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If you’re an aspiring fashion designer but don’t know where to start, Bahrain Fashion Incubator (BFI) is here to help you grow and succeed within Bahrain and abroad (even globally!)

Jalila Aarab, founder of Bahrain Fashion Incubator, decided to take initiative and her love for fashion to the next level. BFI is the first business incubator and accelerator in the MENA region that provides creative professional solutions and services to fashion startups. So if you’re interested in fashion design, they have a program for you!

What kind of programs does Bahrain Fashion Incubator offer? Here are some of the most notable programs you can participate in:

  • Dilmun Star: A 7-month program where BFI will mentor, train, and equip 20 fashion designers to create collections that are sustainable, tech-friendly, and reflect Bahrain’s culture and heritage. The program will be spread into these phases: 
    • Idea assessment
    • Design sketch 
    • Pattern making
    • Produce gold sample
    • Size set sample
    • Define production sample
    • Develop sales sample
    • Runway show
  • Designer in Residence: This program is open for startups in the field of textile, jewelry, apparel, and accessories who are in the early stages of their setup. The 2-year program gives participants the workspace, resources, guidance, and access to funding as needed. The designers are expected to create two season collections every year.
  • Business Support Services: If you want to own your own clothing line and want to learn more about how to get started, you can attend BFI’s workshops and master classes open to the public. They cover a number of topics like sewing, fashion illustration, pattern-making techniques, and much more! 
  • Fashionology camp: This one month long camp brings together innovative fashion designers with programmers to utilize technology for creating fashion pieces. It helps fashion designers collaborate with engineers, programmers, and coders to create prototypes that can be scalable to the global market. 
  • Community outreach programs: BFI is heavily involved in the local community, supporting traditional and cultural practices of fashion design within the Kingdom. They work with traditional weavers to find ways that traditional designs can merge into products within the market. 

Don’t be intimidated, you don’t have to be an established fashion designer to take part.The whole concept of BFI is to support upcoming fashion designers that have original ideas that can make an impact on the fashion industry. 

BFI collaborated with the Institut Français de la Mode, one of the most well-known fashion schools in the world, for academic training, and exchange of designers at the campus. Jalila reached out to Director of the French fashion institute Sylvie Ebel through the support of the French Ambassador in Bahrain, Mrs. Cécile Longé, to develop an education program on luxury management and entrepreneurship that will take place in Bahrain and France!

BFI provides a space where fellow designers can network with each other and helps aspiring designers understand the whole manufacturing process from construction to marketing, getting an in-depth look into the fashion world. “BFI is one of the first places to introduce fashion and technology to the region thus giving access to many designers to the latest technology in the industry. BFI now inculcates a thriving ecosystem that is rapidly growing and changing the impact of fashion in the MENA region,” said Jalila. 

According to Jalila, the fashion industry has a significant impact on the local economy as a driver for creating jobs, trade development, and tourism. Bahrain has the potential to become a hub for aspiring fashion designers to create local designs inspired by modern culture and traditions and achieve success globally.

“The fashion industry is finding other innovative ways to merge their world with the world of tech,” said Jalila. Although fashion is a traditional industry, the merging of fashion and technology is already making waves as e-commerce is on the rise, and it has become an entirely different world. 

BFI is not slowing down anytime soon, they’re constantly planning for the next workshop or course that could be beneficial to aspiring fashion designers. They will be hosting workshops that focus on emerging technologies such as IoT with current fashion trends. 

If you want to keep up with BFI’s upcoming workshops, events, or programs, check out their website here. Also make sure to follow them on Instagram, and Facebook so you’ll be sure not to miss an update!