In Conversation with Mary Katrantzou and The Modist

TIME: Thursday 26 Oct 2017, 7:30 PM
Ghizlan Guenez - CEO and Founder, The Modist
Mary Katrantzou - International Fashion Designer
Moderated by Ritu Upadhyay, WWD

Ghizlan Guenez CEO, The Modist

Ghizlan Guenez
CEO, The Modist



CEO and founder of The Modist, Algerian born Ghizlan Guenez has lived most of her life in Dubai and the Middle East. With over 10 years experience in private equity at The Abraaj Group, Ghizlan cultivated an expertise in emerging markets. She was responsible for brand development sustainability programme creation and execution (over $100m deployed) and partnership-building in more than 30 countries. Her work in entrepreneurship, art and sustainability has led to the longstanding partnerships with The World Economic Forum, Art Dubai and the Venice Biennale to name a few. Ghizlan holds a BSc. from the London School of Economics.

Mary Katranzou Designer

Mary Katranzou



Born in Athens, Mary Katrantzou studied Architecture at Rhode Island School of Design (USA) and graduated with a BA in Textile design and an MA in Fashion from Central Saint Martins (London).

Her graduation show in 2008, which featured trompe l’oeil prints of oversized jewellery on jersey-bonded dresses, took the industry by storm, immediately securing a number of prestigious stockists, notably Browns, Joyce, Colette. After her graduation show, Mary Katrantzou established her namesake brand. She now boasts over 100 high-end stockists ranging from Selfridges to Joyce,, Harrods and Saks.

Mary Katrantzou was dubbed "The Queen of Print" by press, a moniker that recognized the enormous influence of her work in the medium. Katrantzou's work changed the face of twentyfirst century fashion, inspiring high fashion and high street designers alike.

Ritu Upadhyay WWD

Ritu Upadhyay



Ritu Upadhyay is the Middle East correspondent for Women’s Wear Daily (WWD). Often referred to as “the fashion bible,” WWD has been THE industry voice of authority for the global fashion, retail and beauty communities for over 100 years. Ritu covers the business side of retail and fashion along with trends and runway shows, bringing together a unique understanding of both the creative and commercial sides of the fashion industry. For the last ten years, she has covered international runways shows in emerging markets, reporting on new design talent, as well as breaking news on retail markets across the Middle East. She has profiled fashion luminaries including Giorgio Armani, Tom Ford, Christian Louboutin, Elie Saab and as well as traveled to factories across India to report on manufacturing and skilled artisans. Ritu studied journalism and political science at Northwestern University. She began her career at the newsweekly, TIME Magazine in New York and has authored a biography on President John F. Kennedy. In addition to WWD, she has covered the Middle East for Bloomberg TV. Born and raised in Chicago, Ritu has lived in New York, India, Jordan and Pakistan, and currently divides her time between Washington D.C. and Dubai.