Dubai, UAE, 2.2.2022: The third edition of Men’s Arab Fashion Week coordinated by the Arab Fashion Council in strategic partnership with Dubai Design District and supported by Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), has culminated a week of district-wide activations from Fashion Shows, Presentations, Buyers Look-Book Review, Pop-Ups, and Parties. Fifteen regional and international designers from the UAE, Lebanon, Libya, Jordan, France, and the US showcased their Fall Winter 2022/23 collection to over 6000 guests that attended the in-person shows and over 350 million fans watching over the social media platforms in strategic partnership with META.
The FW22/23 edition ranged from new classical, daring, futuristic, augmented reality, and NFT to giving Men a glorious moment on the red carpet. The Men’s version of the Fashion Week was widely received and supported by the industry insiders and general audience. The trend shoppers can shop the runway collection instantly online through the designers’ e-commerce, Instagram shopping, and offline at the FLTRD Pop-Up in d3.
Below are the highlights of Men’s Arab Fashion Week:
This year’s Men’s Arab Fashion Week for Fall-Winter 2022/23 is celebrated by a star-studded kick-off party, fireworks, and entertainment at Puerto99, Blue Waters Island; hosted by home-gown d3 based XPEDITION on the official calendar. The ceremony was attended by Dubai and UAE’s trendiest movers and shakers and most prominent names in the fashion, beauty, technology, and entertainment industries. Spotted at the party are Apl.de.Ap and J. Rey of the hit music group Black Eyed Peas, Miss Universe 1st runner, and Miss Universe Paraguay 2021 Nadia Ferreira, Miss Universe Colombia 2020 Laura Olascuaga, TikTok Viral Star Elvir Aljicevic, Bollywood Actress and Superstar URVASHI RAUTELA and younger brother Yashraj Rautela.
On the 28th of Jan 2022, the shows started with the renowned Dubai-based label, Amato, who presented his Eden FW22/23, which is inspired by the tree of life, showcasing unexpected looks dominated by gold color with gold different tiger prints in silk and silk chiffons. The gold fabric was mainly portraying the glory of Eden through its metallic shine. The entire collection featured a palette of 50 shades of Gold. As usual, the show was stars studded and hundreds of guests. Miss Universe 1st runner and Miss Universe Paraguay 2021 Nadia Ferreira, Miss Universe Colombia 2020 Laura Olascuaga, Tiktok Viral Star Elvir Aljicevic, Dubai-based Influencer Charlie Albo, Pakistani Actress Hareem Farooq, Emirati Billionaire Youtuber Rashed Belhasa’ Money Kicks’, Bollywood Actress and Superstar Urvashi Rautela and younger brother Yashraj Rautela are among the stars who walked the runway of Amato.
Lebanese designer Joseph Jachachian, creative director of the label Maison du Mec, presented the “Cʼest Qui Le Mec?” Fall-Winter 2022-2023 full-line collection as a series of real answers for real people, bringing the magic of fantasy the closest possible to everyday life. The right time and place to dream only exist in conformists’ minds. Our whims shall expire at no age. Le Mec” – the Maison du Mec man – exercises the right to perform through life and not just stumble upon it. The black color dominated it with some hint of accessories in red color.
Libyan designer Ibrahim Shebani presented the Born in Exile “Blood, Sweat and Oil” collection in a look-book presentation. According to the designer, the collection is inspired by the lifeblood on which the Libyan capital runs, which captures the hopes, fears, and uncertainties of Libya’s oil boom. The decades following the discovery of oil radically changed the economic and social landscape of the country, and this transition is reflected in the use of mixed fabrics and prints in clothing. Oil prints dominate many pieces, imprinting the cloth with traditional Libyan patterns. Contrasts also mark the collection. For example, white flowing knitwear pieces reflect traditional Libyan robes, while black studded leather reflects the changes in perception of what it means to a modern Libyan. But within these transitions, the boldness of the collection highlights Libyan pride, a theme that has endured in the country’s history.
The new emerging label BARMO brought life and colors to the runway with a modernist-inspired collection, “Colour of Mind,” influenced by the minds of the great artists of the modernist movement. In this collection, the brand’s creative directors Behshad Bordbar and Sima Ahvaz got inspired by seven modern artists from the imagery around the Last Supper, dominated by warm, comfortable fabrics that are as soft as possible, like a sport fleece for hoodies and pants. In some designs, neoprene is used for static capability, but only of the most delicate kind because our goal was not to be waterproof. As usual, thickened sweater fabrics are also seen in our products because they allow for great colors.”
The first day of the shows closed with Anomalous, the contemporary homegrown label by Rabih Rawel in collaboration with model and influencer Oscar Kraye, merges the identities of both designers to portray futuristic fashion and youthful aesthetics. It took place at the globally renowned SKY2.0; creative Director Rabih Rawel said about the new collection, “I always thought of anomalous becoming a community, and this collaboration for me is a huge step towards this direction. We didn’t think of this collection as FW22/23; it was more like FW82/83.” Designs verge between structured and unstructured, infusing urban wear, utility wear, and ready-to-wear all in one.
As the industry shifts into the new world of Meta, the official calendar featured a presentation of the futuristic high-tech swiss bag, “Ferronato.” The Swiss label, designed to meet a new age smart lifestyle, blends the Swiss-engineered meta-fabrics with fine European craftsmanship to protect everyone’s privacy. Using fabric technology from the battlefield to the boardroom, the brand made it accessible to the consumer via quality handcrafted pouches, briefcases, and backpacks.
The second day of the shows kick-off with the Lebanese artist and designer Ahmed Amer presenting his collection titled “am I floating or…” The audience was quickly able to live the collection through the designer’s eye. The art did not only come in the form of choreography, music, or the atmosphere of the show but mainly through the looks that each of them had a story all connect to moment we are born when we were told that everything is ephemeral. Nothing lasts forever that we keep pushing for our narratives, writing our own stories, hoping they would still be remembered long after we’re gone. According to Ahmed Amer, Beirut is no longer here. Beirut is everywhere. Pieces of my heart are being scattered around, my very own personal diaspora. There are no borders anymore, only love. Said Ahmed Amer.
To give the runway a futuristic edge in augmented reality, meta, and NFT; the LA-based designer, Asher Levine, showcased the entire design spectrum like his minimal tailoring to hi-fashion looks, demonstrating why he is the go-to designer for global music icons and executive elites. Asher paired playful hi-tech women’s looks with select men’s looks, including Asher’s latest Tetra look, a biomorphic dress inspired by dragonflies and artificial intelligence. Tetra features 24k gold embellishments and illumination controlled by a button on the model’s sleeve. In addition, the designer brings state-of-the-art garment printing technology in computationally generated fractals through his Time & Light collection looks. Asher also includes his Terrelli Clutch, a next-generation handbag model that highlights the designer’s vision for inventing and crafting hi-tech exotic inspired skins as alternatives to animal skin handbags. The audience has also experienced the most accurate form of sustainability through Asher’s new virtual AR fashion in real-time through their own mobile devices. Asher Levine is a favorite of Lady Gaga, Lil Nas X, Nicki Minaj, Will.i.am, Doja Cat, and more, with work featured in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
The Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, the French body coordinating Paris Fashion Week, has presented one of its talented designers Pierre-François Valette, creative director of Valette Studio, showcased the Classic Nouveau collection. The graduate of the Chambre Syndicale, who also trained with Isabel Marant and the house of Saint Laurent, has revealed a tribute to quirky elegance à l’anglaise. Focusing on precise tailoring, tartan patterns, and the effortless, offbeat chic that such British icons as David Bowie and Freddie Mercury mastered to perfection, the collection confirms the brand’s attachment to couture values. The pieces are worn haphazardly, fitting each wearer’s personality, a laissez-faire statement that defines neo-classicism for a new generation.
Jordanian designer, Zaid Farouki, showcased the “Being Arab” collection during a presentation, inspired by the culture, land, and history of the Arab region. Dominated by a modern interpretation of male traditional clothing and headpieces in contemporary colors. Hand-embroidered with the brand’s taglines in Arabic scripts, such as “I AM شرقي (oriental),” “I AM عربي (Arab),” and “عروبتي عزوتي (Being Arab Is My Pride)”…
Dubai-based and internationally renowned label Michael Cinco took us on a trip with their “The Impalpable Dream of The Voyager.” Through the location selection at a narrow boulevard in between buildings of the district, the abstract metallic sculpture in the background of the show made it look like a virtual gate to the other world to discover a breathtaking masculine collection dominated by grandiose silhouette, fairy tales, or novels, and large volumes. The collection could steal lights the same way a Michael Cinco’s couture gown would on a red carpet.
The last day was more about sustainability, inclusivity, and acceptance. It started with the show of Eric Ritter, the creative director of Emergency Room Beirut, who presented their “Interlude” collection of unique pieces made of upcycled materials. In making these designs, the brand wholeheartedly desired to go back to the brand’s origins. Instinctively, they scavenged the souks of Tripoli for second-hand and vintage materials used to make clothes. The outcome is a collection of heavily printed unique and bold pieces made from curtains, bedsheets, towels, and other fabrics. While styling the looks for the show, the brand wished to emphasize the boldness and beauty of these salvaged materials by mixing them up, assembling strong, often clashing prints, and punctuating the looks with accessories, introducing a whole range of new items to the collection.
Renowned US brand American Rag, which became a new wave of innovation, showcased a collection that took streetwear by storm. Oversized silhouettes, prints, and colorful looks are styled together to match models cast—the energy on the runway. The collection is available for immediate purchase from the brand’s flagship stores across the UAE.
Persian designer Mohammad Amin, the creative director of the label Zardouz has showcased the “Enjoy” collection inspired by the great and glorious nature with all its mountains transformed into a city full of skyscraping buildings. The collection consisted of 22 looks of Zardouz, which is produced in limited editions. And three looks of Zardouz Haute Couture, with motives of Wheaties and Hoopoe (Symbols of Goodness and blessing in Persian culture) as hand-knitted embroideries on velvet and lace fabrics. Each piece is one of a kind with a dedicated product license.
Pride, self-satisfaction and determination are the vibes perceived out the collection presented by Tony Sawaya, creative director of the Lebanese label Ta Gueule. “This collection from Ta Gueule, titled “Multitudes,” displays a clean and edgy style of streetwear that reflects the Multitudes of the living by stripping it down to its innate molecular behavior and dissecting its biology. Ta Gueule uses thermal imaging patterns to explore the three-dimensional being and dives into the darkness within through its “Dusk till Dawn” theme.
The last show of Men’s FW22/23 was the B Hype Street Style Party collection, which has brought the fashion Shows into a public celebration. Styled by SLIMI, the renowned celebrity stylist and editor in chief of SLIMI magazine, and by Mounssef Soumaidi of B Hype, the entire show turned out to be engaging and mesmerizing to the audience like the feeling of discovering great talent on America’s Got Talent. The hipster subcultural brand is loved by the many luxury shoppers who appreciate the hip lifestyle, muscle cars, and rappers put on a show, unlike all the other shows. The basketball playground in Dubai Design District was transformed into a runway, with the show opened by DJ Lehash Mehdi when he walked out on the runway without music, to then take his DJ mixer, making everyone dance on their seat. Next, Ryan Taylor, a renowned biker, jumped on the runway behind the audience and performed a few flips. He was followed by kids showing their dance talent, Thibault Garcia, Wadih El Najjar, and renowned plus-size model Ameni Esseibi walking the runway. At the same time, everyone was holding their breath for the next model to appear; a huge B Hype branded H2 Hummer drove on the runway to drop off Mounssef Soumaini and SLIMI that excited the show for the finale and transformed the court to an after-show closing party.