TIME: March 23, Saturday, 14:00
LOCATION: Hall 3
Etienne Cochet - GM, Who's Next, Premiere Classe
Ramzi Nakad - COO and Co-Founder, FFWD/EPIC
Clair Seffeen, Senior Buyer - Womenswear, Bloomingdales & Harvey Nichols
Janet Wong - Founder, Cabana Show
Zayan Ghandour - Creative Director, Zayan the Label
Moderated by Sujata Assomull
Catching the eye of international buyers is one of the biggest challenges for emerging designers. What is the best platform to get their attention? Etienne Cochet, CEO of Who's Next and Premiere Classe - one of the world's most prestigious trade shows, will discuss what trade shows can offer designers. We will also debate the value of showrooms as the market evolves as well as what buyers are more interested in and what the best fit for designers from the region is.
WSN Development: Who's Next, Premiere Classe & Paris Sur Mode Tuileries
Although he was destined for a carrer in politics, it is in the luxury goods and design industry where Etienne has dedicated the full force of his abilities. After having held commercial positions for Condé Naste publications, he joined the trade show organisers Blenheim Group in 1991 as a general commissioner for the trade shows Moving, Scènes d’Intérieur and Tex’Styles. It is during his time at Blenheim that Etienne began to rework the conventional function of trade shows. Appointed General Manager of SAFI (Salons Français et Internationaux) in May 1995, he merged all home wear trade shows, which has resulted in, notably, Maison & Objet becoming an unmissable event in the world of lifestyle and homeward trade shows. Etienne is also the brains behind the brand «Paris Capitale de la Creation», which since 2003 has brought together 17 trade shows, and of which he became the president in 2008.
Since June 2016, he has been at the head of WSN Developpement, the international leader of fashion and accessory trade shows, organising events such as WHO’S NEXT, PREMIERE CLASSE and PARIS SUR MODE TUILERIES, which take place four times a year, two of which fall during Paris Fashion Week. In 2005 he was made a Knight of the National Legion of Honor and in 2011, Officer of the National Order of Merit.
COO and Co-Founder
A serial entrepreneur and highly respected marketer, Ramzi Nakad is constantly challenging the status quo and pushing boundaries to introduce new concepts to the region.
In 2009 Ramzi co-founded BRAG, now a leading experiential event agency headquartered in Dubai. As BRAG’s Managing Partner, Ramzi helped secure partnerships with government and private entities, including Dubai Tourism, while also directing some of Dubai’s most talked about community events like Market OTB, Beach Canteen, Meet d3, RISE/DCH and Sole Dxb.
A strong supporter of regional talent, Ramzi co-founded Fashion Forward Dubai (FFWD) in 2013, offering a unified developmental fashion platform for the region. Recognizing the importance of actively making tangible contributions towards economic growth and sustainability, in 2016, Ramzi helped establish an empowerment program under FFWD, named EPIC. The program aims to extend business development support to emerging design talent from the Middle East through a series of initiatives, including the establishment of a FFWD Showroom in both Dubai & Paris.
Senior Buyer - Womenswear
Bloomingdales & Harvey Nichols
Clair is currently the Senior Buyer for Bloomingdales Dubai, Kuwait and Harvey Nichols Dubai.
She manages a portfolio of over 40 Brands which include key contemporary brands such as Alice & Olivia, Rag and Bone, Helmut Lang, Kenzo and DKNY. Moving to Dubai over a decade ago from Australia, Clair has held various roles within Al Tayer Insignia starting in Abu Dhabi with their multi brand store Ounass.
Founder, Cabana Show
Janet Wong, is the co- founder, curator and creative force behind Miami Beach’s Annual Cabana Resort & Lifestyle Trade Show which she established in 2013.
A prominent figure in the Resort/Swimwear industry, Janet has consulted with countless designers, collaborating on innovative fashions, and curating and merchandising their brands for retailers all over the world including Selfridges, Net a Porter, Moda Operandi, Harvey Nichols, Bergdorf Goodman and Shop Bop to name a few.
Previously Janet was the buying director of Atrium New York and Miami where she was instrumental in establishing many high -end denim brands in an already saturated market as well as branding on many Ready to Wear labels. Part of her success is her international exposure, being able to identify marketplace trends and having a sensitive eye for up and coming brands.
Zayan the Label
Zayan Ghandour was born in Beirut, Lebanon. She began designing limited edition one-off T-shirts while writing for the Daily Star newspaper (an affiliate of the Herald Tribune) before moving to Dubai in 2000. In 2004 she co-founded s*uce, an award winning fashion and lifestyle concept, with Fatima Mazroui Ghobash. As buyer and creative director, Zayan’s singular vision and inspiration have been an instrumental driving force in the brand’s development at every stage, growing S*uce from a charming, yet relatively small high-end retail destination in Jumeirah, to the multi-concept phenomenon it is today. In 2011, Zayan turned her attention once more to design, launching her eponymous label Zayan the Label during Paris Fashion Week to great reviews. Now its 12th season, Zayan the Label is stocked in over 19 locations worldwide including MODA OPERANDI, Shine and Liger in Hong Kong, Excelsior in Milan and Harvey Nichols Riyadh.
One of India’s most informed and influential commentators on Indian fashion Sujata Assomull was the launch editor of Harper’s Bazaar India. Having worked at ELLE India, Indian Express and Verve, she also has been the communications director of Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Jimmy Choo in India. Having worked on both sides of the fashion divide, she recently moved to Dubai and is now the consulting Fashion Editor of the region’s first English daily, Khaleej Times.
One of India’s most informed and influential commentators on Indian fashion Sujata Assomull was the launch editor of Harper’s Bazaar India. Having worked at ELLE India, Indian Express and Verve, she also has been the communications director of Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Jimmy Choo in India. Having worked on both sides of the fashion divide, she recently moved to Dubai and is now the consulting Fashion Editor of the region’s first English daily, Khaleej Times and also a contributing editor to Vogue India.