Fashion Forward Dubai (FFWD), the region’s definitive fashion platform, today announced the launch of EPIC (Empowerment Program through Industry Collaboration), an empowerment program that provides business development opportunities to regional fashion talent through a series of initiatives. In collaboration with Samsung Electronics MENA, EPIC will deliver a calendar of events, workshops, sponsorship opportunities, influencer and scholarship programs, all made possible through the synergetic collaboration with industry partners who strive to achieve similar objectives.
The ‘MENA Design Outlook’, a report issued by DDFC, supported by d3 and in collaboration with Deloitte, found that the region’s design industry is witnessing considerable growth, particularly in the fashion sector. However, to reach optimal level a series of gaps must be addressed including links between industry and academia, multi-disciplinary programs, access to investors and customers, as well as regional and international visibility. The empowerment program is designed to bridge these gaps by engaging several layers of the industry in order to break down barriers faced by regional designers entering the fashion and retail landscape, thereby streamlining their path to greater commercial viability.
Ramzi Nakad, COO and co-founder of FFWD said, “Building upon the success of Fashion Forward Dubai which has catapulted regional designers to attain international and regional visibility, EPIC is designed to nurture talents, working as a catalyst for creatives to benefit from sought after industry resources while developing the skills and know-how needed to progress in an ever-growing and highly competitive landscape. Amplified through an extensive network of stakeholders and professionals, exposure opportunities and digital innovation rooted in the strategic partnership with Samsung, EPIC will promote the sustainability of the regional fashion economy and forge healthy competition.”
“EPIC is a program we at Samsung are particularly excited about. When we collaborated with FFWD, we did it with the aim of enabling the rapidly growing fashion industry in the region. Today, we are taking this goal to a new level by elevating the support through comprehensive industry collaboration,” said Abdo Chlala, Regional Head of IT and Mobile Division at Samsung MENA. “We look forward to working with multiple stakeholders to propel the region’s most creative designers to greater success through the convergence of technology and fashion.”
In 2016, EPIC will focus on five key initiatives with the aim of maximizing exposure, fostering partnerships, creating business and higher education opportunities, and offering practical tools that will enhance the brand.
A series of workshops will equip designers in the region with invaluable knowledge delivered by industry professionals and stakeholders. Topics of conversation include the advent of digital buying behavior and its impact on designer distribution strategies, how to leverage social media content and collaborations, and how to create stylized runway presentations using cutting edge trends that currently influence the industry.
Exposure opportunities, brokered by EPIC, will facilitate partnerships between key influencers and FFWD designers, accessory and jewelry labels. In addition, selected regional designers will benefit from prestigious university scholarship opportunities to attend Master Level courses at Domus Academy in Milan, so they can further enhance their knowledge and skills.
Participants of the EPIC program will also benefit from regional and international exposure to the who’s who of the fashion world at FFWD’s showroom space in Paris during Paris Fashion Week, and in Dubai during FFWD Season 8. Further benefits from retail opportunities at Pop Up Stores located in commercial spaces across the region will also play a role in facilitating the reputation of fashion designers in the region.
Further information, event details and activity schedules will be announced soon.