A total of 50 applicants have been nominated for the Sharjah Bridal Fair Awards 2016, which were recently announced as Young Fashion Awards. Participation in the awards is open to all female UAE residents. The awards target budding designers in four categories, namely the best wedding website, best emerging new fashion designer or brand, best ready-to-wear, and best wedding abayas. Cash prizes range from Dhs5,000 to Dhs6,500. The winners will be announced during a ceremony on May 22. The Gulf Today spoke to Hanan Al Mahmoud, Director of Al Jawaher reception and convention centre, at the Sharjah Bridal Fair 2016. Asked about the strict criteria of the award, Al Mahmoud stated upon that launching the awards, the awards committee chose that the awards should be open to youth under 25. "However, we have noticed that there was a very big demand for designers who are above 30. This observation drove us to be more flexible with our criteria, since designers above 30 also deserve recognition," said Al Mahmoud. Speaking about the nationality that commands the most applicants, Al Mahmoud said, "Majority are Emirati. However, we have a couple of Arabs and some Iranian participants. It was really nice seeing entries from varied nationalities. The high number of Emirati entries was equally impressive. This simply affirms the recent growth in interest for fashion and design, considering that many universities and other academic institutions currently teach the two as an academic discipline."

Monday, May 23, 2016