The Dubai fashion scene is gaining the recognition it deserves as an emerging fashion hub thanks to Fashion Forward (FFWD), the region's definitive fashion platform and the official U.A.E nominating body for the 2015 International Woolmark Prize (IWP) finals. If you've not heard of the Woolmark Prize, it's a big deal. It's the same award that helped launch the careers of iconic fashion designers Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent. The award aims to shine the spotlight on the world's leading up-and-coming designers who are required to include Merino wool within their capsule collections.
Two regional designers that were nominated by FFWD will be representing both Men's and Womenswear at the finals in London in January. These designers will compete within their category to win AU$100,000 in prize money and the opportunity to be stocked in various retailers of the world including Harvey Nichols in London, Colette in Paris, 10 Corso Como in Milan, mytheresa.com in Germany, Saks Fifth Avenue, NYC, Joyce China, Isetan Mitsukoshi Japan and David Jones in Sydney.
LUXOS met with the British-Iranian Golkar brothers, Babak, Farhan and Haman — the dynamic design trio behind luxury label The Emperor 1688, representing men's wear. "The journey for the IWP has been such an eye opener for us," said Babak Golkar, the eldest brother. "As designers we want to be pushed and put in a position to think more than what we are used to when it comes to creativity. We can't wait to showcase our collection this coming January in London."
It's been a busy year for these talents who competed in, and won the regional IWP finals for the Middle East and India in Mumbai this July. In addition to the competition, their SS/15 men's and womenswear collection was one of the highlights at Fashion Forward Season 4, which took place October 2014 in Dubai. The collection was beautifully presented with effortlessly cool safari inspired, clean cut pieces in sand beige, soft grey and sharp white. The most striking from the collections's palette was the cobalt blue series, the exact blue tone from Saint Laurent's home in Morocco.
"Having a fashion body like FFWD supporting us has been such a privilege," added Golkar. "As a fashion brand you need to be surrounded by people that understand your vision as well as understand your commercial ambition with your product, and FFWD has always maintained this very personal relationship with us not only as designers but as business owners."
The Emperor 1688 will show at London Collections: Men on January 9th at 2pm at Somerset House. Judges for the Men's finals include: iconic designer Paul Smith; Dylan Jones, Editor In Chief, GQ UK; Tim Blanks, Editor At Large, Style.com; and Nick Wooster.
The Emperor 1688 label is one of the most coveted fashion labels from Dubai. We wish the humble and talented Golkar brothers all the best.