DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - APRIL 01: Models walk the runway during the Bouguessa Presentation at Fashion Forward Fall/Winter 2016 held at the Dubai Design District on April 1, 2016 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

An empowerment program propelled through industry collaborations

Fashion Forward Dubai (FFWD), the region’s definitive fashion platform, today announced the launch of EPIC (Empowerment Program through Industry Collaboration), an empowerment program that provides business development opportunities to regional fashion talent through a series of initiatives. In collaboration with Samsung Electronics MENA, EPIC will deliver a calendar of events, workshops, sponsorship opportunities, influencer and scholarship programs, all made possible through the synergetic collaboration with industry partners who strive to achieve similar objectives.

The ‘MENA Design Outlook’, a report issued by DDFC, supported by d3 and in collaboration with Deloitte, found that the region’s design industry is witnessing considerable growth, particularly in the fashion sector. However, to reach optimal level a series of gaps must be addressed including links between industry and academia, multi-disciplinary programs, access to investors and customers, as well as regional and international visibility. The empowerment program is designed to bridge these gaps by engaging several layers of the industry in order to break down barriers faced by regional designers entering the fashion and retail landscape, thereby streamlining their path to greater commercial viability.

Ramzi Nakad, COO and co-founder of FFWD said, “Building upon the success of Fashion Forward Dubai which has catapulted regional designers to attain international and regional visibility, EPIC is designed to nurture talents, working as a catalyst for creatives to benefit from sought after industry resources while developing the skills and know-how needed to progress in an ever-growing and highly competitive landscape. Amplified through an extensive network of stakeholders and professionals, exposure opportunities and digital innovation rooted in the strategic partnership with Samsung, EPIC will promote the sustainability of the regional fashion economy and forge healthy competition.”

“EPIC is a program we at Samsung are particularly excited about. When we collaborated with FFWD, we did it with the aim of enabling the rapidly growing fashion industry in the region. Today, we are taking this goal to a new level by elevating the support through comprehensive industry collaboration,” said Abdo Chlala, Regional Head of IT and Mobile Division at Samsung MENA. “We look forward to working