Fashion Forward may have been away for a while, but it certainly hasn’t been idle.
Having skipped the spring summer 2019 season, Fashion Forward Dubai is set to return on October 30, for its next four day fashion event.
To be held at d3, the new season won’t only be offering the regions best fashion and jewellery designers. For the first time, it will also offer a platform to allow the regional and international buyers that attend the shows to purchase looks straight off the runway.
It has achieved this by partnering with Zbooni, an existing app that allows secure payments over Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram. Launched in 2017, it allows merchants to carry out transactions on any one of three platforms, and is backed by both the Chalhoub Group and B&Y Venture Partners.
With the technology and software already in place, Zbooni is uniquely placed to create a virtually cashless marketplace for designers and visitors at the fashion event. Offering what will be the region’s first fully shop-able fashion week, it will also enable would-be customers to connect instantly with small, independent brands.
Such direct access, and real time sales are critical for emerging labels that often operate on tight schedules, and small margins. Being able to quickly assess and react to the needs of buyers can be a vital step forward, and something both Fashion Forward Dubai and Zbooni hope to help facilitate.
Ramy Assaf, co-founder and chief executive of Zbooni, explains how the system will work. “We [will] provide Fashion Forward Dubai’s participating designers with a virtual point of sale and checkout that can be dispatched over WhatsApp, with a payment gateway built in, meaning they will have a complete retail solution to take orders on the same day that they unveil their collections.”
Bong Guerrero, CEO and co-founder of Fashion Forward Dubai is also confident this is what the region has been waiting for.
“The conduit to immediate and actual consumer sales has been the missing link across global fashion platforms,” he explains. “All our show offerings are now entirely shop-able from a fashion buyer’s mobile phone, and this new partnership underscores [our] commitment to innovation in achieving our designers retail objectives, in a seamless, convenient and engaging way.”