Saudi Arabia hosts Fashion Awards for the first time

Loulva Alsharif, Saudi Arabia’s first female jazz singer, performed a soulful rendition of the Etta James classic „At Last.”

The red carpet was packed with regional stars in the King Abdullah Financial District. A decade ago live music was banned and men and women would have been illegal in mixed society. Now on the fast track to the Kingdom’s vision for liberalisation, the Fashion Awards have played an important role in both society and its endeavor to be recognized as a fashion hub.

“Saudi Arabia have achieved milestone after milestone and tonight was no exception. It will always be remembered as the place where we made history together,” said Alison Day, Editorial Director of IDB, who presented the Fashion Stylist of the Year award.

„Tonight we celebrate the achievement of individuals, designers and brands, but also the collective spirit that drives us all forward,” said Buraq Khamak, CEO of the Saudi Fashion Commission. „We value the incredible innovation and creativity that defines our industry, the array of talent both Saudi and international. Your presence is a testament to the vibrant and diverse community we are building in Saudi Arabia.

Norma Kamali accepted the WWD International Designer of the Year award. She said she was excited to finally visit the country for the first time, impressed by the talent of many designers she had met at the WWD Global Fashion Summit the previous day.

„The future of fashion really is in this room. It’s in this country. It’s in this part of the world,” James Fallon, editorial director of WWD and Fairchild Media Group, said after accepting his award. I am glad to be invited. I love my job and what I do, so I don’t need awards. I will always share my heart with all the upcoming Saudi designers and wish you all the best.

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Loro Piana received the WWD International Brand of the Year Award, which was accepted by Marco Giacometti, Chief Commercial Officer, Loro Piana. “It’s special as we celebrate 100Th Year as a brand,” he said.

Fahad Aljomia, founder of streetwear label 1886, accepted the prize for best menswear designer for his brand, which he founded in a London dorm six years ago.

Fresh from his inaugural show at Red Sea Fashion Week last month, Jeddah native Dima Abid took home the Designer of the Year award.

Full list of winners:

WWD Designer of the Year: Norma Kamali

WWD International Brand of the Year: Loro Piana

Sustainable Brand of the Year: Saltine

Fashion Photographer of the Year: Nora Almari

Menswear Designer of the Year: 1886

Women’s Clothing Brand of the Year: Koff by Koff

Bridal Brand of the Year: Dar Alhanouf

Jewelery Designer of the Year: Yatagan

Designer of the Year: Dima Abid

Stylist of the Year: Alanut Alsuwailem

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