Beyond the catwalk
Dubai - Khaleej Times has dedicated editions that analyse and discuss fashion as an industry.
Dubai is a city of fashion, and the new "Luxury Avenue" (which is what many are calling the extension of the Fashion Avenue) at The Dubai Mall is a testament to that. It seems that the world's largest mall, when it opened a decade ago, was not large enough. Just a few weeks ago, this new extension was unveiled, which will be home to 150 retail stores. Among the stores that have already opened their gleaming doors are a three-storey Gucci flagship and Miu Miu's largest store in the world.
When it comes to fashion, Dubai is definitely seen as the Middle East's capital, not only thanks to its love of spending, but also because the city is investing in fashion and design. There is the 21.5 million square feet facility Dubai Design District (d3), built at a cost of $1.1 billion. Galleries, workshops, studios and, of course, fashion boutiques sit next to each other at this creative hub. It is also where you find the offices of Zaha Hadid Architects, Foster and Partners, Christian Dior, Christian Louboutin, Burberry as well as that of homegrown talent Viktor Udzenija, Nadine Kanso and Nathalie Trad. Then there is the Dubai Design and Fashion Council (DDFC), whose offices are at d3, with a mandate to develop Dubai into a global design and fashion destination. It also works closely with regional fashion, supporting initiatives such as Fashion Forward Dubai and the Fashion Prize from Vogue Arabia.
This means that the media now has to cover fashion as an industry - from a business and style point of view. There is an appetite for fashion. And leading that 'trend' in Dubai is Khaleej Times.
It started with Style - a magazine launched two years ago, looking at fashion, design, art and travel. The idea was to merge the best of international with Made in Emirates style. Just as Dubai loves to shop for fashion, readers also want to read about fashion - so Style has now been amalgamated across Khaleej Times.
Fashion has a constant quest for the new and this constant change reflects shifts in the social, cultural and economic matrix. Starting with the main paper to the weekend sections, Diversions and Expressions - whether it is an interview with beauty blogger Huda Kattan, a retrospective of Oscar-winning costume designer Bhanu Athaiya's work, or a look at the return of the supermodel - we analyse and discuss fashion as an industry. The trend or style part of fashion is covered in our WKND magazine with relevant topics a regular on the cover. Be it athleisure, modest dressing or what to wear to the races, we are chic and ahead of the curve, always. Go into the micro trends in the weekly column Dresscode in the magazine, where we review trends with a critical eye. If you want to know what is going on in fashion, then City Times is always in the know. So, whether it's London-based Serbian designer Roksanda Ilincic's trip to Dubai, Tarun Tahiliani's pop-up, or the rundown to Fashion Forward Dubai (this region's most definitive fashion event), you will always read it here first.
Not only is Khaleej Times on top of trends and events, we know our fashion, have an opinion, as well as the authority to comment. Fashion may not only be about clothes, it also represents the aesthetics of the time. Hollywood realised the impact fashion can have on social and political issues this year. Hence the "blackout" at the Golden Globes, the first award show of the season, as nearly every woman attending came dressed in black to show solidarity for the 'Time's Up' movement. And that is why we include fashion in our opinion pages with the fortnightly Fashionista. There is no question that Khaleej Times knows style has no meaning without substance.