Fashion Futures

By Lindsay Hanson

“Creativity isn’t just about making things, it’s about making things happen.” – Tanner Christensen

The commitment to embed sustainability as pillar of Saudi Arabia’s nascent fashion industry was a recurring theme at the inaugural Fashion Futures conference hosted in Riyadh’s Culture Palace. Its plans to build and enable 16 cultural sub-sectors through investment and targeted development will act as a catalyst for Saudi Arabia’s fashion industry, with education and sustainability at the heart of this major initiative.

Lively, engaging, and anchored in the sharing of practical expertise, Fashion Futures saw fashion’s international digital disruptors, design mavericks and inspiring leaders–including Iris van Herpen, Shahd AlShehail, Bob Colacello, and Hayat Osamah–discussing their careers, engaging in debates, and participating in hands-on workshops, masterclasses, and Q&A sessions.

We were welcomed to address our keynote talk to the audience on day two of the conference by Her Royal Highness and ambassador to the United States Princess Reema bint Bandar al Saud. Natsai Audrey Chieza shared our approach to design innovation to an audience of Saudi creative individuals, businesses and investors, placing emphasis on how sustainability, material literacy and technology are key to country’s fashion future. Participants of the conference also had the opportunity to engage in a Faber Futures-curated masterclass: an two-hour session mapping the opportunities for new cultural dialogues in sustainable thinking for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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