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First ever Arab fashion week for men kicks off virtually

Animal prints, lacy hoodies, flared slacks, high-rise pants: Three-day event to promote regional designers and brands under way in Dubai

A screenshot from a video included in the first-ever fashion week held for Arab men, held virtually starting on January 28, 2021. (Screenshot/YouTube)
A screenshot from a video included in the first-ever fashion week held for Arab men, held virtually starting on January 28, 2021. (Screenshot/YouTube)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — From animal print ensembles to lacy hoodies and flared silky slacks, Arab men on Thursday got their first ever fashion week, with the three-day event showcased virtually online.

Designer Furne One of Amato Couture, loved in Dubai for his ethereal designs, opened the unprecedented event with a fall/winter 2021-2022 collection entitled “The First Temptation.”

Set in the desert, the models all wore white, including lacy hoodies and pants. The traditional dishdasha robe worn by men across the Arab Gulf was featured, but revisited with a slit down the front.

“The world around us is changing, so too are attitudes towards fashion, and nowhere more so than in the Middle East,” said Mohammed Aqra, chief strategist at the Arab Fashion Council.

“Arab Fashion Week-Men’s presents the breadth of menswear beyond formal attire and streetwear and paves the way for men in the Middle East to embrace a more adventurous wardrobe,” he added.

The council organized the event, which will be broadcast on YouTube for the three-day duration, to showcase some 15 regional and international designers, including from France, Britain, Iran and Lebanon.

Also on show Thursday were “Puro Teatro” (pure theater) creations by Spanish designer Arturo Obegero, including high-rise pants, tops with crinkly waists and others with huge bow ties hanging from the back.

The first day of the Arab men’s fashion week also featured designs by Zardouz, including animal print shirts and pants, as well as others by Anomalous and Boyfriend The Brand.

Based in Dubai, the Arab Fashion Council represents all 22 members of the Arab League and is already behind the twice-yearly Arab Fashion Week, now in its 11th edition.

The council aims at promoting regional designers and the industry across the globe.

According to the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, menswear dominated the UAE apparel sector in 2018, amounting to $12.3 billion in sales.

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