You launched the International Fashion Week Dubai (IFWD) in May 2015. Tell us about this event and what was your role in supporting designers worldwide?
International Fashion Week Dubai (IFWD) is an establishment that was created to further aid the rapid growth of the Fashion industry in Dubai. We are a company with a foresight of growth, building healthy business relationships, exploration and profitability for all. International Fashion Week Dubai is a platform that brings together existing and new talents in the Fashion Industry from all parts of the world making Dubai a meeting place for showcasing their talents, establishing new business connections and exploring the next big Fashion City.
We have created a successful track record of 10 seasons with various multi-talented Fashion Designers and production team from all around the world especially the fashion capital itself – Paris and Milan; we also have the support of the Dubai government as they never fail to grace our event when it’s being held. Furthermore, quite a number of media outfits that help in creating exposure for our clients are regularly present at our events. It is safe to say that International Fashion Week Dubai is the best platform through which you can establish a long-term Fashion business opportunity in Dubai.
What was the significance of launching this yearly event for you, on both personal and professional levels?
The significance for me was the fact that I get to bring together new and old talents with similar interests from around the world under one roof. On a personal level, it was my ultimate passion as a fashion designer to always be on Fashion shows and display my designs, IFWD was completely inspired by my passion for fashion.
How has your participation in different global events in Dubai contributed to the development of your Business?
I’ve gained a lot of support. My participation in different global events in Dubai has brought about the support of the participants and organizers of these global events for my events as well.
Which brands did you collaborate with on both local and international levels? What added value did they bring to the IFWD?
Up until now, and since the launch of the event, almost 80 designers from different countries have participated in IFWD, including France, Italy, Spain, USA, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Poland, England, and so on. To us, it does not matter if the designer is an emerging or an established one, we focus on what is presented on the ramp to give them value and get value by their creative presentations, as long as the brand itself brings an added value for the show.
How were you able to cope with the current pandemic while keeping the yearly show running? In what ways were you able to step up to the challenge?
I have always said that nothing is impossible so I knew the show had to go on someway, somehow, and thank GOD we were able to pull through whilst following the necessary preventive measures to ensure the safety of everyone that participated. Frankly speaking, it was quite challenging to take this step, but I knew we will surely make it happen, even though many participants kept postponing their participation at some point, which was demotivating for us. But then, I saw that Paris and Milan Fashion weeks were already taking place – physically – with proper measures for Covid-19, which gave me a big boost to keep moving forward with the show in a more organized manner. Designers joined from Paris, Poland, Milan, Lebanon, Jordan, India, and in fact, there was a huge exhibition this season and the Polish government joined us to promote their fashion brands for expo2020, where they brought almost 40 Fashion brands with them!
Are you looking to expand to other regions and/or countries?
Most definitely, we will expand to other regions, while it’s already continuing in Milan, and soon, Paris too. The International Fashion Awards is our own way of motivating and expressing our sincere appreciation to all participants of the International Fashion Week.
In what ways did the experience that you acquired in Milan and Paris boost your know-how and visibility within the Fashion Industry?
As everyone is aware, Paris and Milan are the main Fashion capitals and indeed not very easy to establish any business or create such big events in such huge cities, but we have successfully achieved it, and frankly speaking it really gave us a boost in the Fashion industry as people came to know that we are determined and can reach any part of the world to make our dreams come true and to support our designers in exploring other destinations than Dubai.
What was the highlight of your visit to Paris and Milan?
Our celebrity designers, such as Andres Aquino from USA and top models who joined from all over the world. The event attracted a lot of people in both Paris and Milan, even the general public were very enthusiastic to see the show!
How did your marketing skills contribute to the success of your business? In what ways were you able to merge being an Artist, Marketer and a Designer to create a bigger impact?
My marketing skills played a huge role towards the success of my business as it helps in the appropriate/constant branding and strategic positioning of my business in the regularly flooded market. My designing skills and esthetic sense played a major role to give this kind of perfect impact in the market, while providing perfect solutions to Business Development, in a transparent and straightforward way.
What are your proudest accomplishments in your field as a fashion designer?
My proudest accomplishment would be INTERNATIONAL FASHION WEEK as it is a project that has become globally recognized and it has been a blessing to so many upcoming and existing fashion brands.
What is your favorite styling tip?
Whatever you choose for yourself, make sure it suits your personality.
Can you talk about a woman who has greatly influenced your life?
My mother is the woman who has greatly impacted my life the most in so many ways. She raised me to be the woman I am today and instilled in me the core values that have helped me in accomplishing success beyond measure.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
Nothing is impossible, everything is achievable.
What piece of advice would you give to any startup out there?
Be creative, stay focused, stay truthful in the industry you are in, work hard, and never say never.
What’s next for Cheryle Dias?
Cheryle will not stop moving forward. The best is yet to come, and new destinations will be explored, such as UK, New York, Moscow, and Istanbul. I have plans to concentrate more on my designing too, and to work on the International Fashion Council which was just launched during season 10, this would be a non-profit organization to help Fashion designers who need any support they can get.
Expect more dynamic and never before seen Fashion events from me. I will be rebranding and giving a face lift to the fashion event industry soon!