On October 11, the first ever high-end fashion conference for EU-GCC stakeholders is taking place in Kuwait City at the Radisson Blu Hotel. The conference is organized by the EU-GCC Trade and Business Cooperation Facility together with regional industry partners, Fashion Exclusive UAE and Islamic Fashion and Design Council (IFDC) and is part of a three-year programme funded by European Union to support trade and dialogue between the two regions. Highlighted speakers include H.E. Sheika Intisar Salem al-Ali al-Sabah and representatives from Louis Vuitton, Vogue Arabia, Ounass.com, WGSN, Premier Vision and Bambah Boutique as well as fashion designers Amal Al Raisi and hijabi-model and influencer Mariah Idrissi.
Consumers in Middle Eastern countries spend $240 billion annually on clothing and in the GCC alone, import of clothes and fashion accessories from the EU accounts for more than $1.75 billion each year. An increasingly strong demand for international fashion and luxury in the GCC provides a great potential for EU companies. However, the GCC is not only an import market. With the right institutional support, the GCC has a great potential to become a fashion exporter to the rest of the world. The high-end fashion conference in Kuwait therefore offers a great opportunity for companies, buyers, designers, influencers and organizations to share experience and knowledge that will develop further cooperation between the EU and the GCC within the fashion industry
“The GCC region has great potential within fashion design and this high-end fashion conference will highlight regional upcoming designers and entrepreneurs because they are crucial to develop the local fashion industry. Strengthening this sector, that employs many women and young people, can furthermore be a solution to some of the challenges like unemployment and economic diversification in the region,” says Gry Saul, project manager on the EU-GCC high-end fashion conference.
The conference gathers fashion industry stakeholders from the EU and GCC to discuss industry collaborations and business opportunities between the regions. Other interesting panels include discussions on innovation and sustainability in fashion as well as how social media may empower young entrepreneurs and ensure the future of the fashion industry.
The conference has a very strong line-up of interesting speakers including representatives from Louis Vuitton, Vogue Arabia, Ounass.com, WGSN, Carlin, Kopenhagen Fur, and Bambah Boutique.
“The mainstream fashion industry and the Islamic fashion industry have a lot in common. But there has to be some kind of collaborative spirit. This is why we are present at an event like this, where the effort to combine – in collaboration – the immense talent from both sides and see how they can work together to captivate the audience in a more powerful way,” says Alia Khan on the importance of cooperation in the fashion industry.