Motexha 2007 Gets Off To A Royal Start

Release Date: Monday, March 19, 2007

Sheikh Hasher meets royal designers from East and West at Middle East’s largest B2B marketplace for textiles industry

HE Sheikh Hasher Bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, Director General, Dubai Department of Information, met the ‘Rolls-Royce’ of British royal linen suppliers and Pakistan’s ‘first official royal designer’ as he inaugurated Motexha 2007, the largest annual garments, textiles, leather and fashion accessories event in the Middle East.

Sheikh Hasher, who acknowledged the “significant contribution” the textile sector makes to local and regional economies, met Mark Reed of UK-based Peter Reed (Textiles) as he toured the Sheikh Rashid Hall at Dubai International Exhibition Centre (DIEC), where the three-day exhibition runs until 21st March.

Among Reed’s clients is British Queen Elizabeth II, for whom the Lancashire family firm manufactures bed linen.

Sheikh Hasher also took time out to chat with Farah Leghari, an up-and-coming Pakistani fashion designer who made headlines around the world when she designed evening wear for Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, during their official visit to Pakistan in 2006.

Mark Reed said his company was using the Motexha platform to unveil its ‘Original Hotel Sheet Collection’ in the Middle East.

“Presently a third of our business is to luxury hotels worldwide. Here, we are targeting high-net worth individuals, Arabs and Europeans, who have bought signature villas on developments such as The Palm,” he said. “We want mainstream retail exposure either direct or via a distributor.”

Reed described his company’s designs as ‘classical’. Comparing its linens to those made by competitors in countries such as Italy, he added, “They are Ferrari, we are Rolls-Royce.”

For Leghari, however, Motexha is as much about building bridges between Pakistan and the West as it is about driving business.

“I do couture shows, which are very private and exclusive, and this is my first formal exhibition at which I can show my designs to the world at large,” she said. “But for me, it’s less about business and more about changing the image of Pakistan around the world. Pakistan has been portrayed a certain way in the media and it needs a break. Fashion can help bridge the gap and I’m here to help change the image and act as an ambassador for my country.”

Leghari’s designs for the British royals were commissioned by the Pakistani government, enabling her to market herself as the country’s ‘first official royal designer’. Fusing East and West in her trademark style, the evening wear included a white Kurti shirt and pashmina for Charles and three tunics in royal blue, fuchsia pink and white on white for Camilla, each with pallazo trousers.

In Pakistan, Leghari’s fashion shows are attended by the likes of Imran Khan and Liz Hurley, and she has been lined up to design the costumes for a major Bollywood movie later this year.

Commenting on Motexha 2007’s royal connections, Geoffrey Booy, Exhibition Director, said, “The quality of the exhibitors we’ve attracted from both East and West confirms the significance of Motexha 2007, which plays a key role in continuing into the 21st century the historic and pivotal role Dubai has played in the development of the global textile industry.

“From designers and manufacturers for royal clients to companies from countries as diverse as China and Turkey that are marketing products for the competitively-priced mass market, Motexha has broad industry appeal.”

Established 28 years ago, Motexha 2007 has attracted more than 225 exhibitors from over 25 countries, a 35 per cent increase over 2006. Organisers say they are expecting a 40 per cent increase in visitors this year.

Organised by the region’s leading events organising company, IIR Middle East, Motexha 2007 is supported by TEXMAS, the 300 member strong textile merchants group and promoters of the AED 220 million Dubai Textile City, as well as Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry. The show is also endorsed by key international governmental and private sector organisations including National Agency for Export Development (NAFED) of Indonesia, China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery (CCCT), APICCAPS of Portugal and Thailand’s Department of Export Promotion (DEP).

Print this page     Recommend a colleague