ABU DHABI- Last month, Etihad Airways launched a competition to engage four young Emirati fashion designers to create new on-board loungewear.
The competition drew almost 71,000 votes via highly regarded UAE fashion publication, Zahrat Al Khaleej’s social media channels.
Four UAE-based designers kicked-off the competition through a challenging set of criteria. The design themes had to involve strong Emirati and UAE influences, traditional patterns and accents, and they had to be contemporary and trendy.
Rawdha Al Shafar (A Friend of Mine by Xpoze), Manaal Al Hammadi (Manaal Al Hammadi), Asma Al Matrooshi (Epiphany) and Aisha Al Marri (1981 Boutique) developed designs over a one-week period for a chance to win the grand prize of having their designs in Etihad Airways’ First Class cabins and in The Residence onboard the Airbus A380.
The two finalists, Rawdha Al Shafar and Aisha Al Marri were chosen to develop a prototype design within a week for the final judging round and Al Shafar was finally declared the winner.
Speaking about the competition, Al Shafar said, "I am so honoured to have won this prestigious competition. The team at Zahrat Al Khaleej and Etihad Airways have been incredibly supportive. The other designers have certainly been tough opponents as they all showed much skill and talent.
"This was an extremely challenging competition. To turn around a design and a prototype in just a couple of weeks was testing but certainly rewarding. I cannot wait to see my design onboard next year!" The team from A Friend of Mine by Xpose will work closely with Etihad Airways’ Guest Experience and Delivery and Product and Brand teams to monitor the production of the loungewear over the next few months before introducing it onboard by the first quarter of next year.
Linda Celestino, Vice President - Guest Experience and Delivery, Etihad Airways, said, "This is the first time an airline has done something such as this. I absolutely loved working with these incredibly talented young Emirati women, who showed such passion and determination. This gives Etihad Airways an opportunity to showcase the talent that exists in the region. It was certainly a tough choice but A Friend of Mine deserves the win."
© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2017.