Irthi will be one of just 25 ateliers focused on artisanal techniques and technological innovations that Maison D’Exceptions has handpicked to showcase to 3,500 of the world’s most prestigious luxury brands and fashion couture houses.
Established in 2011, Maison D’Exceptions is held annually as part of the Première Vision fair, and honours international craftsmanship, bringing together a selection of workshops and companies whose mission is to support the development of ancestral, folk or contemporary craft techniques.
Irthi will premier its collection of over 50 unique designs and colourways of Talli, an intricate traditional handwoven braid, created by female artisans from its Bidwa Social Development Programme.
Irthi’s participation is part of the council’s ongoing mission to showcase the skills and talents of the United Arab Emirates on a global stage and provide a sustainable future for the Bidwa artisans practicing the traditional crafts of the region.
Through its Bidwa Social Development Programme and its training centre based in the city of Dibba Al Hisn in Sharjah, Irthi has been elevating and modernising traditional crafts and introducing the skills and talent of the region to an international luxury market; by creating new designs, introducing material innovations, and developing novel techniques, as well as ensuring a consistently professional level of craftsmanship.
Her Excellency Reem BinKaram, Director, remarked: “Irthi’s Bidwa artisans and their 50 creations will be part of the most important events that caters to the heavyweights who constitute the cream of the high-end international fashion industry. This participation, like all other regional and international showcases of the traditional Emirati crafts produced by our skilled artisans, takes Irthi’s mandate of enabling these women access to new market opportunities, another step forward.”
She added: “Through the strong support and patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of NAMA, Founder and Royal Patron of Irthi, we are steadily realising our mission to bring these women not only a sustainable source of income, which is of course empowering, but also recognising them as true designers, artists and craftspeople with every regional and international showcase.”
“Having been selected for something as exclusive as Maison D’Exceptions, which attaches its name to no more than 25 craftspeople and ateliers every year, is a recognition of the level of workwomanship, aesthetic depth and technological innovations Bidwa’s artisans bring to their craft,” BinKaram continued.
The joint goal of Première Vision and Maison D’Exceptions is to stimulate creative excellence by giving fashion brands and designers looking for unique products and specific expertise, the opportunity to discover craftsmen and ateliers, such as the Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council.
The technical innovation, handcrafts and artisanal workmanship on show will provide real tools in achieving creativity and differentiation in the marketplace and ensure strategic economic and commercial importance for the region as a result.