Fashion Forward: Ones to watch

From Tibetan charm to Japanese paper dolls, Vision charts the inspiration of three of the fashion festival’s most promising and vivid talents

A riot of progressive design and diverse influence is expected at this year’s Fashion Forward Dubai from March 31 – April 3. Catwalk shows and presentations are showcased by the best couture, ready-to-wear and accessories designers in the Middle East, in addition to The d3 Fashion Talks that aim to foster industry discussion and development. In between the hustle and bustle of activity, Vision caught up with three designers standing out on the fashion platform.

Mira Hayek, Dubai Fashion Forward
Mira Hayek's brand is dedicated to dynamic women

Mira Hayek

Born in the 1980’s, Mira Hayek is obsessed with geometric shapes and motifs, which she uses as a basis for her patterns and as details on her contemporary garments. After interning at the ateliers of Elie Saab in Beirut and Erdem in London, Beirut-based designer Mira Hayek was selected by the Starch Foundation in Lebanon to launch her first ready to wear collection in 2011. The brand is dedicated to dynamic women with an effortless sense of style and seeking contemporary pieces with a fun and sporty edge that can be worn day and night.

Tell us about what you learned at Elie Saab and Erdem? How have these labels influenced your work?

Both experiences have paved my way and encouraged me to start my own brand- both irreplaceable experiences.

Your designs are dynamic, sporty and strong – what kind of women do you envisage wearing your clothes? Do you have a muse in mind?

The brand is dedicated to confident women with a playful and effortless sense of style. They seek contemporary pieces that can be worn day and night, fitting perfectly in their bustling urban lifestyle. I often turn to Rihanna’s effortlessly cool sense of style for inspiration.

Who is your ultimate style icon?

The singer Roisin Murphy has always been my style icon and I am also a huge fan of her music. Her style is edgy, fun and always super chic.

What advice would you give to young entrepreneurial women like yourself?

You need a clear vision and a strong product in order to start any business and… go for it!

What can we expect from your Fashion Forward show?

Of course, a sportswear collection! It is inspired by Japanese paper dolls.

Taller Marmo, Dubai Fashion Forward
Taller Marmo are bridging the gap between East and West

Taller Marmo

Dubai-based design duo Riccardo Audisio and Yago Goicoechea aim to create a bridge between East and West, merging European elegance with Middle Eastern charm. Their distinct work uses fine Italian tailoring with a minimal approach, and is fused with Arabic traditions. The duo’s nous for quality and craftsmanship which adopts innovative and traditional artisans and materials, was recently awarded with the 2015 Regional Woolmark Prize for India, Pakistan and the Middle East.

Why is it so important for you to incorporate traditional elements into your work?

Not being Arabs, when we arrived to Dubai to create Taller Marmo we had two options: embrace or avoid culture. We chose the first because the change of cultural atmosphere was very inspiring for us and we wanted to reflect it into our work.

Who are your greatest artistic inspirations? 

Women who changed and are changing the world and their cultures.

How did you conceive the idea for Taller Marmo?

We wanted to create a brand where storytelling, craftmanship and quality were the core value and not branding. We wanted to see a return of real luxury and that is why we create it.

What do you each bring to your creative partnership? How does the dynamic work?

We are two very different persons working as one, so it is quite difficult to say until which point our work is divided.

What can we expect from your Fashion Forward show?

You can expect a very fresh resort collection with comebacks of our signature pieces and a bold research of colours.

Salta, Dubai Fashion Forward
Salta designs for freedom and comfort with a touch of modern and ethnic creativity


Born in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Saltanat Baimukhamedova grew in the heart of Central Asia. She founded her label Salta in 2008 where she successfully grew the brand in her native country before moving her label to Dubai as a challenge and totally new experience: becoming a Middle Eastern designer with a global vision. Salta's ethos is simple: freedom and comfort with a touch of modern and ethnic creativity – a contemporary yet affordable design with cosmopolitan touches and flawless shapes that find its way into the wardrobes of successful, creative, feminine women across the world.

Can you explain more about your designs – what messages are you trying to convey through your work?

Each collection represents both freedom and comfort, yet with a touch of ethnic creativity. For the FW16 collection I was inspired by the captivating destination of Tibet for new collection. Showcasing beautiful designs with freedom and comfort, yet with a touch of modern ethnic creativity for the Salta woman.

Where does your inspiration come from? Are there particular experiences, art or music?

I discover inspiration in anything that impresses me – small details, emotions of other people, unusual shapes and forms. Most of my inspiration comes when I travel around the world – you have to change your surrounding and feel different vibes, scents, and dynamics.

Tell us about your personal style and who influences you?

My style is quite minimal and simplistic; I’ve always been into more edgy clothes – ever since I was a young girl. I also love to add statement sneakers as a cool detail; I like to focus on the small details of an outfit to make it different.

What can we expect from your Fashion Forward show?

We will bring modernity with an ethnic touch. Showcasing a fresh approach to loose fit and layered designs, our items consist of longevity and can be in a women’s wardrobe for years and aren’t outdated.

A complete programme guide can be found here,