Top 6 designers to watch for at Fashion Forward 2016

With such a busy fashion schedule in Dubai, and so many rival events going on, it is easy to lose track of the wealth of talent on display. At Fashion Forward Dubai (FFWD) this weekend, however, the industry crowd will be watching the designers closely. Sarah Maisey gives us a rundown of the key names to keep an eye on.

Taller Marmo

For veterans of FFWD, the partnership of Riccardo Audisio and Yago Goicoechea offers a fresh take on womenswear. Last year they were awarded the International Woolmark Womenswear Prize for India, Pakistan and the Middle East. For those not in the know, this is the same Woolmark Prize that helped to launch the careers of Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld.

Thursday, March 31, 6pm, Hall 3

Kristina Fidelskaya

Powerful femininity is the best way to describe Fidelskaya’s style. Trained at Esmod, this Dubai-based designer blends European sensibilities with vintage silhouettes and flowing fabrics. The highlight of the new collection promises to be her chic dress coats.

Thursday, March 31, 10pm, Hall 1


This French-Algerian abaya label offers sophisticated pieces that would be at home at the chicest of Parisian soirées. While adhering to the core elements of the abaya, designer Faiza Bouguessa creates long, clean silhouettes that are futuristic, yet echo the elegance of the 1930s. An interesting label to watch.

Friday, April 1, 10.30pm, Hall 3

Bint Thani

A local success story, Bint Thani is both the first Emirati to graduate from Esmod and the first to represent the UAE at the Fashion Showcase during London Fashion Week. Her pieces are known for a strong approach to structure and colour, with past collections offering exaggerated shoulders and dazzling jewel shades.

Thursday, March 31, 6.30pm, Hall 3


This Saudi Arabian designer specialises in upscale streetwear, creating surprisingly chic and under­stated pieces built to be layered. Favouring breathable fabrics, her jumpsuits, trousers and tops are unfussy and highly wearable. The key piece of her new collection is a covetable cropped-sleeve swing coat.

Friday, 9pm, Hall 2


Hussein Bazaza

While hardly new to the Dubai fashion scene, Bazaza of Lebanon deserves his continued time in the spotlight. The recipient of the 2015 Elle Style Award for Best Upcoming Middle East Designer, his work grows in maturity with every passing season. Often hailed as the new Elie Saab, his work is bold and courageous, and deserves recognition on its own merits.

Thursday, March 31, 5pm, Hall 1