Fashion in Saudi Arabia has changed a lot in the past years. After the first Saudi Fashion Week, the Kingdom announced the launch of Haper’s Bazaar, the first international luxury fashion and lifestyle magazine to be published in the territory.
As relevant as it is to improve conversations around the industry, Saudi Arabia hasn’t stopped working towards its growth and diversification.
Launched in Riyadh in 2019 as the Kingdom’s first-ever dedicated fashion event, Fashion Futures is being re-engineered in 2021 as a digital platform. The speakers and the audience, from all around the world, will get together for the platform launch on June 17th. Fashion Futures Live: Moving Towards Sustainability, Diversity & Innovation, will be broadcasted live from studios in Riyadh and New York. The event’s programming is organized in collaboration with FASHINNOVATION and will happen from 8 AM to 2 PM EST (3 to 9 PM GMT).
Fashion in Saudi Arabia: Fashion Futures
Fashion Futures (FF) is a platform that supports the creation and growth of a fashion ecosystem in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Along with FASHINNOVATION, FF is promoting a digital event focused on innovation and sustainability in the global fashion industry.
The event will gather 40+ of the most inspiring leaders, digital distributors, and design mavericks in a discussion surrounding innovation and sustainability.
Led by Her Royal Highness Princess Noura bint Faisal Al Saud, Fashion Future aims to build an ecosystem full of possibilities. The goals are:
- Encourage entrepreneurship & Experimentation by enabling Gen Z to lead in building new ventures;
- Promote and celebrate diversity in culture & style;
- Engage investment in new business models and innovative solutions;
- Move the sustainable development goals agenda forward.
Get Inspired: Meet Some of The Fashion Future Panelists
This edition of Fashion Future Lives will bring together leaders in the fashion industry through a unique hybrid format. The event will host speakers live from New York City and digitally from Riyadh and all around the world.
Get to know some of the panelists!
- Helen Aboah – CEO of Urban Zen;
- Giulio Bonazzi – CEO and Chairman of Aquafil Group;
- Abrima Erwiah – Co-Founder of Studio One Eighty Nine;
- Oskar Metsavaht – Founder of Osklen and Ambassador for Sustainability at UNESCO;
- Rebecca Minkoff – Co-Founder and Creative Director of Rebecca Minkoff and Co-Founder of Female Founder Collective;
- Susan Rockefeller – Activist and Founder of Musings;
- Carry Somers – Co-Founder and Global Operations Director of Fashion Revolution;
- Nadja Swarovski – Chair of the Swarovski Foundation.
The event is full of inspirational panelists that will discuss different issues concerning the fashion industry and what needs change:
8 – 8:05 EST
Opening of Fashion Futures Live
Official commencement speech and welcome remarks by Her Royal Highness Princess Noura bint Faisal Al Saud
8:05 – 8:08 EST
Fashion and Creative Industries in Support of SDGs
Review potential of the fashion sector and creative economy for developing countries, access constraints, and potential policies.
- Chantal Line Carpentier, Chief UNCTAD of the New York Office of the Secretary-General.
PART 1: ENTREPRENEURSHIP & EXPERIMENTATION
8:08 – 8:15 EST
Global Fashion Agenda (GFA): Sustainability Fashion’s First Priority
The main points of discussion will be the Fashion CEO agenda, vision, priorities, and impact in the fashion industry worldwide – GFA’s perspective. The 2020 CEO Agenda consists of “Redesigning Fashion’s Business Model”, which includes 8 sustainable priorities for the Fashion Industry, amongst them, is the urge for reversing climate change. “If the industry stays on its current trajectory, emissions from textile production will rise by more than 60% by 2030, according to expert estimates”.
Speaker: Morten Lehmann, Chief Sustainability Officer of GFA, Denmark
8:15 – 8:35 EST
Entrepreneurship as a Collective
Katia Beauchamp will be discussing entrepreneurship, creating both B2C as well as B2B, and global leadership. Birchbox is an online monthly subscription service that was launched in 2010. In October 2010 the company’s initial funding began with $1.4. million in seed funding from investors. By 2018, it had raised a total of almost $90 million in funding.
Speaker: Katia Beauchamp, Co-Founder of Birchbox, US
Moderator: Stephanie Cartin, Co-Founder of Social Fly & Entreprenistas
8:35 – 8:42 EST
Entrepreneurship Mindset Inspiring the Fashion Industry
The founder and CEO of AIZEL Group will give an inspirational talk about taking actions as an entrepreneur and making things happen. To sum up, Aizel Trudel is a woman entrepreneur with 500+ employees, fashion ambassador, and pioneer of the first and largest e-commerce platform for fashion and luxury goods in Russia.
Speaker: Aizel Trudel, Founder and CEO of AIZEL, Russia
8:42 – 9:27 EST
Building a Legacy – Fashion X Design
The speakers will discuss the importance of personal branding & relaying personal experiences when creating a legacy in the fashion industry. Also, how different types of design can be incorporated into the world of fashion and how they maintain throughout all facets of their careers. It is a common thread that unites all of their endeavors while maintaining uniformity in their beliefs of what the fashion industry should be.
- Lamia Al Otayshan Aydin, designer at Les Benjamins, Turkey;
- Sara Maino, deputy editor-in-chief for Vogue Italia, Head of Vogue Talents, and International Brand Ambassador for Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana, Italy;
- Oskar Metsavaht, founder of Osklen, Brazil;
- Nadja Swarovski, chair at Swarovski Foundation, UK.
Moderator: Marie Driscoll, Managing Director Luxury & Fashion, Coresight Research, US.
PART 2: CULTURE & STYLE
9:27 – 10:07 EST
The Face of Leadership
Discussion of the importance of diversity in corporate, inclusion in all facets of a fashion business, and fashion as a lifestyle, always with a focus on culture. According to Forbes, “companies that have more diverse management teams have 19% higher revenue due to innovation. Above all, it shows that diversity is not just a metric to be striven for, it is an integral part of a successful revenue-generation business”.
- Helen Aboah, CEO at Urban Zen, US;
- Abrima Erwiah, Co-Founder at Studio One Eighty Nine, US/ Ghana;
- Arwa AlAmmari, Designer at ArAm, Saudi Arabia
- Bazza Al Zouman, Designer, Saudi Arabia
Moderator: Jordana Guimarães, Co-Founder at Fashinnovation, US.
10:07 – 10:27 EST
Inspiration in Designs via Culture & Style
Discussion of aesthetics inspired by culture as well as style as a feeling and an overall global vision when it comes to design.
- Sebastien Kopp, Founder of Veja, France
Moderator: Fernanda Simon, Executive Director at Fashion Revolution Brazil & Sustainability Editor, Vogue Brazil
10:27 – 11:07 EST
Diversity & Inclusion as a Business Model
The importance of inclusivity when speaking on diversity, inspiring community via fashion, and the collective and collaboration of brands. According to The World Bank, 15% of the world’s population experience some form of disability. One-fifth of the estimated global, or between 110 million and 190 million people, experience significant disabilities. Sho, how is it possible that, even so, most brands do not think of them when making their products?
- Yousef Akbar, Designer at Yousef Akbar, KSA/ Australia;
- Elle B. Mambetov, Fashion Designer at Elle B Shou, US
- Zizi Cardow, Designer, Africa
- Bandar Hawsawi, Model, Saudi Arabia
Moderator: Alexandra Finkel, Director of Talent Acquisition & Inclusion of Bustle Digital Group, US.
PART 3: INVESTMENT IN NEW BUSINESS MODELS AND INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS
11:07 – 11:47 EST
Technologies Across the Supply Chain Towards Sustainability
Technologies and innovations – wearables, innovative Solutions for sustainability, and innovative textile replacements. Therefore, it is extremely important to talk about sustainable solutions for the fashion industry. As stated by Fashinnovation, according to Sanitation Foundation, “if we put New York’s 2020 textile waste together, it would accumulate to the size of one of Big Apple’s most prestigious buildings. For your measure, the Empire State building has 102 floors, which means 443 meters. The report, released by WWD, affirmed that 200,000 tons of fashion were generated by New Yorkers last year.”
- Stephanie Benedetto, CEO & Co-Founder at Queen of Raw, US;
- Veronica Chou, Founder & CEO of Everybody & Everyone, and President of Novel Fashion Investments, USA/ Hong Kong;
- Francesca Rosella, Chief Creative Officer & Co-Founder of Cutucircuit, UK.
Moderator: Michael Ferraro, Director of Dtech Lab at FIT, US.
11:47 am – 12:07 EST
Female Founder – Being Fearless
Rebecca Minkoff will join us to talk about her book: “Fearless: The New Rules for Unlocking Creativity, Courage and Success”. She will speak on what it is like being a woman entrepreneur, starting a fashion business, and always staying ahead of the curve in innovating. Also, Rebecca established the Female Founder Collective, a network of businesses led by women who invest in women’s financial power across the socioeconomic spectrum by enabling and empowering female-owned businesses.
- Rebecca Minkoff, Co-Founder & Creative Director at Rebecca Minkoff, and Co-Founder at Female Founder Collective, US.
Moderator: Raisa Bruner, Editor at Time Magazine, US.
12:07 – 12:22 EST
Influence of Fashion for Social Cause
Carry Sommers will teach us how to use the influence of storytelling to give back to social impact and the importance of community in Fashion. Fashion Revolution was born in 2013 after the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh collapsed, since then it has become the world’s largest fashion activism movement, mobilizing citizens, industry, and policymakers through our research, education, and advocacy work.
- Carry Somers, Co-Founder and Global Operations Director at Fashion Revolution, UK.
12:22 – 12:42 EST
Environmental Efforts in Fashion via Entrepreneurship
Learn how environmental efforts can be taken through entrepreneurship, the importance of supply chain, business transparency, and data analyses impact on a business. According to Forbes, transparency equals profit, “a number of polls through the years indicate at least two-thirds of consumers would spend more if it meant buying from a transparent company. A stunning 94% rank transparency as the greatest factor in brand loyalty”.
- Giulio Bozanni, CEO and Chairman of Aquafil Group, Italy.
Moderator: Konrad Olsson, Editor-in-chief & founder, Scandinavian Mind, Sweden.
PART 4: SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
12:42 – 12:49 EST
Transparency via Partnerships in Fashion
Jill Dumain will discuss how sustainable practices can and should be a part of the supply chain of every company. He will also discuss the vision and mindset of responsible and sustainable manufacturing of textile consumer products. To sum up. To sum up, Bluesign is a system that provides safer and more sustainable environments for people to work in and everyone to live in. Therefore, it traces each textile’s path along the manufacturing process, making improvements at every stage from the factory floor to finished products.
- Jill Dumain, CEO of Bluesign, Switzerland.
12:49 – 1:29 EST
Institutions & Media Focusing on Sustainability
The importance of communities around sustainability and creating collective meaning for the industry at large. According to The Guardian, when it comes to focusing on Sustainability, media outlets are failing on climate change: “Research indicates that major national newspapers are beginning to pay more attention to climate – but local publications and TV news haven’t kept up.”
- Lewis Perkins, President at Apparel Impact Institute, US.
Moderator: Kerry Bannigan, Founder at Conscious Fashion Campaign, US.
1:29 – 1:36 EST
Influencing Towards Sustainability
Marina Testino is the founder of Point of View, a mission-driven micro agency focused on digital communication and sustainable transformation. She will talk about how we can use social media influence to spread messages of sustainability to the end consumer via creative outlets. Furthermore, Statista highlights the fact that “the power of social networking is such that the number of worldwide users is expected to reach some 3.43 billion monthly active social media users by 2023, around a third of Earth’s entire population”
- Marina Testino, creative director, and activist at Point Off View Inc., Spain.
1:36 – 1:56 EST
The Future of Fashion – Conservation, Oceans & Activism
According to BBC, “fashion accounts for around 10% of greenhouse gas emissions from human activity, but there are ways to reduce the impact your wardrobe has on the climate”. Also, “the fashion industry accounts for about 10% of global carbon emissions, and nearly 20% of wastewater. And, while the environmental impact of flying is now well known, fashion sucks up more energy than moth aviation and shipping combined”. In short, this intimate session with Her Royal Highness Princess Reema and Susan Rockefeller will deep dive into how the environment plays a large role in the fashion industry.
- Her Royal Highness Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud;
- Susan Rockefeller, Founder of Musings, US.
1:55 – 2 EST
Future of Fashion is Now
Summary of the day’s discussions, key takeaways, and official closing of Fashion Futures Live.
- Burak Cakmak, CEO of Fashion Commission, Saudi Arabia.
Fashion In Saudi Arabia
To meet Vision 2030 goals, Saudi Arabia and its fashion industry are working towards laying foundations. With this, the Kingdom has promoted several actions to not only keep important topics on the discussion agenda, but also to leverage the fashion industry in the region.
Fashion in Saudi Arabia is loaded with cultural elements of great importance to its people. Therefore, their clothing translates a history that, for centuries, has been linked to the strong religiosity of the people.
The creative and local industry is growing in the Kingdom. But, at the same time, it has been facing unique challenges and, as a result, the Ministry of Culture, advised by Her Royal Highness Princess Noura, created the Nomow Cultural Fund to offer loans to help with business startups.