Fashion Weeks are outdated, says Fashion Forward co-founder

Brands should go digital instead, according to Ramzi Nakad
DUBAI UNITED ARAB EMIRATES OCTOBER 28 EDITORS NOTE Image was altered with digital filters Models walk the runway during the Joao Rolo International show at Fashion Forward October 2017 held at the Dubai Design District on October 28 2017 in Dubai United Arab Emirates Photo by Cedric RibeiroGetty Images for FFWD
By Lubna Hamdan
Wed 20 Dec 2017 11:32 AM

The concept of ‘Fashion Weeks’ is an old and outdated format of doing business, according to the co-founder of Fashion Forward (FFWD), Ramzi Nakad, who said the Dubai-based designer platform will possibly let go of the imported event method and focus on integrating technology instead.

So far, the platform hosts bi-annual happenings that resemble fashion weeks, showcasing a series of runway shows by regional designers. But that is set to change, according to Nakad.

“The rise of digital communication and social media has sent the fashion industry into a complete overhaul, with immediacy and instant gratification becoming the name of the game,” he told Arabian Business in an exclusive interview. 

Nakad said brands should think like tech companies about how consumers want to engage with them.

“There was a time when people looked to designers and platforms for the latest trends, but this is no longer the case. Today, consumers dictate what they want, and companies respond,” he said.

He added that FFWD will become consumer-centric rather than industry dependent by evolving the business into a fully integrated offline and online fashion platform versus its current physically limited bi-annual event “manifestation.”

“It will garner a regional and eventually international community of designers and consumers centered around emerging brands and sustainability, while enabling direct communication and sales channels between the designers and their customers by looking at models such as e-commerce and see-now-buy-now shows,” Nakad said.

International designers such as Tom Ford have taken to the new methods, including see-now-buy-now shows.

The Dubai government set a 2013 mandate to grow the city into an international hub by 2020. Since then, it launched several organisations such as the Dubai Design & Fashion Council (DDFC), Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation and Dubai Design District (d3), as well as endorsed privately-owned designer platform FFWD.

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