of the more established brands on the docket. The brand is also sold in the U.S. by e-tailer Moda Operandi.

Lebanese designer Lama Jouni, who founded her brand in Paris in 2013, represented one of the younger designers who is not based in the Middle East but has a strong regional connection.

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