LONDON — As the Arab fashion industry continues to gain ground, a new charitable venture, Fashion Trust Arabia, is being launched and it’s spearheading a new prize initiative to support local design talent through mentorship and funding.
The initiative, which follows on the footsteps of the ’s Fashion Trust, will be chaired by Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser and co-chaired by Sheikha al- Mayassa Bint Hamad Al- Thani and Tania Fares, founder of the Fashion Trust in the U.K.
A wide range of local and international business and fashion leaders are said to participate in the new venture, joining its executive committee or judging panel and mentoring participating designers. Fashion Trust Arabia is yet to announce its committee members.
The launch of the prize aims to coincide with the increased interest in the growth potential of the region’s fashion industry, to support local talent that has so far been operating under-the-radar and spark investment opportunities.
Earlier this year, the Arab Fashion Council – which is now headquartered in Saudi Arabia – also announced a partnership with the British Fashion Council and hosted the first Arab Fashion Week in Riyadh, in a bid to develop a sustainable fashion infrastructure across the Arab world and create new revenue opportunities for the region.
“Most Arab countries are looking to diversify; Abu Dhabi, for example, announced that they will produce their last oil barrel by 2050. The vision is to establish Saudi as the global powerhouse of the region,” said Jacob Abrian, founder and chief executive officer of the Arab Fashion Council, in an interview following the announcement.
Fashion Trust Arabia’s inaugural prize will be awarded at an event hosted in spring 2019.