Meet the Winners of the 2021 Fashion Trust Arabia Prize

The Fashion Trust Arabia was founded to support designers from the Middle East and North Africa, granting winners up to $200,000, and providing mentorships and training.

In the pantheon of prestigious international awards supporting young designers — Andam, LVMH, Hyères, Trieste’s ITS — the Fashion Trust Arabia Prize is claiming its place as a glamorous (and well-funded) recent addition. The brainchild of Lebanese-born entrepreneur Tania Fares, FTA launched as a non-profit initiative in 2018 under the royal patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser of Qatar and her daughter and co-chair, Her Excellency Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani. Intended to provide financial support and international recognition to emerging talents of the Middle East and North Africa region, it grants each winner up to $200,000, and offers business mentorships and sustainability training.

“As an Arab woman,” said Fares, “it was my dream to do something to help build a fashion community in the Middle East and put my expertise and knowledge at the service of talented designers.” During the years she spent in London, Fares partnered with Fashion East’s Lulu Kennedy, worked with the British Fashion Council, and founded the Global Fashion Trust. In 2017 she met with the Qatari mother-daughter duo, who are both active in promoting access to education and the arts.

The first edition of the Fashion Trust Arabia Prize coincided with the 2019 opening of the National Museum of Qatar in Doha, a stunning piece of architecture envisioned by architect Jean Nouvel inspired by the shape of a desert rose. The pandemic forced last year’s edition of the Prize to go virtual, but this week it returned to a physical format. Among those who traveled to Doha FTA were Pierpaolo Piccioli, Virgil Abloh, Remo Ruffini, Juergen Teller, and Mugler’s Casey Cadwallader. The events were bookended by a Valentino party launching a capsule of haute couture abayas at the Islamic Museum and Virgil Abloh’s “Figures of Speech” exhibition, which traveled from Chicago’s MCA to Doha’s Fire Station. In between, the award ceremony was held at the National Museum of Qatar with a gala dinner.

Abdelgader El Tayeb won the Franca Sozzani debut talent award

Photo: Courtesy of Fashion Trust Arabia

This story originally appeared on: Vogue - Author:Tiziana Cardini