The Fashion Design Department at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar is hosting its second annual ‘Fashion Rush’ on Wednesday, 22nd February from 5:00 to 8:00 PM at the Saffron Hall at VCUQatar. The event is open to the public.
‘Fashion Rush’ will be an informal gathering, beginning with an introduction of some of the participants from the fashion industry who will speak about their experiences in the industry. This will be followed by an open discussion, a Q&A session with those present answering questions about the industry and offering career advice.
The Fashion Design department will also show a video, made in-house, of the fashion students’ approach to the abaya. There will be a competition to select the best two handbags of the 15 designed by freshman students, and guests get to vote. Common Thread vendors will showcase and sell new collections at the event. Common Thread is a traveling trunk show that supports local artists and designers by providing them a platform to display and sell their products.
“The event is especially looking to target the curious - potential students, parents, the broader community, and the informed – those seeking connections in the industry,” said Sandra Wilkins, chair of the Fashion Design department at VCUQatar. Wilkins came up with the idea for ‘Fashion Rush’ last year when the department was brainstorming on different ways to inform the community about the Fashion Design Department at VCUQatar and “dispel any myths people may have about it not being a viable degree – even though the fashion department has the highest post-graduate employment success rate.”
“Fashion touches everything. The industry includes designers, illustrators, event coordinators, photographers, stylists, boutique owners, graphic and print designers, textile designers, retail managers, marketers, buyers, to name a few careers. Clothing is one of our basic needs, it is a way of expressing yourself, a way of life. People in this industry should never be out of a job,” said Wilkins.
While the fashion industry is the largest industry in the world, its presence is still in the early stages in Qatar. What has been a growing universal trend - a shift from mass market to what is special, sustainable and locally made – is also being seen here. Not surprisingly, Qatar has seen a serious increase in the number of small designers opening boutiques, enhancing the overall entrepreneurial spirit here in Doha. “We are encouraging our designers to forge ahead and make new paths. The world is looking at Qatar, it’s the perfect time to let the bright minds of our youth create a brilliant vision of what that world will see, something that is of Qatar, by those who live in Qatar,” added Wilkins. The challenge then is convincing the parents of these visionaries to allow them to follow their passions. “This event is really for them.”