By Raynald C Rivera / The Peninsula
DOHA: Qatar stands as one of the top markets for ladies’ apparel in the Middle East, according to renowned Moroccan designer Meriam Belkhayat.
“Qatar is one of the best markets in the Middle East because the Qatari woman is always looking for something new. She wants to discover and try new things and she’s not afraid of bringing things from afar, to try to get them. That’s not the case for a lot of women who just get what they have in the (local) market,” Belkhayat told reporters.
She described Qatari women as “very fashionable” which stems from the fact that they are “very connected” following the latest fashion trends via social media.
One of the most celebrated caftan designers in the Arab World, Belkayat has already taken part in some of the world’s most acclaimed fashion weeks such as New York Fashion Week, London Fashion Week and Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. She is the first Moroccan designer to be featured in British Vogue magazine.
Belkhayat, who has been a caftan designer for ten years now, was in Doha to take part in the recently concluded Arabian Fashion Show, the first of the three fashion shows slated for the second edition of Shop Qatar organised by Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA).Belkhayat’s latest designs from her “Lost in a Dream” collection lit up the runway at the fashion show held at Mondrian Doha on Wednesday.
“This collection is specially made for Qatar as it is an interesting market for women and I have a lot of clients here so I tried to bring them what they would usually buy. I showcased 15 designs from the new collection. They are colourful caftans and every piece is a mix of colours traditionally handmade with a modern touch,” she explained.
She expressed satisfaction on the same great response to her collection when she came for the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Doha more than a year ago. She also lauded the excellent organization of the Arabian Fashion Show.
“I really thank QTA because it’s very well organised and they provided all that we needed since we arrived. QTA has a very good team working on the show and this is something fantastic,” she said. The show also featured breathtaking designs by celebrity Kuwaiti fashion designers Yousef Al Jasmi and Sakba by Mohammed Hamada in addition to a number of local designers.
Two more fashion shows are scheduled in the coming weeks including Bollywood Fashion Show this coming Wednesday featuring creations by celebrity designers Vikram Phandis, Archana Kochar and Manish Malhotra and the International Fashion Show on January 24 which will highlight creations by celebrity designers Fouad Sarkis, Maria B., Alejandro Resta, Imran Rajput and Thaher Baqer with an appearance by Pakistani actor and model Imran Abbas.