Fashion Talks: Beirut Design Week at LAU

Adnan Kassar School of Business Room 903, Beirut campus

Hosted by the Department of Design’s Fashion Design program, a selection of top fashion experts are gathered for a series of exciting presentations on innovations in fashion knitwear, the future of fashion entrepreneurship, and the development of the Fashion industry in the Middle East. 

Kevin Kramp, internationally recognized knitwear designer, will be giving a presentation titled “From Alleyway to Runway: Innovation in Fashion Knitwear”. Kramp’s work has been featured in international fashion and style publications in the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Switzerland, Africa, Japan, Australia, and the US, included in fashion and knitwear exhibitions around the world, and he is the recipient of several awards and grants for his creative work. Kramp holds a first Bachelor’s degree in Visual Art and Italian Studies from Brown University, a second Bachelor’s Honours degree in Fashion Design with Knitwear from London’s world-famous Central St. Martins College of Art and Design, and he has apprenticed and worked with designers and creatives around the world, including in London, Italy, Brazil and New York.

Kramp has recently been featured in Vogue Italia’s 3rd Annual ‘New Talents’ September edition, awarded the Modateca Award at the tenth edition of International Talent Support (ITS) in Italy by legendary knitwear entrepreneur Ms. Deanna Ferretti, selected for Antwerp’s Mode Museum fashion knitwear exhibition ‘Unravel,’ featured as installation designer collection in Belgium’s high-concept fashion/art space ‘ra,’ and featured as special guest for ‘Six Talents For White’ at Milan’s internationally regarded fashion exhibition ‘White’ for September 2011 Milan Fashion Week, and White’s February 2012 debut at New York Fashion Week.

He will be giving step-by-step description with projected slides of the process of designing innovative fashion knitwear, from initial inspiration and research, to sketching, designing, machine swatching, and photographing of final garments. 

Stefan Siegel, founder and CEO of Not Just a Label, will also be speaking. Not Just A Label (NJAL) today is the leading global platform for emerging fashion designers and ranks among the most respected websites in the fashion industry. As the world’s leading designer platform for showcasing and nurturing today’s pioneers in contemporary fashion, it represents over 15,000 designers from 100 countries. It is an infinitely expanding destination devoted to facilitating growth in the fashion industry and has established itself as a distinctive creative hub fostering innovation. His talk is titled “A Seminar on Creative Entrepreneurship” and will be centering on the story of NJAL, a start-up that launched in 2008 and took the fashion world by storm. Siegel will also be highlighting the development of the company, as well as the future environment creative entrepreneurs will be facing.

Bong Guerrero, Founder and CEO of Fashion Forward (FFWD), has been at the forefront of the fashion and events landscape in Dubai and the Middle East for more than 25 years. He was heavily involved in the pioneering years of the fashion industry in the region, producing the first catwalk presentations of many of the established regional designers we know today. Alongside this, for the past fifteen years he has produced some of Dubai’s most iconic events for a range of top-tier corporate clients, and in 2009 established the live marketing agency brag. He has conceptualized and delivered some of the largest and most anticipated fashion productions in the Middle East.

Bong’s wealth of regional experience and love of both fashion and events culminated in April 2013 with the founding of Fashion Forward (FFWD). With solid support from his partners and formidable team, Bong launched FFWD as the region’s definitive fashion platform. The bi-annual event offers the best couture and ready to wear designers who are based in the region or of Middle Eastern origin a unifying platform upon which to showcase their collections twice a year complemented by a commercial space for accessories designers- The Garden, a diverse programme of panels and presentations and industry networking events. Guerrero’s presentation is titled “Taking Fashion Forward in the Middle East”. As he will explain, FFWD was developed to address a specific need that we identified in the Middle Eastern market – for a fashion movement or platform that would celebrate the best regional couture and ready-to-wear designers while fostering discussion, debate and development of the fashion industry from a trade perspective. The design talent here in Lebanon, and throughout the region, deserves a unifying platform upon which designers can showcase to a local, regional and international audience. Through FFWD, designers are able to showcase twice a year, every year and be part of a larger eco-system which is generating visibility, exposure and stability for the region’s bourgeoning fashion industry.