It is well known in the fashion world that if your design has not really made it to the Vogue, then you still have a lot of work to do. No matter how digital the fashion publication is turning to out be, nothing will really be even close to browsing a physical issue of the world’s pioneering and number one fashion magazine. It is not just a magazine; over the time, it has turned into a huge institution of fashion — developing, creating fashion, giving inspiration and guiding designers.

So it came with no surprise when Vogue Italia, at the instance of editor in chief Franca Sozzani, decided to collaborate with the Dubai Mall management, Dubai Design and Fashion Council and Emaar properties to bring to Dubai for a third year in a row The Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience (VFDE).

The event, which was held on two consecutive days on Oct. 29-30 at the Dubai Mall, kicked off with a press conference held on the annex by the Burj Khalifa. Sozzani expressed how content she was for the VFDE to be back this year again in Dubai. She explained how every year she could see the tremendous change and development of the design sector in town. She said Dubai now is the land of opportunities, especially in the artistic field.

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“The VFDE not only brings the best of fashion in the world to Dubai but also serves to encourage the next generation of designers,” said Sozzani. “We believe that it is important to provide emerging talents with credible platforms to present their works to the world. As a new global fashion capital, Dubai is an ideal destination. We are impressed by the works of the young talents and look forward to watching their evolution in the global fashion industry.” she said.

“Right from the first edition of VFDE, we have been placing a firm emphasis on the event to serve as a magnet for new talent and creativity. VFDE has not only positioned Dubai and the Dubai Mall as referral points in the global fashion dialogue, but also serves as a platform to nurture emerging talents. It will provide spectacular showcases of global fashion trends and highlight the skills of emerging designers from around the world.”

Mohamed Al-Abbar, the chairman of Emaar properties, said: “The first two editions of VFDE have established Dubai as a fashion capital that offers a world-class retail infrastructure and welcomes luxury shoppers from around the world led by its central geographic location. The Dubai Mall, the world’s most visited retail and leisure destination, today is the hub for luxury retail, and has been a driver for growth for the fashion scene across the region. The VFDE further serves as the nurturing ground for new talents, several of whom have evolved as international fashion professionals. With the enthusiasm that the event has generated internationally, we are confident VFDE-2015 will set new benchmarks and add to the pride of Dubai as a creative hub.”

Nez Gebreel, CEO, Dubai Design & Fashion Council, said: “More than a celebration of fashion, VFDE-2015 gains international relevance in its commitment to scout, nurture and promote emerging designers. The event complements the vision of Dubai Design & Fashion Council to nurture the next generation of design and fashion professionals in Dubai, which in turn will add to the city’s creative economy.”

At the Dubai Mall, Star atrium section, 25 young designers (who were finely picked from hundreds and hundreds of applicants from Africa, Gulf and Far East) were showcasing their creations. The designers are part of the globally famous “Who is on Next? Contest,” an event that’s usually organized by Vogue magazine in many countries to help discover and develop young clothing and accessories designers.

The VFDE is acting like a huge platform and a talent scouting initiative, to support and expose their emerging talents to the world. The finalists were picked by a panel of world renowned fashion experts. They are Adriaan Kuiters, Maxhosa and Sindiso from South Africa; Beyond closet, J moon and Byungmnnu Seo from South Korea; Xiao and Jourden from Hong Kong; Dent De Man from Ivory Coast; Elio Abou Fayssal and Hussien Bazaza from Lebanon; Faissal Al-Malak from Palestine; Maryam Omaira from the UAE; MAX.Tan from Singapore; Sulvam and Ujoh from Japan; and Yirantian and Youjua Jin from China. The finalists for the accessories are Absense from Taiwan, Anita Quansah and Brother Vellies from Ghana, CA&LOU from Switzerland, Matters Matters from Hong Kong, Nathlie Trad from Lebanon and Susana Traca from Angola.

The exhibition was open for media and at certain timings to the public as well. Besides this, there were many rewards like have all of the winners’ designs displayed at a temporary pop-up shop in Bloomigdale’s — the department store by the Dubai Mall.

Later on, by the evening of Thursday, Oct. 29, a fashion show was held at the fashion avenue of the Dubai Mall, presenting the latest collection of eight international labels. The designers were Reem Al-Kanhal from Saudi Arabia, The Kayys from Qatar, Krikor Jabotian from Lebanon, Studio 189 from Ghana, XIAO LI from China, L72 from the United Kingdom, Arthur Arbesser from Austria and Melitta Baumeister from Germany. The fashion show was open to a select few. However, the Dubai Mall visitors were able to enjoy it as well through huge screens. The fashion show was hosted by supermodel Carmen Kass, who was accompanied by the world’s top super models and fashion celebrites like Eva Herzigova, Mariacarla Boscono, Magosia Bela, Franca Sozzani, Bianca Brandolini and Eugenie Niarchos. They made an appearance along with French shoes designer Christian Loubotin and fashion personnel from various cities.

The second and concluding day started with a busy schedule. By noon, there were the fashion talks held again at the fashion avenue of the Dubai Mall. Three fashion moguls delivered speeches on fashion issues and conflicts. The lectures were convened by fashion editor Jessica Michault.

Louboutin opened up to the audience and told them about how he got started. He talked about his inspiration, his vision, and also gave success tips to young designers.

Miroslava Duma, the Russian Ex-Harper Bazzar editor and the owner of — the world’s biggest digital fashion hub also spoke on the occasion. Mira, as she likes to be called, talked about how she started a fashion career in communist Russia and the challenges she faced and how her country has evolved in fashion in such a short time to be competing for the title of the next fashion capital.

Mira explained the importance of social media channels and how they affect the sales and careers of young designers. She gave importance tips on how to get the most benefits from just sharing a photo online.

Silvia Venturini Fendi, the third generation and heiress of the Italian fashion house Fendi, talked about her experience and how she, out of all her cousins, chose to pursue a career in fashion and how could she successfully managed a huge name like Fendi and worked to develop it further.

To elegantly end this year’s VDFE and announce the Who is on Next? winners, a sophisticated dinner was held at the Armani hotel’s pavilion overlooking the magnificent scenery of Burj Khalifa’s dancing fountain.

The theme for the annual vogue’s gala dinner was “White Wonderland,” everything at the pavilion was dressed in purely white color — from the interiors to the guests’ couture cheap bridesmaid dresses. Among the fashion celebrities who attended were Christian Louboutin, CEO of Louboutin; Peter Dundas, creative director of Roberto Cavalli; Silvia Venturini Fendi, creative director for Accessories & Men’s Lines & president of Alta Roma; Philipp Plein, creative director; Alberta Ferretti, creative director; Carlo Capasa, president of Camera Moda; Federico Marchetti, CEO, Yoox Net-a-Porter Group; Raffaello Napoleone, CEO of Pitti Immagine; Imran Amed, founder of; and Miroslava Duma, founder of Buro 24/7.

There were also supermodels Mariacarla Boscono and Eva Herzigova, as well as a number of surprise VIP guests. The event was hosted by Eva who announced that all the gala dinner’s fund would be given to help stop the starvation in Ethiopia due to lack of rain this year.

The jury announced the winners who will be able to have amazing opportunities to showcase their collections at a number of high-profile events in 2016, including Pitti Uomo, Florence; Altaroma, Rome; Milan Fashion Week; Palazzo Morando during the September edition of Milan Fashion Week and have the opportunity to sell on, the world’s leading online lifestyle store for fashion, design and art.

To end the beautiful night, former model, actress, France’s former first lady, songwriter and singer, Carla Bruni Sarkozy, regaled the guests by singing some of her beautiful songs, followed by a breath-taking performance by celebrity singer Cheb Khaled, who flew especially from Paris to Dubai to entertain Vogue Italia’s gala dinner guests.

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