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Fashion Design Students Volunteer Backstage for ‘Fashion for Relief’, and Fashion Trust Arabia

November 20, 2022
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Junior students from the department of Fashion Design were part of the back-stage preparations for renowned supermodel Naomi Campbell’s ‘Fashion for Relief’ fashion show held at Qatar Foundation’s Ceremonial Court

The last week of October was an action-packed one for junior and senior students studying Fashion Design at VCUarts Qatar.

Junior students from the Department of Fashion Design at VCUarts Qatar were part of the back-stage preparations for renowned supermodel Naomi Campbell’s ‘Fashion for Relief’ fashion show held at Qatar Foundation’s Ceremonial Court recently.

Al Futoon Al Said, Anji Speldewinde, Samah Sulyman, Emman Alsahouli, Moza Al-sharim, Wadha Al Attiya, Tam Al-siddiqui, and Amna Al-balam assisted organizers in getting the models and wardrobes ready for the fund-raising event.

The junior students, who had prior experience helping at VCUarts Qatar’s annual fashion show, were briefed by the organizers just before the event. For all of them though, it was their first-time volunteering at an event of this scale.

Anji Speldewinde says despite the almost “frantic” pace behind the scenes at ‘Fashion for Relief’, it was an unforgettable experience.

“Being backstage is very chaotic, and I realized it takes coordination and focus to pull off something of this magnitude,” she said. “Each student was assigned three models. The turnaround time between each ‘look’ or ‘collection’ was just a few minutes and we had to be quick in dressing them, almost simultaneously – I found myself juggling all three at the same time! The pace was frantic, with people running around and the organizers shouting reminders that there were only a few minutes or seconds left before the models started walking again.

“There is a lot of pressure to ensure that everything is accurate and in place. But it was exciting and fun – there was a lot of casual dancing and music backstage. I also had the opportunity to have brief conversations with Chanel Ayan and Ikram Abdi. But the highlight of the evening was meeting Bella Hadid and Naomi Campbell.”

For Al Futoon Al Said, who says she didn’t hesitate for a second when she received an email from Christopher Fink, Chair, Fashion Design, about the charity event, the experience complemented the fashion design curriculum at VCUarts Qatar.

She said, “Volunteering for the Fashion for Relief Fashion show taught me a lot! It was a chance to observe processes that I intend to apply in similar volunteering experiences, or when I work with a brand. It taught me how to fit and dress the models, transport the garments, and how things generally work backstage.

“I am truly grateful and thankful to the Fashion Design department who gave other students and me this incredible opportunity, it will be something I will remember forever. I came away from the evening with quite a few valuable insights into the overall organization of such events and to how much work and effort goes into backstage fashion shows.”

Earlier on in the week, Fashion Design senior students Iman Imran, Tiaba Nazir, Rana Elhadi, Noor Buttband Moza Al-Sharim volunteered backstage at the Fashion Trust Arabia events held at M7 and the National Museum of Qatar.

Moza Jassim Al-Sharim shared her experience. “I was entrusted with certain tasks,” she said. “I had to help the contestants set up their respective booths which were later visited by judges. I also assisted the photographer Amina Zaher in the photoshoots. The experience was remarkable, to say the least. One memorable moment was when I arrived at the location to discover we were shooting Ed Westwick, one of my favorite actors growing up.

“It was an honor to work with Amina Zaher. The experience taught me so much about the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of such mega fashion shows. It was a learning process that I would like to continue, and I hope to volunteer for next year’s edition!”