UAE, Dubai – 18 July 2018: Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading international financial hub and destination for lifestyle, arts and culture, announced today the winners of its hugely successful competition to harness local talent.
The UAE-wide competition attracted over 155 applications from design thinkers, creators, makers, and opportunity takers who submitted their unique and creative concepts under four retail categories; fashion, lifestyle, homeware and jewellery.
Following a thorough evaluation the applicants were whittled down to an initial shortlist of 37. These went through a presentation process to identify the 13 winners who were selected based on the originality, growth potential of their home-grown concepts and businesses as well as compatibility with the development’s retail mix. The selected brands will have the opportunity to showcase their concepts in prime locations at Gate Avenue.
Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer at DIFC Authority, commented: “Supporting SMEs and promoting a culture of entrepreneurship continues to be a key area of focus for us at DIFC. It is a reflection of our true belief in the power of local talent and is in line with UAE 2021 vision. Guided by this commitment, we used this competition as a platform to encourage and activate the involvement of the country’s brightest minds in creating a world-class retail, fashion and lifestyle avenue for DIFC. We are proud of the overwhelming response we received, and look forward to seeing the chosen concepts come to life at Gate Avenue and enrich the retail and lifestyle experience within the district. The quality of the creative submissions reflects the richness of home-grown talent and will provide consumers with new concepts that will encourage them to visit Gate Avenue when it opens. ”
Spanning across 660,000 square feet of built up area and 880 metres in total length, Gate Avenue, the new premium urban retail, leisure and cultural development at the heart of the Centre, will link the podium levels of all buildings located in DIFC, from the Gate Building to Central Park Towers. Upon completion, the flagship development is set to enhance the DIFC’s position as a first-of-its kind destination with over 200 dining, boutique, retail and entertainment options, as well as the-state-of-art mosque.
The selected winners of the competition are:
Three Fifty Nine is a young contemporary Ready to-Wear fashion brand, founded in 2015, targeted at fashion connoisseurs who seek uniqueness. The designer creates pieces of wearable art with a twist of modern, fresh perspective.
Tharb is a high-end product design studio proudly based in Abu Dhabi, UAE. It specialises in creating leather products that are elegant, minimal, and practical using the best materials in the world.
DeshDashD is an urban Arabian streetwear label. It caters to a large number of Arabian youth in the region. The fashion lifestyle brand represents Arabs in the right light and simultaneously sets an international fashion standard.
At its core, Arshys, a contemporary womenswear brand, built on the concept of using fashion as visual communication of identity and beliefs.
CZAR fills in the void between fashionable and comfortable shoes, the main focal point being comfort and design.
Helena Bajaj Larsen focuses on the creation of a meeting point between art and design, making lifestyle products that are both functional yet appear as abstract paintings.
Italian Shoe Factory is a local SME with over 25 years in Dubai. Its shoes are handmade by expert artisans in Dubai and with the finest Italian materials and craftsmanship.
X-Labeled is a luxury streetwear brand founded with the concept of eliminating labels to provide unconventional, functional and unique clothing for the creative individual.
Faissal El-Malak is a Palestinian designer brought up between Montreal, Canada and Doha, Qatar. With a first collection incorporating Yemeni handwoven textiles, his latest seasons focus of traditional handwoven fabrics from the Medina of Tunis and the cotton jacquards of Upper Egypt where he has worked closely with the artisans to develop modern interpretations of their textile and silver jewellery.
Emaan Home is an online lifestyle concept store focused on infusing faith-inspired principles of simplicity, mindfulness and slow living in a fast-paced world using Scandinavian minimalism and quiet design to promote balance and satisfaction
'SaM' is a jewellery label founded and inspired within the UAE. Recently 'SaM' was selected to represent the UAE during 'World Fashion Week' in Paris this coming October.
House of Cenmar is London based multi-faceted art and fashion brand, blurring the lines between street style and haute couture.
Vinita is an award winning jewellery designer and gemmologist. The company’s eponymous label strives to bring together the magnificence of unique design conceptualizations and intricate craftsmanship, in the form of jewellery and precious lifestyle products.
For more information on the competition and the winners, please visit www.difc.ae/localtalent
We used this competition as a platform to encourage and activate the involvement of the country’s brightest minds in creating a world-class retail, fashion and lifestyle avenue for DIFC." Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority
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Senior Manager – Communications