Emirati jewellery designer Alia bin Omair wins Fashion Trust Arabia Prize

Regional winners were celebrated by Naomi Campbell, Elie Saab and Valentino's Pierpaolo Piccioli


Jewelry and abaya designer Alia Bin Omair at Sharjah Art Foundation's Communal Garden.

Photo: Reem Mohammed / The National (Reporter: Roberta Pennington / Section: WK) ID 87865 *** Local Caption ***  RM_20170628_WK_ABAYA_010.JPG
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Delicate gold pieces that take influence from Emirati culture is what won Alia bin Omair the prize for jewellery at the 2021 Fashion Trust Arabia Prize.

The Emirati jeweller's namesake brand has won high praise for collections such as Satami, based on the traditional coin necklace worn by older generations, and Touminah, named after the celebration for children that memorise the Quran.

It impressed the judging panel, which included British model Naomi Campbell and Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing, who attended the star-studded Fashion Trust Arabia awards ceremony held in Doha. Other attendees were Lebanese designer Elie Saab, stylist and ex-Vogue Paris editor Carine Roitfeld, model and TV presenter Alexa Chung, photographer Juergen Teller, Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli and Louis Vuitton's artistic director of menswear Virgil Abloh.

Six winners, including bin Omair, were chosen from a shortlist of 24 finalists. More than 700 applications were received for the 2021 event, organisers said.

Satami earrings by Emirati jewellery designer, Alia bin Omair, one of the 2021 winners of Fashion Trust Arabia Prize. Photo: Alia bin Omair

"Still can't get over this," the designer posted on Instagram after the event.

The ready-to-wear award went to Iraqi-born designer Zaid Affas. Born in Kuwait, raised in London and now living in Los Angeles, Affas blends fluid, almost sculptural shapes with sharp tailoring.

Moroccan designer Mohamed Benchellal won the eveningwear category, for his dramatic, volume filled pieces, while fellow Moroccan Bilal Fellah bagged accessory designer for his eyewear brand Port Tanger.

The French-Sudanese designer Abdelgader El Tayeb picked up the Franca Sozzani Debut Talent Award, for his ready-to-wear line that merges the different histories of his homeland, Sudan. The award is named after the former Vogue Italia editor who died in 2016.

Shoe designer Amina Muaddi was named winner of the newly launched Entrepreneur of the Year award.

Founded in 2018 as a not-for-profit, Fashion Trust Arabia aims to support regional emerging names from the Middle East and North Africa. Winners for 2021 will each receive $200,000, plus mentorship from industry experts and training in sustainability. The winners will also have their work carried by MatchesFashion.com and Maison de Mode at Harrods.

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