“Following the cancellation of the annual Awards Ceremony due to take place in March this year as a result of the outbreak of Covid-19, FTA recognized the impact that the crisis would have on MENA region creative industries. Strengthening their commitment to support emerging fashion businesses, FTA has ensured the prize continues to deliver international exposure and opportunity to this year’s FTA 2020 finalists.”
It is a sure fact that the first semester of the year has brought along its great deal of challenges. Determined to go ahead with the award ceremony, this one has shifted from its initial location of Doha, Qatar to the privacy of everyone’s home.
Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums and Co-Chair of Fashion Trust Arabia, says: “I warmly congratulate the winners of the FTA 2020 Awards as well as all the finalists, who have so vividly demonstrated the breadth of outstanding design talent and entrepreneurial energy across our region. We can and must keep building the infrastructure, as well as the personal and business relationships, that enable these creative people to flourish. We see our future in their drive for innovation.”
FTA had to be innovative and found solutions. The judging became a process that happened last April on Zoom, where the Jury members were able to interact with the 25 finalists. And behind their screens were no other than Elie Saab, Christian Louboutin or Olivier Rousteing, ready to review the contestant’s collection in a definitely modern approach.
2020 had everyone surpassed the limits of possibility, and it’s from the comfort of their home that the elite jury named 5 winners for each category which, we remind you, were the following:
.Accessories (Shoes & Handbags)
This year also marked the introduction of the new Franca Sozzani Debut Talent Award.
So what exactly do the winners receive, in addition to top-notch advices and exposure? Well, first, and a real relief in our current troubled economy, a financial support of up to 200,000 USD; and just as beneficial, an “extensive mentorship program with key FTA partners” including notably a partnership with Matchesfashion.com that will be “stocking exclusively on its website the Spring Summer 2021 collections of all FTA 2020 winners in addition to providing business mentorship.” For these emerging talents, the future looked suddenly much brighter overnight.
On this partnership with ‘MATCHESFASHION, Natalie Kingham, the company’s Fashion Buying Director expressed: “We are honoured to be partnering with FTA for the 2020 award. It was a pleasure to be on the judging panel for this prestigious award and to be part of the journey in supporting a new wave of design talent from the MENA region.’
On top of the awards, FTA is also running an emergency COVID-19 fund through the social campaign #StandWithCreatives. which has been spreading across social media to raise awareness and recognition of MENA region talent. The #StandWithCreatives fund is available to MENA designers producing in the region, more information can be found by visiting www.fashiontrustarabia.com.
FTA has announced the winners last night for the different categories:
Omer Asim, Ready-to-Wear designer winner
Ammanii, Jewelry designer winner
Andrea Wazen, Accessories designer winner
Yousef Akbar, Eveningwear designer winner
Zeid Hijazi, Franca Sozzani Debut Talent Award
Fashion Trust Arabia Co-Founder Tania Fares explains: “What is really inspiring and special about this year’s Awards is how much they highlight the diversity of talent that the MENA region holds. We had the pleasure of meeting such inspiring individuals from 13 Arab countries who, even in the most testing of times, showed their drive, passion and creativity. It was a truly hard decision for our judges to choose just five winners from the list of talented finalists, especially as each and every one of the designers work tirelessly in their respective countries to preserve their culture through design.”
Aimee Song, Influencer and Best-Selling Author; Alber Elbaz, Fashion Designer; Christian Louboutin, Shoe Designer; Daniel Arsham, Artist; Diane Von Furstenberg, Fashion Designer; Elie Saab, Fashion Designer; Elizabeth Saltzman, Celebrity Stylist; Farida Khelfa, Model; Gaia Repossi, Jewellery Designer; Giambattista Valli, Fashion Designer; Laura Brown, InStyle US Editor-in-Chief; Nabeel Ali Bin Ali, Vice Chairmain & Executive Vice President Galeries Lafayette Doha; Olivier Rousteing, Creative Director, Balmain; Wendi Murdoch, Entrepreneur; Yoon Ambush, Fashion Designer & Dior Homme Director of Jewellery.
Alexia Niedzielski, Co-Founder System; Carmen Busquets, Entrepreneur & Investor; Fabio Piras, MA Fashion Course Director Central St Martins; Gianluca Longo, Style Editor; Jefferson Hack, Co-Founder Dazed Media; Julie Gilhart, Consultant; Karla Welch, Celebrity Stylist; Natalie Kingham, Buying Director; Nez Gebreel, Former CEO of DDFC; Roger Moukarzel, Photographer; Saif Mahdhi, Talent Agent & Founder Safe Management; Sara Sozzani Maino, Deputy Editor-in-Chief Vogue Italia; Sarah Andelman, Creative Consultant & Founder of Concept Store Colette; Sarah Mower, Fashion Critic; Sofia Guellaty, Founder & Editor-in-Chief Mille World; Susie Lau, Journalist & Influencer; Tim Blanks, Fashion Critic.
Discover more about FTA, on their website right here