In an effort to help empower local brands within the greater fashion and garment industry, Saudi Arabia has announced a special initiative called the Saudi 100—a program crafted to support designers and provide them with the necessary resources to take their ideas and companies to the next level.
The campaign, which was debuted by Saudi Arabia’s Fashion Commission, aims to provide fashion brands with a one-year development program that offers personalized mentorship and training through both “individual and group consultancy,” along with specialized trainings and workshops.
Saudi 100’s program coverage will extend over topics that range from everything to public relations and marketing strategy to client identification, conceptualization, sales performance, technology development, and leadership, among other things—all of which are rooted in the common goal to lift the presence of small-scale, Saudi Arabian brands in the global fashion industry.
The program participants will have the opportunity to learn from a team of global experts from some of fashions most pristine houses, including Valentino Fashion Group, Chanel, LVMH, and Bulgari, among others. The initiative will also boast interactive educational experiences hosted by the Royal College of Art, Yale, Parsons, and Central St. Martins. Saudi 100 will also offer consumer-directed activities aimed at encouraging sales in the local market, the first of which will be held in Riyadh in December 2021.
Additionally, the Fashion Commission has partnered with Vogue Arabia for Saudi 100’s campaign activations, which will allow regional retailers to participate in virtual conferences, receive professional training, and also be allotted in-store space for exclusive Ramadan pop-up initiatives.
As can be inferred by the name, Saudi 100 will aim to support the development and growth of 100 Saudi-specific luxury brands and designers. The effort’s goals are a small part of the Fashion Commission’s greater mission to invest more time and resources into the development of Saudi Arabia’s fashion sector.
Brands wishing to participate in the program must meet certain criteria in order to be eligible, including but not limited to: a minimum of one year of experience in couture-focused womenswear or menswear, and a specialization in categories like bridal, casualwear, bags, leather goods, footwear, and accessories.
While at the “Fashion Futures Live: Moving Towards Sustainability, Diversity and Innovation” online conference, Burak Cakmak, chief executive of the country’s Fashion Commission and the former dean of fashion at Parsons School of Design in New York City, said: “Through engaging with innovators across the value chain and partnering to bring education, business development, entrepreneurship and retail experiences, Saudi Arabia will be able to transform local businesses to achieve the highest standard in their operations and branding that can be celebrated globally.”
Cakmak also characterized Saudi Arabia as being “on a growth path across all sectors, including fashion,” and added that: “A robust fashion sector benefits from local creatives, design studios, marketing and communication agencies, manufacturers and retailers.”
The Saudi 100 initiative will begin its year-long development program on July 4, 2021. For more information on the Saudi Arabia Fashion Commission, the Saudi 100 program, and other sustainable initiatives, visit www.fashion.moc.gov.sa.