The game-changers: AFRA takes the fashion quotient a notch higher with its second edition

From left: Aniqah Javed and Niti Gupta, founders of AFRA

Published: Mon 6 Mar 2023, 9:51 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Mar 2023, 9:53 AM

Following the stupendous success of its debut outing in September 2022, AFRA — a grandiose showcase of luxury and lifestyle— is all set to dazzle its audience with its second edition. Scheduled for March 11 at the luxe Ritz Carlton DIFC, Dubai, the curators and founders, Niti Gupta and Aniqah Javed are ready to set the tone of the season with panache and bespoke style.


The second edition promises to take the fashion quotient up a notch, as season two at AFRA brings to Dubai not only the best of South Asian Fashion, but also a stellar line-up of designers from Serbia Fashion Week, the biggest fashion week in eastern Europe. Spearheaded by Svetlana Horvat, president and Anita Ivkovic, vice-president of Serbia Fashion Week, they have planned a phenomenal presence at AFRA, with 16 of their most coveted designers showcasing their spring summer collection. Both Svetlana and Anita have been pivotal names in shaping the fashion landscape in eastern Europe, and have received numerous accolades for their contribution.

Svetlana Horvat, president of Serbia Fashion Week

The excitement and exclusivity continue to soar, as the brand has roped in acclaimed designer, Raakesh Agarvwal, as their consulting creative director. With styling and design as his lifeblood, Raakesh has one of the strongest experiences in the couture segment. He has worked with some of the most influential names in the industry including Sandy Starkman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, Gucci, Prada, Chanel, Neiman Marcus and many more. Raakesh has been awarded the most promising young talent and he was the only Indian designer to showcase at St Andrews Charity Fashion show along with Giorgio Armani, amongst other international designers. With immense experience of international fashion weeks, and styling top Bollywood stars like Deepika Padukone, Agarvwal brings invaluable experience to AFRA this season.


AFRA is the much-needed platform for south Asian designers, Middle Eastern designers and international brands to connect on a common global platform and engage with a multi-cultural audience. AFRA has a bold vision — a cross-cultural confluence of luxe design, enhanced aesthetics, and hand-picked brands, all thoughtfully curated to appeal to a very discerning clientele in Dubai.

Anita Ivković, vice-president of Serbia Fashion Week

The March event will be a game changer, with a host of new and returning south Asian fashion brands, coupled with a very exciting collaboration with Serbia Fashion Week, AFRA has already paved the way for new-age luxury and lifestyle.

The line-up of the showcase is a veritable treat for the connoisseurs of luxury, as it sees the return of some of the most iconic names in the fashion and lifestyle industry, including design veterans like Iqbal Hussain, Shamaeel Ansari, Adnan Pardesy, Zainab Zulfiqar, SW7 by Marium Bengali, Kara Sara, ARK, Ambreen Farukkh, Mina Siddiquie, Mitti by Khadija, Shazia Hashwani, Nergisse and Veera, Tunics by Jazz, and more, who will be returning to AFRA with their spring summer collections.

Raakesh Agarvwal, creative director for AFRA

Other brands to watch out for include fine jewellery by Fehmida Lakhany from London, elegant couture by Zain Hashmi, Hussain Rehar, Shirin Hassan, Pasha Fabrics, Wardah Saleem, Kiran Shah, Salahuddin and Pasha, Aleena and Fareena, Rajnitha A. Gupta, Kiran Shah, IQA, Fatima Omer, Maison de Lace and Aartiz Closet. Timeless pret by Sapphire, Sana Safinaz, Jharna Lakhwani, Madeeha Khurram, Maliha’s Studio, Saira Habib, Less is the new more and Sash & Co. Eclectic accessories by Kokommo, Mintsa, Renu Manjunath, Butterfly effect, Gehna, Canary Cove amongst others. Another key highlight for the event will be a one-on-one make up session by renowned make-up artist Amina Raja.

Keeping true to AFRA’s vision, the shopping experience will be seamless as the creative team will style looks from each collection, making it easier for a patron to shop for specific or occasion-led looks.

This event is truly worth waiting for. The founders Niti and Aniqah have truly curated the perfect recipe for a fashionista’s delight. AFRA is where style and luxury leave a lasting imprint. Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 11, Samaya Ballroom, Ritz Carlton, DIFC Dubai, and be a part of this trend-setting fashion spectacle.

Published: Mon 6 Mar 2023, 9:51 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Mar 2023, 9:53 AM

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