Fashion Trust Arabia 2023 Award – Meet the Winners

Judges included Giambattista Valli, Amina Muaddi, Olivier Rousteing and more.

Fashion Trust Arabia 2023 Award – Meet the Winners
Mariana Baião Santos

Fashion Trust Arabia (Instagram) has announced theirs winners for 2023. This year, after the decision to cancel FTA’s Fifth Annual Awards Ceremony, the judges conducted a two-day online deliberation session on December 12th and 13th to determine the winners. The session was facilitated by co-chairs HE Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani (Instagram) and Tania Fares, along with the esteemed panel of judges and advisory board members.

Here are the results:

Evening Wear Award: Amir Al Kasm and Cynthia Merhej

Fashion Trust Arabia
Amir Al Kasm

Fashion Trust Arabia

This year’s Evening Wear Award resulted in a tie. The first winner was Amir Al Kasm (Instagram) with his eponymous label focusing on evening and bridal wear, curated for a clientele that embraces both boldness and nuance. The designer weaves a narrative through a thread of upcycled ready-to-wear items as well, each piece telling stories of empowerment and responsibility, further enriching the brand’s unique tapestry.

Fashion Trust Arabia
Cynthia Merhej

Fashion Trust Arabia

Cynthia Merhej, founder of Renaissance Renaissance (Instagram), was the second joint winner, and she distinguishes herself with a contemporary approach to occasionwear, blending the duality of the modern-day woman with a nod to historical craftsmanship. Merhej’s design ethos seeks to merge opulence with everyday life while supporting Lebanese craftsmanship and preserving the rich heritage of Lebanese artistry despite recent challenges.


Ready-to-Wear Award – Ahmed Amer

Ahmed Amer

Ahmed Amer (Instagram) is a Beirut-based fashion designer and illustrator who seamlessly merges gender-fluid ready-to-wear designs with organic illustrations, crafting a canvas of emotional expression rooted in an imaginative journey that weaves narratives and advocates for human rights, conflict resolution, and ethical, sustainable practices within the local art and design community.


Jewellery Award – Katarina Tarazi

Katarina Tarazi

Fashion Trust Arabia

Inspired by her childhood love for Victorian toys and trinkets, Katarina Tarazi (Instagram) launched her Beirut-based brand, creating tactile jewellery that incorporates design elements from specific historical eras to embody supernatural powers, offering a unique blend of sentimentality and practicality through an innovative and meticulous process.


Accessories Award – A BETTER FEELING 

Omar Taha – Lily Max

Fashion Trust Arabia

A BETTER FEELING (Instagram), a Cairo design studio established by Xander Ghost, co-designed and co-directed by Lily Max and Xander Ghost. Guided by the core principle of fostering connection, the studio is committed to cultivating synergy between product and person by crafting a symbiotic visual identity and material language.


Franca Sozzani Debut Talent Award – Adam.é 


Adam.é (Instagram) embodies the convergence of duality with aesthetic and functionality, striking a balance between elegance and utility, rooted in a design philosophy connected to the dynamic interplay of power and pain shaping the human condition, reflecting Adam.é’s personal journey through 28 summers in Morocco and 28 winters in East London, forging a tangible connection with the nuances of the human experience.


Guest Country Award Nigeria – In Partnership with EMERGE Initiative – Adeju Thompson / Lagos Space Programme

Adeju Thompson

Launched in 2018 by Adeju Thompson, Lagos Space Programme (Instagram) is a conceptual non-binary design label offering high-end ready-to-wear collections and exploring African futures through multidisciplinary collaborative projects, rooted in slow fashion and individual experiences, redefining notions of beauty.


Find out more about the Fashion Trust Arabia prize and this year’s finalists here.

For more stories of fashion from across the MENA region, visit our dedicated archives.