The Heya Arabian Fashion Exhibition has returned with its 17th edition, presenting a series of events showcasing the latest in Arabian and modest designs, as well as valuable insights into the business of fashion.
A popular platform for Qatari designers to showcase their latest collections, this year’s event includes a series of talks covering topics from design to innovation and entrepreneurship.
“Heya is bringing together local talent to educate and entertain audiences in Qatar, and to offer up and coming designers the opportunity to learn from industry leaders, while contributing to the economy," Qatar Business Events Corporation (QBEC) CEO Ahmed al-Obaidli said in a press statement.
"We are pleased to present a diverse and inspirational programme of talks this year, in collaboration with our partners across the public and private sectors, with the aim of developing synergies between designers, entrepreneurs, aficionados, and students, and furthering Qatar’s burgeoning fashion business,” the official explained.
Each day features talks, providing opportunities to network, learn and be inspired by the best of Arabian and modest fashion.
The opening day of the event hosted by Qatar National Tourism Council, included a session by Maha al-Sulaiti, acting director of M7, a creative startup hub established by Qatar Museums.
The session highlighted M7’s role in cultivating opportunities for small businesses and empowering designers to explore, collaborate, and grow into successful entrepreneurs.
Led by Amal Ameen, founder and CEO of Amici Di Moda, along with media personalities Ola Al Fares, Asma al-Hammadi and Al Ftoon al-Janahi, 'Abaya Talk' focused on modest fashion’s role in shaping the industry into a significant retail sector, and how it has helped empower women.
A talk show entitled 'Flowers & Fashion' by Khadeja Ahmad Albuhaliqa, co-founder of Henks gardens, celebrated the role of flowers in inspiring designers throughout the years.
On day two of the exhibition (November 28), Dana Riad, founder and CEO of Dana Riad House of Fashion, hosted a discussion entitled 'From Concept to Runway, behind the Scenes' while Harriet Gyamfuah, Public Relations director of Creative Amplified; and Abla Sebak, CEO of Noir Group, spoke about the power of public relations in fashion.
Day three of Heya (yesterday) featured a talk on scaling up your fashion business, focusing on the opportunities, programmes and entities that support budding fashion entrepreneurs.
Panellists included Aysha al-Romaihi, head of Strategic Initiatives and Business Collaborations at Qatar Business Incubation Centre and al-Sulaiti.
As with many of QNTC’s exhibitions, young talent played a prominent role at Heya. A talk on 'What is it like to study fashion in Qatar', brought together alumni of Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts, Roda al-Marzouqi, Jude Zahran, and Lauren Morell.
Sustainability, of great import to Qatar, was also a key theme, with a discussion of 'Sustainable Luxury Fashion'. Panellists included Sonali Raman from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCUarts) Qatar, Sakala A Debrass and Kim Wyatt, with the talk drawing many attendees.
“We are thrilled to be part of Qatar’s premier fashion event again this year. For close to two decades, we’ve been partnering with Heya, giving our students and alumni a chance to be part of the growing Qatari fashion industry, gain hands-on experience and meet designers, planners, influencers and buyers,” Chris Fink, chair of Fashion Design at VCUarts Qatar, said.
Those who have not yet visited the exhibition still have a chance to do so. Three more talks are scheduled today. A talk on 'Women Empowerment in Social Media Era' will be presented by Zunira Malik, CEO of What’s Up Doha; Mahdiya Farook, founder of Social Panther Group; and Conchita Ponce, founder of Future 318.
'Marketing through Photography' by Aljazi al-Hajri, Creative Content creator, will give a general overview on sales and marketing, how to increase your business’ exposure and your Instagram engagement.
Fatma Ghanem, CEO of Fatma Ghanem Academy, will cover 'Grow Your Business, Knowing Yourself,' discussing how to cultivate passion in your business.
The five-day exhibition, organised by QBEC, a subsidiary of QNTC, runs until December 1, with representation from more than 150 Qatari brands.