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DUBAI: Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al-Maktoum, chairperson of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority and a member of the Dubai Council, was among the guests of honor at a historic fashion show that marked the debut at the Middle East from the Italian fashion and design school Istituto Marangoni, the Emirates news agency reported.

The concept for the event combined a traditional physical fashion show at Dubai’s Museum of the Future with a complementary digital version in the metaverse. The models appeared on the real-world catwalk alongside their virtual avatars, creating a unique event that blended tradition and innovation in a world where reality and virtual reality coexist.

The event showcased the work of five of the best graduates from Istituto Marangoni’s fashion design courses in Milan, Florence, Paris, London and Shanghai. The grand finale featured designs by Rahul Mishra, a well-known alumnus who was the first Indian designer to show his work at Paris Haute Couture Week.

In Dubai, he paid homage to his alma mater with creations that combine traditional Indian designs with modern luxury fashion trends in a sustainable, ethical and “slow fashion” approach.

Sheikha Latifa said: “The Dubai branch of Istituto Marangoni is a valuable addition to the city’s burgeoning creative and cultural landscape. Its diverse offering will provide creatives in Dubai and the region with the right tools to launch their careers in design.

She added that Dubai has cemented its position as a global design hub, one of the main objectives of Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum’s Dubai Creative Economy Strategy, which was launched on last year.

As part of this strategy, Dubai Culture is working to strengthen creative arts education and thereby support the emergence and development of creative talent while establishing an ecosystem of creators in the emirate.

“Bringing global institutions with decades of design experience to the region reinforces our commitment to the sector and to being a cultural and creative hub,” said Sheikha Latifa. “We look forward to the incredible talent that will graduate from (Istituto Marangoni Dubai) in the years to come.”

Noura Al-Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, said: “It gives me great joy to welcome a world-renowned school of fashion and design to Dubai. I see a great partnership in the making, where the UAE and other countries in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region will have the advantage of a world-class design school, while the Istituto Marangoni will benefit from untapped talent waiting to be tapped.

“The UAE is making waves in the creative space and building an ecosystem for future generations to contribute effectively to the creative economy. We are focused on developing our cultural and creative industries to make them a more important part of the UAE economy.

“We believe that nurturing talent is key to developing the creative sector and Istituto Marangoni will play an important role in achieving this. Giving a world-class education and specialized skills to our young people will stimulate their creative energy and support emerging talent.

Stefania Valenti, Managing Director of Istituto Marangoni, said, “It is an honor to celebrate the opening of Istituto Marangoni Dubai at the Museum of the Future with the warm endorsement of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al -Maktoum and Her Excellency Noura. bint Mohammed Al-Kaabi, and in this museum where our immersive experience found its perfect space.”

Dubai is the latest addition to the ranks of global fashion capitals hosting an Istituto Marangoni school, including Milan, Florence, Paris, London, Mumbai, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Miami.

Valenti said that with the help of qualified and professional Italian staff and an innovative “learning-by-doing” approach, students at Istituto Marangoni Dubai will develop the skills they need to achieve their potential and turn their passion and talent into a successful career.

“Today’s event shows what students at Istituto Marangoni can achieve,” she added. “With the opening of our school in Dubai, we are offering aspiring local fashion and interior designers the opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge needed to jump-start their careers.

“Istituto Marangoni is committed to playing an active role in the Middle East to foster a new ecosystem of talent, institutions, stakeholders and industries. We hope to help nurture a new generation of fashion designers in the region, with particular attention to empowering women in their area of ​​interest, be it fashion, design or the arts.


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