M7, a creative startups hub dedicated to innovation and entrepreneurship, established by Qatar Museums for the nation’s growing fashion and design industry, has announced a biweekly series of online coaching sessions by leaders in the field, intended to guide and encourage aspiring designers.
Although the onset of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has delayed the full inauguration of M7, these exclusive online coaching sessions — live each Thursday and Saturday on the M7 Instagram account, @M7.qatar, at 6pm — will provide ongoing inspiration and support until normal activities may resume.
A new five-storey, 29,000sq m facility, M7 is located in the heart of Msheireb Downtown Doha, the mixed-use development that is reviving the city’s historic core as a sustainable new live-work neighbourhood. M7 serves to advance the careers of Qataris in creative industries, especially design and fashion; train aspiring entrepreneurs in creative fields; spark creativity in people of all ages and backgrounds through exhibitions, performances, films, educational programmes, and public discussions; and help connect Qatar’s innovators with the world. “The day when M7’s beautiful facilities are bustling with activity has unfortunately been postponed, but creativity and innovation in Qatar cannot wait.
“We are moving ahead to support Qatar’s up-and-coming design industry hone their skills through these online talks, which are certain to benefit emerging talents as they explore, collaborate, and grow into successful entrepreneurs,” said M7 acting director Maha al-Sulaiti.
Through the online coaching sessions, local and international leaders in the industry are giving their insights into topics such as nurturing creativity and skills during difficult times, making use of technology in the fashion business, testing products in the market, developing a business plan, and promoting products through a programme of marketing and public relations.
April 9 and 11 at 6pm, ‘Inspire’: Interior designer Chris Wolston and textile designer Karl-Artur Korsar will talk about how they keep themselves inspired with the resources at hand during this challenging period of the pandemic, as well as design and brand identity.
April 16 and 18 at 6pm, ‘Equip’: Amir Berbic, dean of Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar, and Maryam al-Sumait, the co-founder of the design service agency Makery, will discuss different applications that designers can use to produce and launch their products.
April 23 and 25 at 6pm, ‘Validate’: Oleg Fazulyanow, CEO of Fashion Consult Group Milan; and Tariel Bisharian, CEO of Emerging Talent Milan Showroom, will talk about the business of fashion and how designers can test if their products will work in a target market.
April 30 and May 2 at 6pm, ‘Empower’: Nez Gebreel, global brand and talent developer and Fashion Trust Arabia board member, and creative director Mirna Naccache will discuss how designers can empower their creative voices.
May 7 and 9 at 6pm, ‘Accelerate’: Aysha al-Mudahka, director of Strategic Initiatives and Partnership Development at Qatar Foundation and former CEO of Qatar Business Incubation Centre; and Stefano Bellandi, CEO of Cipriani Couture, will share how to build a business plan from concept to production.
May 14 and 16 at 6pm, ‘Connect’: Khalifa al-Haroon, founder of ILoveQatar; and Harriet Gyamfuah, founder of Creatives Amplified, will discuss ways for designers to stay connected with their customers using digital platforms.
May 21 and 23 at 6pm, ‘Promote’: Bianca Brigitte Bonomi, editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar Arabia; and Kai Margrander, fashion director of Harper’s Bazaar Germany, will speak about impact of media placements and promotion of design.
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