London Arabia Art & Fashion Week shines a light on Gulf designers

The third annual London Arabia Art and Fashion Week last week successfully highlighted the incredible culture of the Arab world, with art exhibitions and workshops taking place in various parts of London.

Guests at the London Arabia Art & Fashion Week

The event, held in partnership with Regent’s University London, Harvey Nichols, the Bicester Village Shopping Collection, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and many others, provides the chance to bring Arab culture to a new audience, and a chance for young Arab artists and designers to connect with their British counterparts in the fashion and art industries.

“The third year running, the Arabia Art and Fashion Week in London is becoming a mainstay on London’s thriving cultural scene, and we hope it helps people from both regions to continue to cooperate, trade, exchange and understand each other,” said Omar Bdour, the head of London Arabia Organization.

The opening fashion show at the Jumeirah Carlton on Wednesday revealed the latest collections of designers from the Gulf region, namely from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Morocco. “We made an effort to select a few designers that have shown special creative and tailoring skills that could be deemed worthy of exhibiting their product at the pop-up shop at Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge, London,” said Asmaa Al-Jabri, the week’s fashion curator.

Guest at the London Arabia Art & Fashion Week with Regent's Vice Chancellor Aldwyn Cooper

Al-Jabri and her two sisters started Velvet Abaya in Saudi Arabia 12 years ago, making a mark in the local industry for modest designs.

Participants visited Regent’s University London the following day, for a presentation of certificates of appreciation from Vice Chancellor Aldwyn Cooper for all who had participated.

The show also featured a 'Dress for Our Time' made by Professor Helen Storey, tailored from a decommissioned tent from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees as a reminder that the world needs to solve the growing refugees crisis.

Harvey Nichols’ general manager Simon Youden said that he was excited that it is taking part with its pop-up shop, which continues until August 16. “In summer time, London increases its diversity, and hosting this pop-up is part of what we do at Harvey Nichols in pushing the boundaries of retail and welcoming Arab designers in the store.”

Guests at the London Arabia Art & Fashion Week