Irthi
The UAE designers paid tribute to Emirati craft in their collections Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: Ten Emirati designers recently revealed their fashion and jewellery collections, incorporating Emirati crafts, on a new global digital portal called ‘Elevenish’.

From day wear pieces to feminine silhouettes, the new collections pay tribute to or incorporate the Emirati crafts of Talli produced by the artisans of the Bidwa Social Development Programme.

The collections were launched on Elevenish, a newly-established online community and e-commerce platform for emerging designers, talents and artists around the world to feature their brand story and creations whilst providing a shopping experience.

New cohort

The development marked the third cohort of 10 Emirati designers trained under ‘Azyame’, the flagship fashion entrepreneurship programme by Irthi Contemporary Craft Council (Irthi), an affiliate of NAMA Women Advancement Establishment (NAMA), in partnership with London College of Fashion.

Azyame programme seeks to support the next generation of creative talent within the country. Bidwa is a part of Irthi.

Irthi new
The collections include fashion and jewellery labels inspired by Emirati crafts Image Credit: Supplied

Local launch, global reach

Elevenish is an avenue for Azyame’s designers to bring their collections one step closer clientele both within the UAE and around the world. The collections have also been unveiled at the Elevenish showroom in Majlis Ghorfat Umm Al Sheif in Dubai.

Reem BinKaram, director of NAMA, said: “The UAE is at the forefront of the fashion revolution in the Middle East, and the country’s home-grown talent are now being recognised for the dynamism and innovation they bring into the constantly evolving fashion scene. As skilled fashion professionals, these up-and-coming designers are connecting with their audiences through niche platforms designed to expand their reach in the regional and global markets.”

BinKaram added: “E-portals such as Elevenish which set a new standard and raise the bar for designers are vital to driving the UAE’s pioneering efforts in the fashion and design industries. For Azyame graduates - who are mentored and trained in integrating fashion with craft-inspired design while also focusing on ethical and sustainable practices - the opportunity to showcase their work on this platform could serve as a launchpad for exciting new opportunities and partnerships.”

Hala Al Gergawi, founder and CEO of Elevenish, said: “We are proud to announce that we have more than 80 brands on board showcasing exclusive pieces. It is an honour to have [Irthi], which shares our vision, to partner with us on the launch, as 10 designers from the Azyame programme’s third cohort will be featuring their beautiful creations on our platform.”

Who are the designers?

The 10 designers include Maitha Hamdan, founder of ‘Decencia’, which features contemporary wear for Arab women; Aysha Salem, founder of AS Fashion House, whose debut line includes dresses for work, special occasions, and red-carpet events; Shoug Fardan, founder of eponymous art-inspired brand ‘SHOUG’; and Fatma Alawi, founder of ‘Mzyan’.

The ‘Azyame’ cohort of designers also includes Ayesha Al Mheiri, founder of ‘OSH Collection’; Moza Al Mazrou, founder of ‘Moza Al Mazrou’, who intertwines culture and crafts in her collection; Sara Al Bedwawi, founder of ‘The Bedwa’; and Wafa Balaswad, founder of the label ‘Wafa Balaswad’.

Badria Salim, founder of ‘Abdar Jewelry’, honours the Talli patterns with her geometric designs; while Sara Al Mulla, founder and CEO of ‘Piece of Heart Jewellery’, pays homage to the intricate details of Talli in her collection.

Panel discussion

At an event to mark the launch of Elevenish brand and platform in Dubai, a panel discussion was held to introduce attendees to Irthi and the Azyame programme. The session featured Hala Al Gergawi, Reem BinKaram, and Azyame designers Wafa Balaswad, Badria Salem, and Shoug Fardan who all shared their experiences during the Azyame programme.