DDFC Talks: Fashion Entrepreneurship - Building a Sustainable Business

TIME: Saturday, 22 October 2016, 16:00
Noor Shawwa, Managing Director, Endeavor
Sharmila Murat, General Manager UAE Market, Chalhoub Group
Basma Abu Ghazaleh, Designer, Kage




Noor Shawwa,
Managing Director, Endeavor

Noor Shawwa is the Managing Director at Endeavor in the UAE, which he launched in December 2013 to help high-impact entrepreneurs scale up their businesses. Since launching the office, Noor guided Endeavor to select 14 entrepreneurs from 10 companies and built a network of mentors that includes some of the business leaders in the UAE. 

Before joining Endeavor, Noor was the Head of Strategic Initiatives at Bayt.com, the Middle East’s largest job portal. At Bayt, Noor worked with the senior management team across functions to optimize the company’s processes and performance. 


Sharmila Murat
General Manager, Chalhoub Group Retail

Sharmila Murat is the General Manager of the UAE market for Chalhoub Group Retail, leading a retail operation of 165+ Chalhoub Group franchise and own concept stores through 1350+ employees.  During her tenure, she has opened 60+ doors, and introduced nearly 15 new brands or concepts into the UAE market, including Tryano and level Kids.

She was previously the Group Finance Director for Chalhoub Group Retail, leading the regional finance function through a period of significant growth, retail network expansion, and the introduction of new brands and concepts.  In her role, she also spearheaded the transformation of several franchised brands into joint ventures, and supported the creation and launch of level Shoes.


Basma Abu Ghazaleh
Designer, Kage


Womenswear label KAGE launched their first collection in 2009, offering fashion-forward pieces in feminine silhouettes.

KAGE came to life during a trip in London, inspired by East London’s textiles and textures that launched the first capsule collection in 2009 at an art gallery. The collection sold out and the brand quickly expanded and established a strong following, resulting in KAGE and the opening of the atelier in 2011.

Early 2016, KAGE moved their creative work space to the dynamc Design District. This is known as the brand’s ‘white canvas’: open, raw, and the perfect versatile space for inspirational ideas to come alive.

Each collection is seamlessly synthesized with a modern feel while staying loyal to the inherent daring nature of the KAGE girl. Self-loving and unobstructed, she lives a life without boundaries, where style is what she chooses to express with the freedom of individuality.


Alison Tay


Alison Tay has spent 15 years on fashion’s front row as a style journalist, international columnist, and TV opinionista on BBC, Sky News and CNN, and as a stylist working with celebrities in London, Paris, New York and LA.
Known for her instinctive and intellectual approach to fashion, Alison’s manifesto as Editor-in-Chief of the Grazia Group is to bring energy, exclusivity and luxury to the Middle East.