Talk shows, workshops, and fashion shows highlighted the 17th edition of Heya Arabian Fashion Exhibition, held from November 27 to December 1 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre.
The five-day event, under the patronage of HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, is the country’s leading exhibition of modest fashion trends hosted by Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) and organised by its subsidiary, Qatar Business Events Corporation (QBEC).
Well-known local fashion figures, media personalities, influencers, designers and entrepreneurs participated in various talk shows and workshops
Heya followed strict hygiene and safety guidelines put forth by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) as part of the preventive and precautionary measures against Covid-19. To maintain safety, all those entering the exhibition had to present their green Ehteraz status, and organisers ensured visitors and exhibitors wore masks throughout. Social distancing measures were followed, with visitor capacity inside the hall maintained at 30%.
The five-day event featured a series of talk shows
“I would like to congratulate all partners, participants and organisers on a successful event, which marks the return of the sector. While the pandemic has altered the way in which these events are held, the continued collaboration among our stakeholders, and the support from our partners at MoPH, enabled us to provide a safe and controlled environment for the public, while showing the vibrancy of Qatar’s fashion scene,” QBEC CEO Ahmed al-Obaidli said in a press statement.
This year, Heya showcased Qatar’s homegrown talent, with established brands and businesses to upcoming designers participating. More than 150 brands presented high-street apparel, haute couture and luxury, to the latest modest evening gowns and abayas. Well-known local fashion figures, media personalities, influencers, designers and entrepreneurs participated in various talk shows and workshops.
Over the years, many local designers and entrepreneurs have made their debut at Heya, going on to build successful and known brands internationally.
A partnership with Bedaya Centre for Entrepreneurship and Career Development featured talks with inspirational figures in the business, who spoke at Heya and offered advice to aspiring young designers wishing to launch their own businesses.
“Bedaya Centre would like to thank QNTC and the management of Heya for their invitation and support to local entrepreneurs especially to projects owned and operated by women, that are always in need for such kind of support,” Abdulla Faleh al-Saeed, board member and acting general manager of Bedaya Centre, said.
Over five days, participants at Heya were able to enjoy 10 talk shows, four fashion shows and two workshops, organised for current and budding designers.
Another Heya partner, M7, participated in numerous talk shows focused on empowering young fashion entrepreneurs. A Qatar Museums initiative, M7 helps designers explore, collaborate, and grow into successful entrepreneurs.
“It was a pleasure to be part of this edition of Heya. We at M7 truly believe that there is no shortage of creative talent in Qatar and we aim to create an environment that nurtures and develops these designers into successful entrepreneurs. Heya has always been a great platform for young designers to showcase their work and engage with the public where otherwise they wouldn’t have that close connection,” M7 acting director Maha al-Sulaiti said.
A partner of Heya, Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts (VCUarts Qatar) has long been the institution of choice for the country’s fashion design students. Its faculty, alumni and students participated actively in the 17th edition of Heya as panellists, and also in the fashion shows.
“Having my ‘New Normal’ collection featured on the runway at this year's Heya was a great opportunity for me, and indeed very exciting. I received many positive comments and the whole experience gave me confidence and new connections. This show really brings together the entire fashion community and gives Qatar's new generation of designers a platform to be seen and celebrated,” Elizabeth Yang Soon Ju, VCUarts Qatar Fashion Design alumna and adjunct faculty, said.
The 17th edition of Heya endorsed ‘fashion for a cause’, partnering with Education Above All (EAA). Founded by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser in 2012, the foundation works with global, national, regional, and local partners to enrol 10.4mn out of school children globally.
“We thank the organisers of Heya Arabian Fashion Exhibition for their support, as this donation contributes to our mission to enabling the most vulnerable and marginalised children, especially those affected by poverty, poor infrastructure, conflict, natural disaster and culture barriers, to access quality education,” said Mubarak al-Thani, communication manager and head of Advocacy at EAA Foundation.