On December 16, Doha will host the world's largest fashion show 'Qatar Fashion United' by Carine Roitfeld, as part of the series of cultural events and artistic performances organised by Qatar Creates initiative during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
On the interrelated relationship pitching fashion, culture, music, and sports, the Director of M7 — affiliated with Qatar Museums — Maha Ghanem al-Sulaiti told Qatar News Agency (QNA) that this exceptional global show sheds light on the close relationship between the fashion world and sports, and the impact they have on each other.
Like celebrities, many athletes have become stars and fashion models and have a significant share in the field of publicity and advertising, as well as hiring experts to take care of their appearance and fashion.
At the same time, we see many international fashion houses paying great attention to sports fashion of all kinds, highlighting the role of fashion and sportswear in many international sporting tournaments and events in helping athletes to perform optimally without any difficulty.
She pointed out the awareness of the vital role played by sports — such as football, in improving relations between peoples, understanding and assimilating the culture and traditions of other peoples, and discarding differences between them.
Al-Sulaiti indicated that this major show and rich cultural forum is sponsored by 'Qatar Creates,' which is a cultural initiative that celebrates, promotes, and praises the diversity of cultural activities throughout the year, as well as being a platform for artistic and cultural events and activities in Qatar, which aims to nurture, support and care for talents.
Qatar Creates also allows various groups of residents, tourists, and fans to know about the upcoming cultural activities and enables them to access and attend them, providing them with a magnificent opportunity to watch and enjoy a variety of cultural and entertainment shows throughout the country, noting that — through its co-operation with partners in the museums, film, fashion, hospitality, cultural heritage, performing arts and private sector in Qatar, the initiative seeks to amplify the voice of the creative industries in Qatar, and to connect the public directly with various cultural events and activities.
On the role of M7 in this regard, she indicated that M7 of Qatar Museums is a cultural edifice and a platform for the innovation community and start-ups in Qatar.
M7 represents a space for all those interested in the creative industry, whether they are amateurs or institutions, and it is also an incubator for professional designers looking to seriously expand their business, work cooperatively with experts who provide training and workshops for emerging talents, and other offers that fulfill designers' requirements.
M7 also holds local and international exhibitions for designers, artists, and the public in general.
She said that the M7 aims to bring together all those within the creative scene and help them communicate with each other to develop the creative industry, adding that M7 also works on hosting various events, activities, and fashion and design programmes.
When we bring artists, talents, and designers together in one place, it becomes easier for everyone to get to know what is going on in the business and who is involved in it, thus participate effectively in the process of development and improvement together, she explained.
Regarding the position of Qatari designers in this event and the role of M7 in promoting the Qatari culture and identity, M7 Director stressed that — thanks to the attention and care provided by Qatar to the fields of arts, design, and fashion, we now have a young generation of fashion design specialists.
She added that at M7 is keen to nurture talents, innovators, and designers and provide them with all means of support to help them continue their participation in the process of construction and development.
She pointed out that M7 works hard to highlight the close relationship pitching fashion, heritage, and identity, as fashion represents the outer expression of the individual's culture and identity.
To preserve heritage and identity, M7 centre will organise several awareness campaigns among young generations to pay attention to local and traditional costumes.
M7 also hosts the 'From the Homeland' exhibition, which reflects the aesthetics of Qatari art with a contemporary touch by the hands of young Qatari designers and innovators incubated by the Nama Center.
The exhibition contributes to strengthening the Qatari identity, introduces the current generation to the heritage of handicrafts, contributes to encouraging entrepreneurs to show contemporary art in a Qatari spirit, and promotes small and micro projects affiliated with the Nama Center.
Al-Sulaiti also revealed the segments of Qatar Fashion United by CR Runway, noting they will include four uniquely designed and arranged sub-shows, including an opening segment in which ambassadors of 32 countries in the World Cup wear custom sports shirts.
Afterwards, two Qatari brands collaborate, namely: Alya al-Obaidli and Harlienz, to present a special show inspired by the craft of searching for pearls al-Sulaiti noted that the second segment will be a 'world fashion tour,' explaining that it would be a major celebration of the exceptional work of a group of designers from six continents, while the third and final segment — under the title of 'One Night in Qatar' will be a dazzling show of high-end fashion and evening wear designed exclusively by fashion experts and international brands of fashion shows (Qatar Fashion United). This segment will introduce the participation of 21 Qatari brands presented by M7, which she described as Qatar's epicentre for innovation and entrepreneurship in design, fashion and technology, she added.
On the possibility that this event is related to the World Cup and whether it will be organised annually, al-Sulaiti confirmed that organising this global event is part of the cultural events held on the sidelines of the FIFA World Cup 2022, pointing out that it was organised and produced successfully thanks to the tireless efforts and continuous support of all the local and international partners.
She expressed her determination to continue organising this exceptional event annually, in order to instill these values among the people in the Qatari society, and to enhance co-operation with all national, regional and international stakeholders.
In a related context, al-Sulaiti noted that many artists will perform in a joint concert in Doha on Dec 16 at Stadium 974, including the Iraqi singer Kazem al-Saher, the Lebanese singer Nancy Ajram and the Algerian singer known as Cheb Khaled, in addition to several international artists including the French musician DJ Snake, the Puerto Rican singer Juan Carlos Ozuna, the South African singer Zakes Bantwini and other artists.
The director of M7 highlighted the centre's keenness on the significance of folklore and its role in shaping the memory and conscience of a nation, considering that traditional costumes say a lot about the culture and heritage of the country, in addition to the centre's role in promoting these values among the Qatari society, adding that local costumes are an integral part of this heritage and folklore.
From this standpoint, M7 centre is keen to hold specialised and general workshops that shed light on local fashion and its role in preserving the identity and culture of the nation, while adding a sense of modernism to local fashion, to highlight its beauty, and encourage the younger generation, refine their skills in this field and spread the spirit of innovation among them.
In response to a question about her opinion on the popularity of Qatar's local costumes and clothing among international fans and their interest evident in how men and women are enthusiastically dressed in either the Qatari gotra or abaya during Qatar's hosting of the World Cup Qatar 2022, al-Sulaiti underlined the sweetness of this gesture, adding that through this event, many designs that will be presented are inspired by the Qatari heritage.
The role of M7 centre is to shed light on the Qatari culture and present it to the world, she said, adding that tourists, visitors and foreign fans have shown a positive response to the Qatari costumes, which is very pleasant and admirable — giving Qataris a sense of pride to belong to this homeland.
Maha Ghanem al-Sulaiti