Earlier this year we won the Fashion Trust Arabia Award in the Fine Jewellery category! To tell you the truth, we didn’t really expect to win, not because we don’t have what it takes, but because we didn’t really understand what was going on.
So here is our story, and we couldn’t be happier to share it with you!
Around a year ago, we were approached by FTA Team and Tania Fares, co-founder of the British Fashion Council Fashion Trust, to participate in FTA. They introduced us to Fashion Trust Arabia, told us what was needed from the designers and they said that the winners will win a fashion trust as well as a mentorship program, and they expect nothing in return. This initiative is under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser and the purpose of this program is to empower local and regional designers and give them an opportunity to grow.
It all sounded too good to be true, and it was a first timer for us. After a small period of time and a little bit of research, we got excited and our hopes in Mukhi Sisters possible expansion went up. And this is why, we decided to jump into this new experience.
As time went by, things started to get real: the jurors were being named and the list kept on growing. It was quite intimidating. Next thing you know, we started preparing our collection and we took off to Qatar.
The general mood was: let’s take this opportunity as an adventure.
And what an adventure it was!
First of all, we got to meet our fellow designers and a bond started to come to life. Seeing them and spending all this time together created a new FTA family, we would meet every night after the preparations, have dinner and share some good laughs. We were staying at the W Doha, where we had a great service, especially from the restaurant manager who made the effort of having a table ready for us, every night during our stay. (Thank you for the great service!!)
After setting up, we were ready to meet the members of the Jury, on one-on-one basis; each had studied our file, knew our story and was there to meet us, ask questions etc…
Having private talks with DVF, Alexander Wang, Hamish Bowles, Giambattista Valli etc… to name a few was dreamlike. Meeting them, introducing them to our brand and seeing all the appreciation for our work was really empowering.
And then came jury day, we were the last ones to present that day and we were not prepared. We had no presentation ready, and we felt the pressure.
So we had a quick sisters meeting and decided that, when our turn would come, if the jury committee would be tired and we needed to uplift the atmosphere, that we were going to sing. YES! I promise you, that was our back up plan.
As the pressure was rising we had only few minutes to prepare, and so, as a sign of gratitude, Meena and Zeenat decided that I should be the one presenting Mukhi Sisters, because it was my idea to start it all in the first place, and it was my baby. And just like that,we entered the room, where the members of the jury welcomed us with a round of applause and cheering and that was it!
The adrenaline rush kicked in, Mukhi Sisters got its three minutes of presentation and the energy was incredible.
I will never forget the way Olivier Rousteing was looking at me, how Roger Moukarzel was taking pictures of us with his phone, how Imane became like a sister, and how DVF, the lady I was initimidated by the most, was one of our biggest support.
The award ceremony was on the same night and the excitement level was going up all around us!
When we got to the venue, we were surprised to find out that the three of us were not seated together. I was at the far end of the space, with Sara Hermez, Nafsika Skourti and a group of French guests. As the presenter was getting ready to announce the winner of our category, I was almost certain that the winner was going to be a start up- and when I heard Jourdan Dunn announcing Mukhi Sisters as winners; I cant really explain what I felt, it was like my heart was full with happiness and love. As I was walking to meet my sisters, I couldn’t wait to be with them and hug them.
It was so rewarding and honoring being acknowledged for our work, Mukhi Sisters started off as a childhood dream, and faced many challenges, always with a positive attitude and hard work behind the scenes.
Receiving this award showed us that FTA was giving an opportunity for the able to become more capable.
Later that night, I got so many hugs from the members of the jury, telling me how they proud of us, and how much they loved our energy. I felt like I was walking on a dream.
The love we received when we won was surreal. We never thought that we were so loved and no words can express how we felt each time anyone would congratulate us and tell us how they were waiting for it!
Thank you FTA for giving us the opportunity and for encouraging us. If you are a designer, we highly advice you to apply to Fashion Trust Arabia, who knows, it could be the break you’ve been waiting for.
PS: On a side note, we would like to send a massive thank you to Danya Khadije for all her help and patience, and a special thank you message to Tarek Moukaddem, who’s presence made all the difference <3.