Qatar’s Rising Designers Create New Partnership with Fashion Leaders

Ambitious young businesswomen to get inside knowledge from top UK-based designers and brands
ByDawn GibsonMonday , 09 December 2013
Qatar’s Rising Designers Create New Partnership with Fashion Leaders
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L'Wren Scott is among the designers who will be helping to guide Qatar's young fashion talent

Emerging female fashion entrepreneurs in Qatar will work alongside some of the biggest names in the British fashion industry to learn how to develop their businesses under a new program born from the Qatar UK 2013 Year of Culture.

L’Wren Scott, whose clients include Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman and Michelle Obama, and celebrated milliner Stephen Jones OBE will be among the designers taking part in the scheme, which will also be supported by Qatar’s Roudha Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Local designers Wadha Al Hajri, Hessa Abdulla Al-Mannai, Fathiya Ahmad Al Jaber and Elham Al Ansari joined Scott and Jones in Doha this week for a series of lectures, workshops, meetings and displays to kick off the collaboration, coinciding with a Fashion Exchange show celebrating British and Qatar fashion. Additionally, fashion retail entrepreneurs in Qatar will provide British designers with insight and an overview of the Qatari fashion scene.

Starting from next year, Scott and Jones will begin a fashion exchange program with Qatari designers and university students to impart skills, knowledge and experience to ambitious young women seeking to build businesses in Qatar.
“As an entrepreneur, creative director and founder of my own brand, I am excited to share my passion and knowledge with the women of Qatar and hope to be able to influence their journey,” said Scott.

Mentorships will enable designers in Qatar to exchange ideas and industry best practice with top brands in the UK. Internships will offer university students the chance to work at top ateliers in the UK, enabling them to bring home skills to help them build their businesses. The program will offer students rotational training opportunities in the design, financial and marketing aspects of fashion.

The Fashion Exchange concept was developed by Farheen Allsopp, a British businesswoman based in Doha, and is a growing platform to promote emerging and established designers from both Qatar and the UK. The scheme is one of several long-term programs taking shape following a year of cultural exchange activities between both countries, including the staging of the Damien Hirst show Relics in Doha, numerous other art exhibitions, concerts, sports competitions and academic exchanges.