Models walk the runway at the Madiyah Al Sharqi show during Fashion Forward at Madinat Jumeirah on October 6, 2014 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Image Credit: Getty Images for Fashion Forward

Old favourites and new designers will return to Season 5 of Fashion Forward (FFWD), the bi-annual showcase of the latest trends featuring some of region’s top and upcoming talents.

To be held from April 10 to 13, a diverse line-up comprising 25 designers will present couture and ready-to-wear collections via catwalk shows, while 40 apparel and accessory designers will showcase their brands in the exhibition space called The Garden.

“We can expect to see some fantastic collections at FFWD Season Five both on and off the runway,” said Bong Guerrero, Founder and CEO of Fashion Forward. “Launching our presentation space for this season will give a different dynamic and allows designers to choose the best way to showcase their collections. As well as being beautiful to look at, fashion is made to be worn. The addition of apparel brands to The Garden this season means that guests to FFWD can take home on season looks, as well as accessories. ”

The designers showing couture collections this season are:


The much-loved label returns to FFWD for the fifth season. Known for his ability to craft extravagant and artistic designs, Dubai-based Furne One has rapidly worked his way up the fashion ladder, and is celebrated both regionally and internationally for his couture creations. www.amatohautecouture.com


For well over a decade, Dubai-based Filipino designer Ezra Santos has been producing extravagant couture, establishing his brand as synonymous to elegance and beauty. Ezra returns to show at FFWD this season after having showcased at Seasons One, Two, and Three. www.ezrafashiondesign.com

Jean Louis Sabaji

Lebanese couturier Sabaji has shown at FFWD since Season Three. He returns with his conceptual and daring pieces, influenced heavily by the strength and beauty of nature. www.jeanlouissabaji.com


UAE based label Zareena will once again showcase luxurious and elegant pieces this April, having shown at FFWD since Season Three. Yousef uses fabric combinations and embroidery to complement and enhance a woman’s beauty which is the trademark of her acclaimed gowns. www.zareena.co/wp/

Showing ready-to-wear collections at Season Five are:

Aiisha Ramadan

Lebanese designer Aiisha Ramadan makes her FFWD debut at Season Five. Her garments speak to the feminine woman of both worlds. With an impressive celebrity following, she has already gained international popularity. www.aiisha.com

Amber Feroz

Indian designer Feroz launched his eponymous brand in 2004. His Dubai-based label produces collections specialises in women’s eveningwear and daywear including abayas. Season Five will be his first season showcasing at FFWD. www.facebook.com/pages/Amber-Feroz


Showing for the first time at FFWD, French-Algerian designer Faiza Bouguessa will present her latest collection of luxury abayas. Drawing inspiration from art, architecture and global culture, Bougouessa combines straight-lined designs with sophistication. www.bouguessa.com


Saudi label Daneh shows this April for the first time at FFWD. Designer Daneh Buahmad’s driving force is to create wearable chic statements. Easy-to-wear pieces come together to make timeless basics with a twist of urban luxury. www.danehfashion.com

Dima Ayad

Having showcased at Seasons One, Two and Four, Dubai-based label Dima Ayad returns to the FFWD runways this April. Lebanese designer Ayad launched her brand of eveningwear in 2010 and strives to provide women with ‘fashion that makes you feel good’ – stylish and sophisticated dresses with a ‘wear-and-go’ philosophy that accentuate and celebrate their bodies, no matter what shape or size. www.dimaayad.com


Dubai-based Iranian designer Ava Hashemi creates structured high-end ready-to-wear clothing and accessory lines for women who intend to embrace sophistication and class, whilst staying on trend. Season Five will be Hashe second season at FFWD after debuting last October. www.houseofhashe.com

Hussein Bazaza

Lebanese designer Hussein Bazaza first showed at FFWD Season One as part of The Starch Foundation. Bazaza, also a Teaching Professor of Fashion Design at ESMOD Beirut, returns to the FFWD runways this April to show his latest collection. Bazaza’s pieces are known for drawing inspirations, where every cut reflects a different story, a personal emotion that creates a one-of-a kind experience – fashion with a soul. www.husseinbazaza.com

House of Nomad

Making their FFWD debut, House of Nomad is an innovative fashion brand based in Dubai and co-founded by Ahmed Al Sayed and Saleh Al Banna. The label is based on the premise of a nomad: a wanderer with no geographic boundaries, living in perpetual motion from one temporary dwelling to another. A prominent feature throughout all their collections is the use of Arabic calligraphy, which the designers have used to proudly assert their cultural DNA. www.house-of-nomad.com

Lama Jouni

The eponymous label of the Paris-based, Lebanese designer produces high-end ready-to-wear. Jouni moved to Paris in 2007 to pursue her designing career, and launched her own label in 2013. Her pieces have cultural referents, in outlines or details, and are made to be worn by independent and passionate women. Season Five is her first time showing at FFWD. www.lamajouni.com

Madiyah Al Sharqi

Returning for her third season at FFWD, Emirati designer Sheikha Madiyah Al Sharqi offers effortless eveningwear with an updated edge, evolving the traditional vision of elegance. www.madiyahalsharqi.com


Iranian designer Maral Yazaloo launched her label Maral in Paris, before taking it to Rome and is now based in India. Fusionwear characterises her collections as she maintains the balance between modernity and culture. Her collections are a blend of Middle Eastern aesthetics, Asian tastes and Western flavour. Season Five is her second season showing at FFWD. www.maralyazarloo.com


Showing for the first time at FFWD this April, Emirati designer Rafia Helal Bin Drai launched Mauzan in 1990. The label’s fashion creations speak to women and celebrates the abaya and sheila as powerful expressions of a woman’s individuality. www.mauzan.com


Emirati Reema Al Banna makes her FFWD debut this April showing her playful fashion brand. A brand for the young and young at heart, the brand identity is shaped by Reema’s love for creativity, through having unexpected cuts and details, and treating each item as a piece of art. www.reemami.com

Starch Foundation

Under the mentorship of Rabih Kayrouz, the Starch Foundation has presented their chosen designers at each edition of FFWD, to great acclaim. The designers this season are: Sarkis Dersahagian with his label Ardashes; Nour Najem presents her eponymous label; Joe Arida showcases his brand La Terre Est Folle; and accessories designer Yasmine Jaber with her brand Exocet. www.starchfoundation.org

Said Mahrouf

Moroccan-born Said Mahrouf studied fashion design in Holland and New York. He presented his first prêt-à-porter collection in 1999 to international acclaim and in 2000 he started his own performance company in Amsterdam. Mahrouf’s love of costume design, artistry and partiality to feminine elegance defines his collections. Mahrouf will show for the second time at FFWD this April, after presenting at Season Three. www.saidmahrouf.nl

Taller Marmo

Showing for their fourth consecutive season at FFWD, Taller Marmo are Dubai-based design duo Riccardo Audisio and Yago Goicoechea. The label merges European elegance with Middle Eastern charm and uses fine Italian tailoring with a minimal approach, fused with Arabic traditions. This season they are presented by Gabs handbags. www.tallermarmo.com

The Emperor 1688

The Golkar brothers return to FFWD for their fifth consecutive season to showing their luxury mens and womenswear. The British- Iranian trio set up the label in 2007 and are based in Dubai. Their collections combine exquisite tailoring, with regal prints and classic cuts made of the finest European fabrics. www.theemperor1688.com

Three Fifty Nine

The Egyptian label aims to introduce wearable art collections that are inspired from art pieces and patterns with colours and graphic prints. Season Five will be their FFWD debut. www.threefiftynine.co

FFWD Season Five will run from April 10 to 13. Registration for tickets will open soon online through www.fashionforward.ae.