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A model walks the runway during the Anaya show at Fashion Forward October 2017 held at the Dubai Design District on October 27, 2017 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Image Credit: Getty Images for FFWD

What is Fashion Forward Dubai or FFWD?

FFWD was a bi-annual fashion showcase, featuring catwalk shows by regional designers as well as workshops, exhibitions and talks by renowned experts, that began in 2013. The event, endorsed by the Dubai Design and Fashion Council — the body formed in 2014 to promote Dubai as a global hub for design and fashion — moved to its new home at the Dubai Design District (d3) in 2016 and has been held there ever since. Last year, for its 11th season, FFWD was only held once in October, owing to what organisers said was a “shift in global industry trends” and “to strengthen the programme as well as the roster of designers”. The event returns this month, from October 31 to November 2 at d3.

What’s new this year?

This season, visitors will be able to purchase catwalk looks during and after each of the shows. FFWD has created a ‘shop the show’ opportunity utiliSing technology integrated in the FFWD website. The digital platform will enable real-time sales to be completed via messaging services such as WhatsApp, which will be linked to a secure credit card payment gateway.

How many shows will be held?

There will be a showcase by 21 regional and international designers, spread across catwalk shows and presentations. 12 designers will make their FFWD debut while nine are returning to the event.

What else is happening besides the show?

The d3 Fashion Talks will return this year, with well known personalities including Laudomia Pucci, Deputy Chairman, Image Director, and daughter of Pucci founder Emilio Pucci; beauty icon and entrepreneur Joelle Mardinian; sustainability champion Shahd Al Shehail. There will also be masterclasses in topics such as on digital storytelling, how to pitch your brand to buyers and the power of the celebrity collaborations. The exhibition called The Garden, featuing 20 regional accessories designers will also return for visitors to shop at, from jewellery to handbag brands and ready-to-wear.

Who can attend Fashion Forward Dubai?

FFWD is a free-to-attend public event but pre-registration online is mandatory. Entry into catwalk shows, presentations, talks and industry parties is by invite-only, with some passes made available for those registered.