DOHA, QATAR - MARCH 28:  Olivier Rousteing and Victoria Beckham attend the Fashion Trust Arabia Prize Judging Day on March 28, 2019 in Doha, Qatar.  (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Fashion Trust Arabia)

LONDON — Fashion Trust Arabia is postponing its 2021 awards ceremony, which was set to take place next month in Doha, Qatar, until November due to ongoing travel restrictions from COVID-19.

The FTA Prize was created to support up-and-coming and established fashion designers in the region.

In 2020, FTA held a digital event due to regional lockdowns and travel restrictions, and the 2021 event was originally going to be part-live, part-digital with a 3D virtual reality experience.  

Industry figures from across the world had been asked to take part physically in Doha, or virtually. The FTA had also invited Colombia to be part of the initiative as part of a partnership aimed at highlighting the country’s design talent.

But the organizers have decided to wait, and ensure this year’s event can be 100 percent live.

Tania Fares, co-chair of FTA, said the March awards gathering would have been too risky and complicated, “but now, with the vaccine rolling out, we’ll hopefully be able to host the live event in November.”

Fares said a live event is important as the designers, who are mainly based in the Middle East and North Africa, are able to connect face-to-face with industry figures and journalists whom they would not otherwise have the chance to meet. 

“The whole point is to connect people, and we want the designers to have as much exposure as possible to the industry. They get so much out of it,” added Fares.

Until then, FTA said it would continue to highlight fashion, and emerging designers’ work, on its new website, fashiontrustarabia.com. The site includes the FTA Pulse editorial platform, which will aim to showcase Arab fashion in the wider sense with business information, features and interviews.

FTA Pulse will also provide commentary, three times a week, in the form of features and regular items. It will be supported with a biweekly newsletter for subscribers.

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