The 14th edition of Heya Arabian Fashion Exhibition, which concluded on Tuesday, attracted approximately 10,000 visitors throughout the five-day event, a 29% increase year-on-year, organisers have announced.
Bringing together fashion enthusiasts and influencers, families and aspiring designers, the exhibition showcased more than 25 international brands of abayas and modest fashion collections with more than 230 local, regional and international brands attending from over 14 countries.
This year saw the largest number of established and emerging Qatari designers, with more than 170 of exhibitors coming from Qatar.
Representing a 65% increase in Qatari designers from the previous Autumn/Winter 2017 edition, the 14th Heya saw returning brands including Three Batch by Fatma Alahmed, Almotahajiba and QLabel from Qatar; as well as Lala Moda from Morocco, Luna Italia from Italy and Bocan from Turkey.
A host of new brands participated this year including Khemar, Lulu Collection and Noon Designs from Qatar; as well as Dar Alamria from Kuwait and Aikeya from India. New partnerships with Discover America Week, Tajmeel (Qatar International Beauty Academy) and Istituto di Moda Burgo Qatar (Fashion and Arts Academy), along with previously forged partnerships with Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar (VCUQ) and Qatar Business Incubation Center (QBIC), provided visitors with expertise in everything from fashion marketing to finance, to how to get a fashion business off the ground.
In addition, adding depth to this year’s programme were the collaborations with the US and Belgian embassies to help nurture and develop local design talent. Beyond the unique shopping experience, Heya’s packed schedule of nine workshops, four forums and 18 multi-brand show stopping fashion shows drew huge crowds. The event displayed the latest collection of abayas, kaftans, jalabiyas, evening gowns, veils and other accessories as well as perfumery and make-up.
Highlights included a special appearance by Asma al-Thani who recently made history by becoming the first Qatari to ski to the North Pole, hosting a forum on her journey to empower Qatari women. Renowned Kuwaiti influencer and make-up artist Abeer Alyaseen made a special appearance through a dedicated make-up workshop, offering tips and advices for visitors. In addition, VCUQ hosted a series of workshops and forums developed to teach the basics of fashion design.
Closing out the event was the exclusive Awards Ceremony with the top two prestigious awards. Debaj won the Exhibitor’s Choice Award while D Designs won the Visitors’ Choice Award. Heya was brought to visitors by Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and delivered by partners Design Creationz, who put on the exhibition. “Heya has provided an enriching event for lovers of Arabian fashion, whether designers, shoppers or businesswomen. We look forward to the continued growth in coming editions,” QTA’s communications and marketing acting director Jawaher al-Khuzaei said.
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