Over 250 brands on display as 16th Heya Arabian Fashion Exhibition opens


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Ibtihaj Al Ahmadani, Executive Board Member at Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, inaugurating the 16th Heya Arabian Fashion Exhibition at Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre yesterday
Stunning fashion shows and inspiring talks headlined the opening day of the 16th Heya Arabian Fashion Exhibition yesterday at Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre.
Ibtihaj Al Ahmadani, Executive Board Member at Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, officially launched the five-day event held under the patronage of H E Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. 
Representatives from Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC), ambassadors, media and renowned fashion and lifestyle bloggers as well as representatives from Heya organisers, Design Creationz attended the opening ceremony with Halima Aden, the first hijabi top model as special guest.
The five-day exhibition has brought together under one roof more than 250 brands from 11 countries showcasing the latest in Arabian and modest designs, as well as discussions which focus on the fashion industry, latest trends, beauty, textiles, and sustainable fashion. 
“We are delighted to once again partner with Design Creationz to bring the 16th edition of Qatar’s pre-eminent fashion event, the Heya Arabian Fashion Exhibition that showcases our rich heritage and talent. We are thrilled to see such a large increase in the number of local entrepreneurs participating in this edition,” said Jawaher Al-Khuzaei from QNTC.
For this edition, Heya brings to the limelight the largest display of Arabian designers with Qatari brands representing 75% of participants, the highest percentage of local participation ever recorded to date.
Apart from local brands, designers from Kuwait, Oman, India, Turkey, Lebanon, Morocco, China, Indonesia, Italy and Georgia are taking part in the exhibition. “We also welcome participating designers from all over the world, and hope they enjoy the event as well as Qatar’s authentic experiences,” said Al Khuzaei.
Esraa Abel, spokesperson for Design Creationz, said: “We are proud to have more than 250 brands participate this year, with many returning ones exemplifying what Heya stands for; a space for industry experts, leaders and entrepreneurs to collaborate and come together under one roof helping each other evolve. We are thrilled with the turnout and look forward to welcoming visitors over the next few days.”
Kicking off the fashion shows were spectacular collections by Debaj, Al Baccarat Fashion, Malo Italy, Faggioli Atelier, Atelier.C Firenze and Positivity Couture.  Designs by Tahani Al Otaibi, Apple Wang, Al Baccarat Fashion, Bebe Collection, Sweet Dolce, Lialy Line and Kyra were also showcased on the catwalk later in the night.
“I am thrilled to be sharing my collection with Qatar and the world here at Heya Arabian Fashion Exhibition. This is truly an exceptional platform that gathers all modest fashion lovers from around the globe under one roof to showcase their creations and to learn more about the latest trends in the industry,” said Tahani Al Otaibi, fashion designer of her own line, Tahani Al Otaibi.
Halima Aden shared her journey to success and the rise of modest fashion on the international fashion scene at “Celebrity Talk: Breaking boundaries, a history of firsts” hosted in collaboration with Narges Raiss, Contributing Editor for Harper’s Bazaar, Grazia Arabia and Esquire Qatar. 
A talk on “The International Fashion Scene in Parallelism to the Arabian Vogue” with Jeannie Lee, Head of Buyers at Galleries Lafayette, and Christopher Fink, VCUArts Chair of Fashion was also held yesterday.