Arab Fashion Council to launch first menswear fashion week in Dubai

Set to take place at the end of this month, it will be the first of its kind in the region

Continuing in its bid to become the dominant fashion player in the region, the Arab Fashion Council has announced it will be launching the UAE’s first dedicated men’s fashion week.

Set to run from Thursday, January 28, until Saturday, January 30, in line with the international menswear fashion calendar, the inaugural Arab Fashion Week – Men’s, as it will be called, will feature designers from Lebanon, Iran, the UAE and beyond.

In what is hoped will be the first chapter in a biannual event, mirroring the international diary, the council has announced the aim is to introduce emerging talents to a discerning Dubai audience.

The full schedule will be released two weeks prior to the start of the event, which will be held in partnership with Facebook.

Building on its recent success in taking select women’s labels to Paris Fashion Week, AFC also confirmed that four men’s brands from Paris Fashion Week will take part in the new launch, in collaboration with the Federation de la Haute Couture et de la Mode.

"Emerging brands express a fashion-forward view of the world," says Serge Carreira, head of the emerging brands initiative at the federation.

"We are pleased to present some of these talented designers from the Paris Fashion Week calendar in Dubai at Arab Fashion Week – Men’s, to allow them to increase their global reach.”

With shows to be streamed live via Facebook and Instagram, this cements the all-important relationship between the physical world of fashion and the digital universe.

Offering a potential audience of two billion viewers, Facebook will not only play an important role in introducing new talent to a global audience, but will also allow customers to view collections and place pre-orders directly via Instagram Shopping and ByTribute.

With the recent rapid expansion of men’s fashion in the UAE, fuelled largely by streetwear brands entering the market, Jacob Abrian, founder and chief executive of AFC, is adamant that the time is ripe for a dedicated men’s event.

"[We are] thrilled to launch Arab Fashion Week – Men's and to begin a new journey to shape the future of the emerging menswear market across the Arab world, both by nurturing the creativity of regional designers and, through our continued support, to international designers wishing to explore opportunities within the region," he says.