Emirati winners of ADMAF x Dolce & Gabbana Design Award unveil ambitious future plans in fashion, jewelry

DUBAI: After winning the ADMAF x Dolce & Gabbana Design Award 2024, Emirati designers Sarah Al-Mansoori and Azza Al-Tawila are set to embark on a six-moth paid internship program at the Italian luxury label’s headquarters in Milan before they showcase their final products at the Abu Dhabi Festival in 2025.

Sarah Al-Mansoori claimed the inaugural prize in the jewelry creations category, while Azza Al-Tawila secured the top spot in the fashion category. The award is a partnership between the Abu Dhabi Music and Art Foundation and the luxury fashion brand.

Both winners will refine their work through the internship.

For Al-Mansoori, the upcoming internship “feels like the start of an exciting journey.”

Sarah Al-Mansoori claimed the inaugural prize in the jewelry creations category. (Supplied)

“Each day, I’ll be surrounded by industry professionals who will help me grow my skills. I’m excited to be in the heart of the fashion world, where creativity and innovation are everywhere,” she told Arab News. “I see myself not only improving my technical abilities but also making valuable connections in the fashion and jewelry production industry.”

Meanwhile, Al-Tawila said: “Having such an opportunity to work with industry professionals at Dolce & Gabbana will heavily influence my ambitions, propelling me to a higher level of designfor the future of fashion design.”

Al-Tawila is looking forward to experiencing the fashion house’s work culture and learning new techniques.

“Exploring and expanding my creativity in a unique environment that is culturally and artistically varied to my own, it fuels my curiosity towards innovative garment production and how to utilize my experience to actualize contemporary, forward-thinking design,” she explained.

During her time in Milan, Al-Mansoori hopes to learn about micro-mosaics, a special technique that uses unusually small glass mosaic pieces to create intricate images. She also seeks to gain experience in filigree work, a jewelry-making technique involving intricate metalwork.

“I plan to integrate these techniques into my own design process, adding intricate details and a touch of luxury to my creations,” she said.

Al-Tawila said integrating Emirati heritage has always been a focal point for her.

“Emirati garments have always inspired and motivated me to develop a unique sense of fashion aesthetics and my overall attitude towards design,” she said. “Hybridizing my own culture with the experience gained during the internship will create a distinct reconstruction of what Emirati identity could transform into.” 

For the Abu Dhabi Festival 2025, Al-Tawila stated that her fashion pieces will be inspired by the unique traditional clothing of her culture.

“Taking inspiration from my experiences and environment is one that I intend to pay homage to as its cultural significance is what I, as a designer, want to represent in my design. Through textile patterns, geometric forms, and the utilization of native techniques, I intend to consider and integrate those aspects in my design process for the fashion pieces,” she said. 

Meanwhile, Al-Mansoori is inspired to create jewelry pieces that celebrate Emirati heritage. “Pearls will be a central theme, symbolizing elegance and grace,” she said. “I also want to incorporate elements of Al-Sadu, a traditional Emirati craft known for its vibrant colors and intricate patterns. My goal is to blend tradition with modernity, creating pieces that tell a story of Emirati culture while appealing to contemporary tastes.”

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