Wednesday, April 22, 2015 and Dubai Design & Fashion Council Launch

- DDFC Fashion Prize to Incubate and Promote Middle Eastern Talents -

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Sunday, April 19th 2015 [ME NewsWire]

Today,, the Middle East’s first Condé Nast fashion and beauty publication, and the Dubai Design & Fashion Council (DDFC) announced the formation of the – DDFC Fashion Prize, an annual endowment for the Arab world’s most promising fashion talents.


Following a Royal decree last year by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai and Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE, the Dubai Design and Fashion Council was established to raise the profile of the Emirate as a global destination for design, and to create opportunities for emerging regional design and fashion talents. By building a framework for the industry, the Council aims to position Dubai as the emerging center for design and fashion.

The – DDFC Fashion Prize, launched in partnership with the luxury ecommerce brand Farfetch, addresses the Council’s mandate of invigorating regional talent. It will provide a global platform for emerging Middle Eastern designers to showcase their abilities while establishing the quality control, standards, mentorship, and broader visibility the nascent industry needs. Furthermore, the – DDFC Fashion Prize will facilitate the Arab world’s ongoing transition from a consumer market to an active exporter of fashion.

Nez Gebreel, CEO of the Dubai Design & Fashion Council, commented: “Incubating and developing talent is a key initiative of the DDFC. We are proud to be part of the – DDFC Fashion Prize as it is a great program for the world to see the talent we have in the region. There is a tremendous amount of creativity and positive energy in the region’s industry; we are here to help support and mentor these designers to realize their potential and achieve their dreams. This prize is a wonderful initiative that meets many of our objectives for developing the industry and allowing emerging designers to thrive.”

Shashi Menon, CEO and Publisher of, added: “’s vision has always been to elevate the regional fashion scene to a truly global level — and to increasingly bring the world to this region. We’re dedicated to supporting home-grown talents and to showcasing them on a highly visible international stage. The – DDFC Fashion Prize represents the culmination of years of effort and is another step we’ve taken to provide our burgeoning fashion ecosystem with the structure it needs to truly take flight.”

The – DDFC Fashion Prize will be overseen by a Selection Committee comprising senior executives from, the Dubai Design & Fashion Council, Farfetch, and both the regional and international fashion communities, including:

    Tim Blanks: Editor-at-Large,
    Peter Dundas: Creative Director, Roberto Cavalli
    Zuhair Murad: Founder and Designer, Zuhair Murad
    Stephanie Horton: Chief Marketing Officer, Farfetch
    Nez Gebreel: CEO, Dubai Design & Fashion Council
    Shashi Menon: CEO & Publisher,
    Sofia Guellaty: Editor-in-Chief,
    Patrick Chalhoub: Joint CEO, Chalhoub Group
    Afef Jnifen: International model, presenter, and brand ambassadress

The inaugural winner of the – DDFC Fashion Prize will be announced this Fall. The winning designer will receive a financial grant; the opportunity to produce a capsule collection for sale on; the opportunity to present a runway show at Fashion Forward (FFWD); a year of mentorship from a collection of highly esteemed mentors; media/press coverage; and an advertising campaign, collectively representing over US $250,000 in value.

Spanning several disciplines, official mentors of the – DDFC Fashion Prize include:

    José Neves: Founder and CEO, Farfetch
    Meredith Melling: Founder, La Marque; former Senior Market Editor, American Vogue
    Susanne Tide-Frater: Brand & Strategy Director, Farfetch; Fashion Director, Victoria Beckham
    Nevena Borissova: Founder, Curve boutique
    Angelique Soave: Investor, various luxury fashion/lifestyle brands

José Neves, Founder and CEO of Farfetch, concluded: “This partnership represents our long-term commitment to the Middle East, by surfacing the region’s most interesting, talented designers and giving them a global platform. In terms of fashion, the Middle East is one of the most exciting emerging regions, and Dubai is helping to lead the way.”

Applications for the – DDFC Fashion Prize are open as of today at or

- ENDS -

Notes to Editors

For the full press release, list and bios of the Selection Committee and mentors, and photos, visit:

For information on or the – DDFC Fashion Prize, contact:


For information on the Dubai Design and Fashion Council, contact:

For information on Farfetch, please contact:



Launched in 2012, is the first Condé Nast fashion and beauty publication in the Middle East. Like its sister site, the award-winning, is known for its distinctive and authoritative editorial style. Since launching, has become the leading voice in fashion in the Middle East and the only truly global fashion/luxury publication from the region, with readers in 190 countries around the world. In 2013, expanded further with the launch of Published bilingually in both English and Arabic, is one of just a few bilingual Condé Nast publications anywhere in the world. 

About the Dubai Design & Fashion Council

The Dubai Design & Fashion Council was established in late 2014 by the Dubai government to position Dubai as a global hub for design and fashion in the Middle East region and to nurture regional talent. The Dubai Design & Fashion Council aims to position Dubai as the emerging design capital of the world, and raise its profile as a regional and global destination for design and fashion.

Chaired by Dr. Amina Al Rustamani, Group CEO of Tecom Investments, and run by CEO Nez Gebreel, the Dubai Design and Fashion Council’s board members consist of 15 individuals who represent a mix of key stakeholder groups, including government, academic, not-for profit and private sector experts, such as Laila Suhail, CEO at Dubai Festival and Retail Establishments; Holding; Khalid Al Tayer, CEO – Retail of Al Tayer Group; Patrick Chalhoub, CEO of Chalhoub Group; and fashion designer Reem Acra.

About Farfetch

Farfetch is a revolutionary way to buy fashion. The pioneering website brings together more than 300 of the world's best independent designer boutiques, from Tokyo, New York and Milan to Bucharest, Helsinki and Mumbai, allowing customers to shop an unparalleled range of labels and pieces.

Farfetch’s partner stores have been carefully selected for their unique approach, forward-thinking attitude and diversity, and include such renowned boutiques as Browns in London, L'Eclaireur in Paris, Kirna Zabête in New York, Restir in Japan, and Smets in Luxembourg.

Founded in 2008 by the Portuguese entrepreneur José Neves, Farfetch offers these bricks-and-mortar boutiques the opportunity to compete with the major players in online retail. And, for lovers of beautiful fashion, Farfetch offers the chance to indulge a passion and shop the world.


Alexa Hooft Graafland



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