International experts in the fashion design sector confirmed the existence of a remarkable development in the fashion industry at the level of the Gulf and Middle East region. Noting that the facilities and support provided by the GCC governments for the growth and escalation of this sector allows for many emerging youth innovators make their way towards professionalism.
Speakers at the Global Women Virtual Fashion Forum & Show, organized by Medpoint virtually for the second year in a row under the title of sustainability, addressed the growing opportunities for the fashion design sector in the Middle East countries, highlighting the close ties to their cultural heritage and social identity. The conference is hosted from the Bahraini capital, Manama, covering the various sectors of women’s fashion including research, creativity, product development, manufacturing and supplies.
Sheikha Noora bint Khalifa Al Khalifa, chairperson of Medpoint Events Management Company, expressed her pride in the rich participation of many inspiring women personalities from different countries of the world, stressing the keenness of the Kingdom of Bahrain represented by the Supreme Council for Women under the leadership of Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, wife of His Majesty the King, President of the Supreme Council for Women, for supporting women at various levels, including the artistic and cultural sectors such as the fashion design.
Sheikha Noora extended her thanks and appreciation to all the supporters of the virtual conference and exhibition, including officials, sponsors, inspiring women entrepreneurs and international designers, noting the success of the conference’s aim to encourage women and develop their capabilities and skills by giving professional speakers the opportunity to share their rich ideas and experiences.
The conference sessions dealt with several views, including the role of women leaders in supporting talented young women, and the responsibilities placed on chambers of commerce and women’s associations in supporting the youth and retail trade in the field of fashion during this pandemic.
Mrs. Batool Dadabhai, founder of the “Affinity” group and member of the Board of Directors of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that the Chamber, which was established in 1939, has been the main representative of the private sector in the Kingdom of Bahrain and the voice of the financial and business community with its various activities and sectors for more than 80 years.
Mrs. Batool noted the chamber’s leading role in serving the commercial and industrial sectors in the Kingdom of Bahrain, recalling a wide number of initiatives and steps taken to support women in light of the pandemic, such as supporting small and medium enterprises. As a fashion designer, Mrs. Batool constantly advised fashion designers to provide customers with a luxurious shopping experience by adding special touches to designs.
Queen Diambi Kabatusuila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo stated that fashion is a wonderful thing to follow personally, and said that she participates in several projects related to fashion, which are not only limited to job opportunities and new projects to earn a living, but also expresses the culture of the country. She added that it is important for her to highlight cultural diversity because of the underrepresentation of African cultural heritage in the fashion sector. The Queen stressed the importance of preserving diversity and African identity, as well as involving women in all artistic and technical aspects in the fashion industry.
Ms. Manizha Waqoq, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Afghanistan, said that the Chamber was established 4 years ago and that it’s field of fashion industry in Afghanistan depends largely on the employment of handicrafts, such as embroidery, in modern oriental designs. The pandemic has surprised Afghanistan, which does not have the basics of digital marketing on a global level, representing a great loss and a huge barrier to Afghan handicrafts.
Dr. Amani Asfour, President of the International Federation of Business and Professional Women in the Arab Republic of Egypt, said that 37% of fashion designers in the world are women. She pointed out the need to educate fashion designers about marketing techniques and demanded more laws that are in the interest of women. She also pointed out the importance of competition and standardization which determines the entry of local commercial projects to global markets. Dr. Amani mentioned the mineral wealth in Africa that is exported abroad as raw materials, and added that Africa should teach African women to convert these minerals into jewelry in order to empower them.
The new virtual version of the conference is filled with important and rich activities, as it continues until tomorrow, 8th July 2021, where the conference and the accompanying exhibition allows designers from around the world to display their unique collections and their latest innovations in the fashion world. Allowing them to present their creativity to a wide range of global audiences interested in the fashion industry.
It is sponsored and supported by a number of national and Gulf institutions, led by the Royal University for Women and the French Institute of Fashion in Dubai, Lulu Hypermarket, in addition to the Chambers of Commerce in Sharjah, Ajman and Afghanistan as supporting partners, and a number of businesswomen’s councils in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Ajman.