WE Show: Names to watch from Fashion Forward, Dubai

Curious and fascinated, WE look further east for luxury happenings, and settle on Fashion Forward in Dubai, which is called one of the most important fashion events in the middle east.

When even the London College of Fashion offers a range of courses dedicated to Dubai, its fashion is without a doubt a new spring of muse. The culture of luxury wasn’t built without aesthetic depth. Home to myriad ethnicities and expatriates from all around the world, Dubai actually prides itself on its diversity (at Fashion Forward we find designers with filipino origins). Progressing from the tradition of thobes, abayas, niqabs and kohl, fashion in Dubai stands out with sophistication and mysterious charisma – promised by these designers.

Amato by Furne One

That his aesthetic glows on red carpet is nothing new. Having dressed figures like Heidi Klum, Shakira, Katy Perry, Furne One’s couture theatrics is leading the region. Originally from the Philippines, Furne One is celebrated for his natural ability to craft extravagant and artistic designs. From ethereal bridal wear to playful prêt-a-porter, Amato collections are all about celebrating the real woman – expressive, opinionated, and quirky, with soaring self-respect and the confidence to revel in the power of her femininity. Amato Haute Couture’s signature flair, using an enchanting mix of rich textures and lavish materials with a heavy emphasis on luxurious detailing and embellishment, reflects elegance, aesthetics and energy in equal measure. Inspirations range from romantic Shakespearean tales and vintage postcards to the vibrancy of new-age cities and the dramatics of a corpse bride.

Michael Cinco

The winner of Breakthrough Designer at 2011 New York WGSN Global Fashion Awards and nominated for Best Designer in the 2011 Grazia Style Awards,  Dubai-based Filipino designer Michael Cinco makes feminine gowns with masterful techniques that dress elite clients from the Arab Gulf royalties for years. His fresh and elegant juxtaposition of elements, like fabric and Swarovski crystal embellishments, reiterate his utterly no-nonsense love for the intricacy of details on exceptionally superb creations.

Hussein Bazaza

An emerging designer supported by The Starch Foundation, Hussein Bazaza, 1990-born and Beirut-based, interprets his exposure to world cultures and in just one single collection. He who majored fashion design and pattern making, interned for couture designer Rabih Kayrouz and worked for Elie Saab, is now a fashion designer professor at ESMOD Beirut. Full of gothic dark shades and sculptural details, the boldly accessorised collection strikes with sophisticatedly theatrical cuts and discerning pursuit of details.

Rani Zakhem

Originally Lebanese, Rani Zakhem was raised in Nairobi, Kenya, where his family moved to escape a war-torn home-country. After graduating with a degree in economics and one in interior design, Zakhem decided to pursue fashion at the Parsons School of Design and launched his eponymous label in 2009. Now creating sophisticated ready-to-wear, couture and bridal gowns, Rani Zakhem graces the runway with subtle glamour and feminine silhouettes.


Born in Beirut and raised in Dubai, Nathalie Trad has a thing about asymmetry. With a BA degree from ESMOD International in Fashion & Accessories Design in Paris, 2007, and internship at the maison of Proenza Schouler, Trad started to make leather handbags, shell clutches and necklaces bearing chiseled contours, geometric structures and sharp contrasts in colour, texture and pattern. Her clutches here simply stand out with eccentric look but great wearability.

BeirutDubaiElie SaabFashion designfashion forwardLondon College of FashionRabih Kayrouz

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