From Russia with love!
Luiza Ave hands the Best Arab Designer award to Rayan Al Sulaimani of brand Atelier Zuhra
Luiza Ave, CEO and co-founder of the recently held Al Arabia Fashion Days in Moscow, talks about the inspiration behind the event and why Arab fashion is set to take over the world
Hailing from a long line of fashion designers from Moscow, it was but natural for Luiza Ave to pursue her passion in the fashion industry. She has previously worked on TV channels, been awarded multiple awards for her public and charitable work and since 2016, is an international fashion producer.
Her beloved Al Arabia Fashion Days is a one-of-its-kind show and is the first Russian project on an international scale in the fashion industry conducted to strengthen the cultural and business ties between Russia and the Middle East.
Opening the show on October 19 was renowned designer Nicolas Jebran, and none other than Dubai's very own Furne One of Amato Couture, whose celeb clients include Jennifer Lopez, Heidi Klum and Beyonce, closed the fashion show on October 21.
Held at the mansion of Saltykov-Chertkov in Moscow, the highly stylised event was replete with a star-studded guest list including Russian actors Maria Kozhevnikova and Alexander Nosik, ice dancer Anastasia Grebenkina, along with various representatives from the embassies of the Middle East countries.
Founders of Al Arabia Fashion Days - Luiza Ave and Lana Avye presented the honorary awards at the function. The Special Al Arabia Fashion Award went to Furne One while the award for Best Arab Designer 2018 was handed to Rayan Al Sulaimani of brand Atelier Zuhra. The prestigious award for the Best Russian Designer 2018 went to Naira Arutyunian of NairArutyunian Couture.
Luiza shares with us her story about the inception of Al Arabia Fashion Days, her love for Dubai, and more.
How did Al Arabia Fashion Days in Moscow come about?
Being inspired by Arab designers and Arab culture led me to create this unique project. I had, and still have, a strong desire to show Russians all the beauty and opulence of Middle Eastern brands.
Moscow has a population of 5 million Muslims and the Al Arabia Fashion Days is a platform for Arab designers, along with companies producing goods and services in the Middle East, to present themselves and obtain a worthy customer base. Unfortunately, Arab fashion is still a mystery for many people. My wish is to change that and to introduce it to Russia and the whole world in the near future.
As you know, the Arab Fashion Week is the official fashion platform in the Emirates and Antonio Rubel, President of Arab Fashion Council, invited me three years ago to be Director of the Arab Fashion Council in Russia and the CIS countries. It was a good start for creating a bridge between Russia and the Arab World for designers and brands.
Amato headlined the show. What attracted you to his couture line? What was the selection process you went through while choosing the other designers?
When I first saw Amato Couture collection three years ago in Dubai, it was love at first sight. That day, I promised myself to bring the brand to my hometown - Moscow. In a way, it was Amato that encouraged me to create the Al Arabia Fashion Days. It is no surprise Furne One has a lot of admirers among the royal families and Hollywood stars. His participation in the project as a headliner made the success of the Al Arabia Fashion Days inevitable.
The fundamental criterion on which we selected local designers to showcase at the Al Arabia Fashion Days were their garments in the Demi Couture, Haute Couture and Modest Fashion segments, as these categories are in great demand in Russia.
You visit Dubai often and have spoken fondly of your experiences here. What do you love about the city?
Dubai is one of my most favourite places in the world, it is a one-of-a-kind city that combines Eastern culture as well as modern technologies. Obviously, Dubai is a city of the future, with its progressive technologies, modern designs and different cultures. Every time I come to Dubai, the city keeps surprising me and reveals more unseen treasures.
How would you describe Dubai as a fashion hub?
Dubai is an ideal setting for brand promotion at the international level. From the perspective of a fashion business, Dubai is a city both tourists and professional buyers love. However, the most outstanding point about Dubai is the exclusivity. You will never find this level of exclusivity anywhere else in the world. Dubai as a fashion hub is truly the center of beauty, luxury, style, design, technology and new business inspirations.
Do you envisage a time when Arab fashion will be accepted and considered a norm in the International fashion industry?
Acceptance of Arab fashion relies on Fashion Week organisers and government support of the designers. The world now is getting more interested in Arab designers which means that the new platforms for incorporating Arab fashion should be established.
According to me, Dubai has an immense possibility to become one of the five official world fashion platforms.
You've previously mentioned your interest in making a move to Dubai and starting something here. Could you elaborate on that?
The idea of opening the branch office of LLC Meroving Production in Dubai is appealing. We are based on establishing a fashion business platform in order to help Arab designers sell their collections abroad and to help Russian designers to do so in the Middle East respectively.
For more than five years, we have been cooperating with the Middle East fashion platforms as well as those in Paris, Milan, London, New-York, Rome, Miami and Barcelona.
Dubai-based designer Furne One of Amato Couture poses with models from his show