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RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is set to take center stage as the global fashion industry converges on Riyadh for a major international conference.

Leading regional and global personalities will discuss key industry issues such as sustainability, entrepreneurship, diversity and culture, and innovation during the three-day Fashion Futures meeting.

The event will also provide a showcase for Saudi designers and brands to showcase and sell their products.

The three-day Fashion Futures gathering will also provide a showcase for Saudi designers and brands to showcase and sell their wares. (Provided)

And alongside the conference will be the Fashion Fabrics Expo, the world’s largest showcase for sustainable sourcing.

Organized by the Saudi Fashion Commission, the annual conference will take place at the City Hub of Prince Mohammed bin Salman Nonprofit City from November 17-19.

It will include speakers, industry influencers, retail activations and pop-up events, as well as panel discussions, networking, Q&As, masterclass sessions and a closed-door party.

Conferences like these are so essential because they give our talent the opportunity to receive well-deserved international recognition.

Princess Reema bint Bandarmember of the commission board

Commission Board Member Princess Reema bint Bandar said, “The Fashion Futures conference showcases the Kingdom’s incredible talent and thriving fashion scene. It is a testament to our Saudi talent, creativity and collaboration.

Princess Reema bint Bandar

“Conferences like these are so essential because they provide our talent with the opportunity to receive well-deserved international recognition.”

To promote the importance of education, learning and global exchange, the commission collaborated with several partners and creatives to organize masterclasses and specialized discussions.

Abdullah Abo Milhim, a professor at Italy’s Istituto Marangoni design school, will lead a masterclass on the business side of fashion, focusing on market development, innovation trends, digital transformation, supply chains and merchandising.

The three-day Fashion Futures gathering will also provide a showcase for Saudi designers and brands to showcase and sell their wares. (Provided)

One of the event’s partners, the Chalhoub Group, will present a workshop — hosted by The Greenhouse — to support the growth of local talent, centering the group’s initiatives towards innovation and entrepreneurship.

Bashar Sabbagh, Group Managing Director for Saudi Arabia, said: We are fortunate to be part of the ongoing growth and transformation in Saudi Arabia, reaching new heights by nurturing Saudi talent, delighting consumers and shaping the Kingdom’s retail sector.

“Over the past few years, the Chalhoub Group has worked to establish partnerships with public and private partners to strengthen cooperation and explore opportunities.

“Our participation in Fashion Futures and our continued collaboration with the Fashion Commission demonstrates our continued efforts to support the Kingdom’s growth, Saudi designers and talent.”

Other workshops will include a masterclass on visual merchandising and branded content development targeting industry players, presented by Accademia Costume and Moda, an award-winning family-run Italian fashion school.

And a fashion stylist, senior executive and political image consultant will share her experience on creating a personal brand.

Meanwhile, thousands of durable, commercially available and interactive textiles will be exhibited at the Fashion Fabrics Expo, along with innovative materials newly developed and mastered with advanced technologies.

The exhibition aims to have a positive impact on the fashion industry, both locally and globally.

Fashion Commission Director General Burak Cakmak said: “Fashion Futures is an opportunity for Saudi Arabia to bring together the global fashion community to advance sustainability, entrepreneurship, diversity, culture and innovation.

“We have placed innovation at the heart of the conference this year, with textile innovation as a key theme. Creating future opportunities for all, industry experts will share their sustainability-focused expertise and solutions.

“Unlocking the potential for cleaner, greener solutions requires consumer, industry and government buy-in that initiatives like Fashion Futures will help achieve.”

The Fashion Commission, one of 11 sectoral commissions under the Ministry of Culture, helps lead the advancement of the fashion sector in the Kingdom.

Founded in 2020, it has spearheaded a host of industry initiatives, such as the 100 Saudi Brands exhibiting work in New York and Milan.

Martin E. Berry