From Twisted Roots to Niili: Emerging UAE labels to take part in China Fashion Week

The digital-only event will showcase some of the region's newest talent

Regional label Niili is taking part in China Fashion Week. Courtesy Niili 
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The fashion weeks of Florence, Milan, New York and Paris may have all been called off due to the coronavirus pandemic, but there is still one fashion event going ahead in the near future: China Fashion Week.

Following the lead of Shanghai Fashion Week, which switched to an entirely digital format in March, this 22-year-old fashion event is following suit to go entirely online.

China Fashion Week will take place between Friday, May 1 and Thursday, May 7. with shows streamed live on China’s largest e-commerce site Secoo, as well as YouTube, WeChat and Weibo.

Palais Des Argano will be at China Fashion Week. Courtesy Palais Des Argano
Palais Des Argano will be at China Fashion Week. Courtesy Palais Des Argano

The new all-digital format also makes it possible for non-Chinese labels to be involved, including designers and groups from this region, with names such as Palais Des Argano, Twisted Roots, Niili, House of MC, The Zay Initiative, and Bakhtz already signed up.

With the initiative anticipated to reach up to 500,000 online viewers, there will be no shortage of admirers of the regional brand Palais Des Argano by Sara bint Mohammed. Already well known for its elaborate embroidery, it will be able to showcase its sumptuous full-length gowns in jewel colours to a whole new audience, while for newcomer Niili, such exposure will be a shot in the arm.

Founded in 2019 by Khaled Al Zaabi, with Paula Quetglas Llop previously of Elie Saab as creative director, this sassy young brand is already earning a name for its crisp city separates.

Twisted Roots will also be making an appearance with its sleek cuts, while Bakhtz, meanwhile, will bring its array of deeply feminine abayas in soft pastels and House of MC will have the opportunity to showcase the likes of small labels such as Moroccan Touch and Anaya, with their flowing, immensely wearable kaftans.

UAE brand Twisted Roots is taking part in China Fashion Week. Courtesy Twisted Roots/Instagam
UAE brand Twisted Roots is taking part in China Fashion Week. Courtesy Twisted Roots/Instagam

The Zay Initiative will also be there to help spread understanding of the cultural dress codes of this region. Established by acclaimed historian Dr Reem Tariq El Mutwalli, the initiative helps to preserve and safeguard the heritage of regional dress, documenting and recording the cultural significance of each piece. By taking part in China Fashion Week, El Mutwalli will help spread this valuable knowledge.

Hala China, a company that spearheads links between the UAE and China, will help regional designers take part, with the backing of the UAE Embassy. To kick off the event, both UAE Ambassador to China, Ali Obaid Al Dhaheri, and Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, chairman of the board of directors at Hala China, will give an address.

Speaking of the China Fashion Association, the body behind China Fashion Week, for its move to a digital-only schedule, Sheikh Al Mualla said: “The online approach taken by the China Fashion Association is a true testament to its enterprising vision, strength and ingenuity. And our partnership …is testament to the giant strides the UAE and China are taking as they move forward together.”


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