The Arab Fashion Council (AFC), which represents 22 countries in the MENA region, will open the world’s first “ready couture” retail store in Dubai in September.
In an interview with Arabian Business, AFC founder and CEO Jacob Abrian said the project, located in City Walk and built in partnership with Meraas, is valued at $15 million.
“It is not just a store, it is meant to be a touristic landmark; one of those places that you will have to visit if you come to Dubai,” he said.
Abrian added that the shop will also act as a lifestyle space, hosting fashion workshops and other events.
“You don’t necessarily have to go there to shop or check out collections. You can go to spend some time reading, producing couture or attending workshops,” he said.
‘Ready-couture’ which was introduced by AFC, is are ready-to-wear that can be customised. It is more expensive than high-end ready-to-wear, but less expensive than haute couture.
The store is part of a wider plan by the non-profit organisation to support local emerging designers. It comes on the heels of a new partnership between AFC and Dubai-based investment firm MBM Holding, which will help boost Dubai’s role in international economic and creative scenes to take the city’s fashion sector to the next level.
It will see MBM support the council in positioning the UAE as a global player in the field, particularly through pushing the ‘Made in the UAE’ label, manufacturing and attracting foreign investment into the sector.
The news store will act as a platform for the designers to showcase their collections in return for a 5% commission fee.
AFC will host the sixth edition of the Arab Fashion Week today on board of the recently renovated and reopened Queen Elizabeth II floating hotel until May 12. It claims it to be the world’s first official floating fashion week in the world.
Docked permanently at the Mina Rashid marina, the historic and newly refurbished Queen Elizabeth 2 is the Middle East’s first floating hotel, offering passengers culinary, nightlife, heritage and art experiences.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.