HE Dr Sheikha Aisha al-Thani, philanthropist and supporter of education and entrepreneurship in Qatar, together with Qatar Tourism Authority’s (QTA) festivals and tourism events director Mashal Shahbik and officials of Design Creationz (exhibition organiser), officially opened the event. It was attended by dignitaries, diplomats, international and local designers, and guests.
Some 15 Qatari designers also presented their bespoke abaya collections in a fashion show at the exhibition to mark the Qatar National Day, set on December 18.
Some of the international collections displayed at a fashion show.
German ambassador Hans-Udo Muzel presents three renowned fashion designers.
Debaj's creative director by Elizabeth Reis shows a Qatar National Day-inspired design to HE Dr Sheikha Aisha al-Thani at the opening of Heya
“Ensuring local entrepreneurs are well-represented in tourism events supports the local economy and guarantees an authentic experience for visitors. QTA is pleased to once again support our national products in this celebration of our cultural heritage,” Shahbik said in a statement.
“We are delighted to welcome designers from around the world to share and enrich the Heya platform,” she added.
The fashion shows on Friday featured collections from German and Italian designers while collections from Mexican designers will be showcased on Saturday at 6pm.
Heya, held under the patronage of Qatar Museums chairperson HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad al-Thani, showcases the largest display of local designers to date.
According to the organisers, more than 150 abaya and modest fashion brands from over 15 countries are represented, including Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, India, Turkey, Lebanon, Indonesia, Morocco, Spain, Germany, Italy, Sri Lanka, the UK, France, Mexico and Hong Kong for the first time.
Apart from fashion shows, the opening also saw inspiring discussions about women’s empowerment in fashion and the arts while workshops aimed at supporting aspiring entrepreneurs will take place on Saturday in the evening.
“Heya has evolved over the years, as people not only visit to shop and complete their collections, but also to learn about culture and modest fashion trends,” Design Creationz spokesperson Esraa Abel said in a statement.
“For this edition, we have enhanced the visitor experience so designers are at the core of Design Creationz’ vision. The show is a true representation of art, couture and luxury, and we are proud to provide a collaborative and commercial platform for Qatari, Arab and international fashion designers,” she added.
Heya offers shoppers and visitors various unique collections from high-street apparel, couture and luxury, to the latest modest fashion evening gowns, leather accessories, and for the first-time, perfumery and make-up.
Some of the well-known local designers at the exhibition include Debaj by Elizabeth Reis, Moudi Boutique by Moudi, Aldukan by Alanoud al-Meghaisib, and Almotahajiba by Naser al-Siddiqi.
“For this exhibition, we are showing ‘autumn winter collection’ dubbed as ‘The Sultana,’ it is a homage for every woman for their power, beauty and strength, so someone who wears Debaj inherit these powers immediately” Reis told Gulf Times.
Debaj’s collection is full of richest embroidery with beautiful details and with a lot of maroon – the colour of Qatar, according to the Qatari designer.
“Maroon is not only a general trend for the autumn winter but also it is Qatar’s colour. We are a Qatari brand and 100% supporting the country, and it is a pleasure to wear the colour of Qatar,” she stressed.
About Heya, Reis noted that the exhibition, which showcases local, regional and international fashion brands, is a wonderful opportunity for local designers to promote their collections.