Updated: Dec 1, 2018
Though there are fashion weeks for almost every region and city across the globe, it is well known that there is the "Big Four" which includes New York, London, Milan, & Paris. Some of the many fashion weeks you may not have heard about but are definitely worth looking at are South Africa Fashion Week, Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo, and Miami Fashion Week.
But which fashion show has the ability to break into the "Big Four" and create the "Big Five"? While that is yet to be seen, the fashion week that has its sights set on just that is set in none other than Dubai! Arab Fashion Week which took place May 16th through May 20th plans on being as relevant on your fashion calendar as Paris or New York.
Their strategy? Arab Fashion Week specializes in something a bit different than the other fashion weeks, ready-couture. Inspired by the need for a more eco-friendly method of design in the midst of a heavily ready-to-wear focused fashion world, ready-couture seeks to get design back to more nourished relationships between clients and designers and reduce the impacts of the assembly-line-like production that has become commonplace today. The Arab Fashion Week website states "As Paris is the Haute Couture capital of the world, Dubai aims to be the capital of the Ready-Couture..."
On top of working towards a more personal client/designer relationship and sustainability, Arab Fashion Week is also promoting diversity on the runways. Designer Rad Hourani, the first unisex designer to join the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, presented a completely unisex collection that was "based on style preference rather than gender". Men, women, and non-binary models all graced the catwalk for Hourani's show.
On the other hand, we have Marchesa by designer Georgina Chapman showed amazing feminine pre-fall pieces that are well-received by the audience in the UAE. Marchesa even went as far as to schedule two shows during this AFW, the second of which is her bridal collection which showed on the closing day of the events.
What makes a fashion week the next big fashion week is really hard to say, and only time can tell, but it's safe to say innovation and inclusivity are definitely major players on the road to creating a "big five". As you know, I am all for the emerging designer, or in this case, the emerging designer showcase and expect to see great things from AFW and many other fashion celebrations worldwide.
Let us know in the comments what you think of the collections and ideas behind AFW or what your favorite fashion weeks are that aren't necessarily a part of the Big Four.