Arab Fashion Week costs $5m to produce, says CEO Jacob Abrian


The cost of bi-annual event Arab Fashion Week stands at around $5 million, according to the CEO of Arab Fashion Council, the company behind the event.

Speaking to Arabian Business, Jacob Abrian said the non-profit organization uses various partnerships to lower the cost, which averages $15m for other fashion shows.

“What is costing us $5m now would cost other companies $15m. Arab Fashion Week costs millions to be produced and designers are getting the benefit of it for free,” he said, referring to local designers.

Through a recent partnership with Dubai-based investment firm MBM Holding, the council runs a program which supports Emirati designers at no cost.

Partaking in a fashion show can otherwise cost independent designers up to $100,000, Abrian said.

“And that’s how we support designers today. We invest in… We provide local designers with the best choreographers in the world, the best models who participate in casting in Europe, France and Milan. All this support we give to designers each fashion week, if they do it on their own, it would cost them at least $100,000,” he said.

Abrian added that the council aims to turn its event into the world’s ‘5-star fashion week’ where designers can arrive as guests and have a complete production team take care of their shows.

“In Europe, designers have to run and look after every single detail, from casting the models to hair and make up and fitting, lights, benches… Our vision in Dubai is for the fashion week to be the world’s 5-star fashion week where our designers arrive just two days before the event, with their luggage and collection. And we have all the team take care of all the production for them. So they’ll be just like guests attending their own show,” he said.

Arab Fashion Council, which represents 22 countries in the MENA region, is set to open the world’s first “ready couture” retail store in Dubai in September. The project, located in City Walk, will act as a lifestyle space with a library, café and retail shop hosting fashion workshops.

Published by Lubna Hamdan