EXCLUSIVE: ‘Encouraging local and upcoming talents is priority,’ says Saif Ali Khan

The recently held Fashion Week 2021 showcased Asia’s finest designers and their exceptional collections. Premiering at The Arena, IMG Worlds of Adventure, on an exquisite purpose-built ramp, the event was a 3-day long fashion extravaganza that delighted every fashion lover and style influencer. The premier fashion platform in a post-pandemic Dubai has been the 1st in the region to creatively showcase how neo-normal fashion will emerge. Founder and Producer of Fashion Week 2021, Saif Ali Khan, who also spearhead Supreme Events, the producers of this prestigious event talks to Aakanksha Naval-Shetye in an exclusive interview. Excerpts


The Fashion Week 2021 was a huge success. How did you come about this concept of the fashion show and what was the vision?
I conceptualised Dubai Fashion Week back in 2003 and due to some issues with the management of the company the event couldn’t continue. I was then involved with mostly all major fashion shows in Dubai, including Fashion Forward. Fashion has always been my passion. After Covid hit us all and everyone was trying to recover from the damage, I thought that this is the right time to bring our fashion designers and the industry back on foot and that’s when the idea of bringing Fashion Week to life came into play.

Tell us more about the curating process when it comes to designers?
Designers are carefully selected based on their background, collection, experience in the industry and many other factors. Needless to say, that we have special focus on local talent therefore our opening designer is an Emirati Ameera Ahli. Unlike other fashion platforms, we strongly believe in providing platform to the upcoming designers, therefore we have an emerging talent section in which fashion designing students showcased their collection and the best out of all won a prize.

What were the biggest challenges of pulling off an event of this large a magnitude?
Well, investment is the biggest challenge and post-Covid the sponsorship scene has not been that great. However, we are confident that with the massive success achieved in the Fashion Week we will secure sponsors to support the next season.

 

“We have special focus on usage of sustainable fabric and our designers are working on a special collection that will be revealed in the future focused on sustainability.”
– Saif Ali Khan

 

The key focus the past few years has been on sustainability. What’s your take on it?
Sustainability is the way forward and we have adapted the same at different levels for our event. We have special focus on usage of sustainable fabric and our designers are working on a special collection that will be revealed in the future focused on sustainability.

Your platform has also been encouraging young upcoming designers…
Yes, I’m a firm believer of giving an opportunity to the young. I follow our leadership in the UAE who have always promoted the young as they are our future. This is the reason why we have a dedicated show slot for emerging designers. I have been working with Splash since 2003 on this concept which was on hold for some years but with Fashion Week 2021, we have revived the same and look forward to making this emerging talent show even stronger. Big designers today once were emerging talent participants back in the years when I used to do Dubai Fashion Week and I’m a witness to the same.

What are the changes you see and predict in the fashion industry?
The fashion industry like other industries is now headed towards being automised. We are working with various e-commerce platforms where designers get a chance to showcase their collection and buyers get a chance to buy an outfit online while the Live show happens. We are also planning for live streaming through e-commerce platforms for our next season where fashion designers would have instant sales and our clientele globally can watch the show and buy outfits online.

What are your upcoming projects?
We at supreme events work on a variety of events and fashion is one of them. We have some big events lined up for 2022 including product launches and government events while our team works on planning the next season for fashion week. Stay tuned to some exciting designers and a brand-new venue concept.

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