Emerging MEA Designers Meet Global Fashion Elites: A Night at the Connaught

A MENA fashion milestone unfolds at the Connaught in London.

Emerging MEA Designers Meet Global Fashion Elites: A Night at the Connaught
Menna Shanab

A crisp summer evening in London, Sunday, 25th June, set the stage for an elegant gathering at the Connaught Hotel in Mayfair. The occasion? A celebration of the winners of the Fashion Trust Arabia (FTA) 2022 prize, marking the official launch of their collections. The event, an intimate yet grand affair, brought together the promising talent from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, and the established stalwarts of the global fashion industry.

Roksanda Ilincic

In the chic environs of the Connaught Hotel, attendees were treated to a gastronomic experience curated by renowned food artist Imogen Kwok. The tables were set with a tasteful finesse by Fai Khadra, reflecting the refined craftsmanship of the designers being honoured.

The evening was an ode to the creativity of the designers with the spotlight shone on Artsi Ifrach, awarded for Evening Wear, sisters Siham and Sarah Albinali for Ready-to-Wear, Eilaf Osman for Accessories, Fatma Mostfa for Jewellery, Kazna Asker, recipient of the Franca Sozzani Debut Talent Award, and Burc Akyol, who bagged the Guest Country Award: Turkey.

The room was a constellation of fashion icons, leading designers and luminaries. Figures such as Erdem Moralıoğlu, Roksanda Ilinčić, and Emilia Wickstead marked their presence, along with famed personalities like Elizabeth Hurley, Imaan Hammam, and James McAvoy.

(L-R) Adam Baidawi, James McAvoy, Alex Marxsen-and-Lisa Liberati


The spirit of mentorship was tangible. As the global retail partner for FTA, MATCHES has been instrumental in guiding three of the winning designers each year, offering them a deeper understanding of the luxury retail industry and introducing them to key company stakeholders.

Building on the momentum of the celebration, MATCHES will host a mentorship day at their Mayfair townhouse on 26th June. This initiative underscores the enduring commitment to nurturing emerging talent, providing them with the tools needed to navigate the intricacies of the fashion industry.

The FTA prize winners will further participate in a tailored two-day mentorship program, in collaboration with The Bicester Collection and the British Fashion Council. The sessions aim to empower the designers with a comprehensive understanding of vital aspects of business growth.

Tania Fares and Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.


By offering a platform for recognition, guidance, and mentorship, organisations like FTA and MATCHES are contributing meaningfully to the evolution of the global fashion narrative.

For more fashion news, visit our dedicated pages.