Mona Osman wins CRYSTALLIZED Abaya Design Awards
January 27, 2009 - United Arab Emirates
The winner of the second CRYSTALLIZED Abaya Design Awards was declared last night on the final day of The Bride Show Abu Dhabi.
Mona Osman Ahmed Badawi took to the stage at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre when she was announced the winner of the competition for her Abaya which featured AED1,000 worth of CRYSTALLIZED Swarovski Elements which beautifully embellished the traditional national dress.
“I’m just so happy right now and so thrilled that I have won,” said Mona, who is Sudanese but was born in Abu Dhabi and has lived here her whole life. “I believe these awards are the most important of their kind for amateur fashion designers in the Middle East and it was an honour to have been short-listed. All the abayas were beautiful and we have all worked so hard over the last few months.
“I intend to make the most of winning this Award and hope to become a fashion designer within the next year. Currently, I am an architect, but when I look at inspiring designers such as Elie Saab, it gives me hope that I too can make my dreams a reality. This Award is helping me to do that.”
The finalists’ designs were on display during The Bride Show Abu Dhabi, alongside more than 200 regional and international exhibitors in the fashion, beauty and travel industries. The ten abayas drew in the crowds who could get up close to the creations and see how much work had gone into their design and execution.
The Awards came to an exciting culmination as each Abaya was professionally modelled down the catwalk, flanked by a cheering audience. A panel of esteemed judges in the fashion industry examined each Abaya in terms of design, technique and innovative use of CRYSTALLIZED Swarovski Elements.
After the panel had made their decision, the finalists and audience waited with baited breath as Werner Baumgartner, General Manager of Swarovski Middle East, was welcomed on stage. The hall in the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre was filled with rapturous applause as Mona was announced the 2009 winner.
Mona was chosen from ten finalists, who were selected from more than 50 aspiring fashion designers who initially entered the Awards. Mona is no stranger to the competition, having been a finalist and runner up in the CRYSTALLIZED Young Designer Award, which takes place at The Bride Show Dubai, in 2008.
“Mona did a wonderful job designed her abaya and has come up with a very unique creation which has been skillfully constructed,” said Daphne Cota, Exhibition Manager at The Bride Show. “We are all so pleased to see her receive this level of recognition and my congratulations go out to all the finalists who worked so hard over the last two months to have their designs completed.
“Visitors I have talked to at this year’s show are pleased to see the return of this design competition. We are helping to find untapped fashion talent in a country which is so culturally enriched. I’d like to thank the supporters of the Awards – CRYSTALLIZED Swarovski Elements and the Abu Dhabi Ladies Club – which have helped us once again to bring the designers’ ideas to life.”
The first and second runner ups, Taeko Ohmi and Bushra Khatib respectively, were also praised by the judging panel, which comprised Bansri Gagwani, from Swarovski Middle East, Ahmed Al Reyaysa, from Dar Sara Fashion, Adel Abu Haleeqa, from Abu Haleeqa Stores, Virginie Dolz, from Space & Flower, and Rana Zakka, from the Abu Dhabi Ladies Club.
The Bride Show Abu Dhabi, organised by IIR Middle East, ran from 21 to 24 January at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. The four-day event is being hailed as another roaring success and many exhibitors are now gearing up to take part in The Bride Show Dubai, which takes place from 8 to 11 April 2009 at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre.