11th Heya Arabian Fashion Exhibition

Much to the delight of fashionistas, aspiring designers and eager shoppers, the 11th Heya Arabian Fashion Exhibition (Heya-11) opened with much fanfare on 28 April 2017 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre, featuring an eclectic mix of contemporary modest fashion and exciting new visitor experiences designed to educate, inspire and celebrate the growing global billion-dollar modest fashion industry.   A highlight in the region’s fashion event calendar, Heya-11 welcomes ladies from across the region to Qatar’s leading modest fashion show. This year, Qatar’s most anticipated fashion event has a record-number of Qatari exhibitors on display. More than a third of the 250 exhibitors at Heya-11 are represented by home-grown talent. The emerging designers are in the company of internationally renowned peers, including Eriko, Hessa Falasi and Naseem Alandalo as part of the 350 brands showcased at this year’s exhibition. Heya has grown to become Qatar’s biggest platform for contemporary Arabian fashion and a “must-attend” event. Heya-11 strengthens the country’s position as a major regional shopping destination and center for fashion innovation.  Presenting the latest Spring/Summer collections from over 350 GCC and international brands, Heya-11 welcomes four embassies to give visitors the chance to discover designers from Japan, Spain, Portugal and Qatar’s Year of Culture partners, Germany.

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Catering to the growing demand for modest and Islamic fashion Heya 11 provides a collaborative environment where up-and-coming local designers, female entrepreneurs and fashion enthusiasts can come together to showcase, inspire and motivate others in the industry. The show’s eminent reputation provides a high-profile platform and launch pad for established and emerging local and Khaleeji designers to tap into the booming modest fashion industry. The lively free-to-enter event, welcomes ladies to explore an exciting range of abayas, kaftans, kimonos, jalabiyas, veils, gowns, among other modest fashion pieces from local, regional and international brands. Two of the many successful Qatari brands on show at Heya-11 are Debaj and Aisha’z Collection.

Debaj, Qatar’s much loved designer, kicked off the Grand Opening Fashion Show with an awe-inspiring Spring/Summer catwalk collection.  This was followed by inspiring collections from Anara, Amy Designs, Dar Taraf, Qmall and Vintage.

Founded in 2012, Debaj is a pioneering Qatari abaya brand that offers ladies innovative cuts and detailed designs paying homage to international destinations such as Paris and Florence, whose art, culture and people have provided much inspiration to draw upon. Each collection uses the finest materials and master tailoring to create bespoke, elegant and luxurious abayas to suit every occasion.

Aisha’Z Collection, founded by Aisha Alnaemi in 2010, started life as a small business known by friends and family and has grown to become a much-desired GCC brand and is appreciated all over the world. Style, comfort and simplicity are at its heart of the collection that combines western influences with traditional customs.

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For the first time in the show’s history, families are invited to attend the opening day enabling husbands to accompany their daughters and wives.  Featuring a large exhibition space, daily fashion shows and forums, and hands-on workshops, Heya attracts thousands of ladies from Qatar and the GCC who come to shop for exclusive collections and discover new designers. Heya provides a launch platform for Qatari designers and helps established and emerging brands tap into the billion-dollar Islamic fashion market.

Qatar’s largest modest fashion event also presented aspiring designers and fashion enthusiasts a series of exciting ‘free-to-attend’ workshops, talks and forums created to inspire, nurture and delight. Heya-11’s opening forum which took place on Friday, brought guests from Qatar and Germany together to discuss ‘How Culture Affects Fashion’ while Sunday’s forum speakers Elsa Baretto and Alexandra Esteves discussed ‘Uncover the Marriage of Textiles and Fashion’.

Heya-11 also provided visitors a thrilling array of complimentary experiences, for all ladies, from serious fashionistas to women looking for style and beauty tips. In partnership with iconic French fashion school ESMOD and Middle East celebrity Maison de Joelle, and many more industry experts, Heya-11 presented a collaborative arena to learn new skills with a masterclass from makeup brand Woojooh on ‘Creating a soft look’ The ‘École supérieure des arts et techniques de la mode,’ or ESMOD, the iconic French private school of fashion founded in Paris in 1841 by the master tailor Alexis Lavigne, and the world’s first and oldest fashion design school with exclusive and patented methods, provided a daily programme of hands-on workshops at Heya-11 to share practical knowledge and guidance to aspiring designers and fashion influencers. Insightful workshops included ‘How to Launch Your Own Fashion Brand’, ‘Careers in Fashion Industry’, ‘Fashion Marketing’, ‘Fashion Illustration’, ‘How to Become a Fashion Designer’ and ‘Islamic Fashion’ 

TV personality and celebrated make-up expert, Joelle Mardinian of acclaimed beauty spa ‘Masion de Joelle,’ shared her tips and tricks with attendees during the opening day talk ‘Where Does Beauty Go with Joelle?’  The acclaimed makeup artist also workshops devoted to helping women enhance and transform their appearance.

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A South African currently living and working in Qatar always striving to contribute towards the “change” where emails will be short, love letters brave and every “thank you” note be hand written! As I move through life, I want to share my experiences - the interesting places I am so fortunate to visit, the amazing people I meet and the profound moments I am blessed with. When I am not working, you can find me watching Pretty Woman or Devdas for the 101th time, I watch obscene amounts of television without a trace of shame, surf the net, visit main stream or boutique hotels, restaurants and street food vendors, specialized coffee shops or the local karak drive through stores, High end stores to 5Riyal stores, Home Interior Stores or drive aimlessly looking for inspiration for my next post, the ultimate photo opportunity or simply write about what captures my imagination.

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