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CFD’s fourth Fashion Forum highlights the Impact of Fashion Stylists on the Fashion Industry

On March 18th, The College of Fashion and Design Dubai hosted a dynamic panel of fashion experts; Fatima Al Shirawi, Soha Taha, Dina Yassin, and Maria Gold Knudsen to share their insights on Fashion Styling, one of the most popular emerging professions in the fashion world globally. Ludmilla Figueiredo, the founder of Rule Number One artfully moderated the panel and added her own thoughts to the lively discussion.

The speakers explained how trained stylists can significantly increase sales by presenting fashion in a way that attracts customers. These days the fashion industry is very business focused so it is critical to balance creativity with commercialization.

Maria Gold Knudsen, Head of Editorial & Style Content at noted that with the exponential growth of the digital world, there is an increasing number of jobs for stylists, especially in content development and product photography. She described stylists as being the “biggest assets” in the digital world and stressed the importance of having “business savvy” to effectively promote goods online.

Fatima Al Shirawi, an independent and modern Emirati woman, is the inspiration behind the establishment of the Aesthetics and lifestyle consulting brand, The Gracious F that specializes in color consultancy and training. Fatima emphasized the importance of choosing the correct colors to meet customers’ needs in the region.

When asked about her various business interests, Soha Taha, owner of Soha Cosmetics and SohaMT Collections, emphasized the need to focus on one project at a time to achieve the best results. She felt that being an influencer has definitely helped her to expand her fashion brand.

Dina Yassin, Founder & Creative Director of the recently launched Efro & Co gave the audience a snapshot of her career progression from stylist to designer noting, “multiple internships help to show what you can do. Building a strong portfolio and obtaining recommendation letters helps to open doors.”

CFD students were excited to listen to the experiences of the high-profile speakers. “I found the forum to be very informative and I was very inspired by the African influence in Dina Yassin’s work”, said CFD student, Mariamma. “I enjoyed the diversity of the panel members who were from different nationalities and various fashion fields,” noted CFD student, Julia.

“The powerful speakers today gave amazing insights into the dynamic career of fashion styling and gave inspiration to our students”, commented Dr. Monica Gallant, CFD President, and CEO.

The fashion forum was also a platform for partners like Miella, Etisalat, Al Tayer, 3 Design and Viacom to showcase their products. The gifts for the Raffle Draw were sponsored by Pantone, Gizmaze, Roda Group and Wok’N’Roll Restaurant.

CFD hosts Fashion Forums each month to provide students with an essential link from academia to the real world of fashion.