Designs from Studio Sajid.
Returning for its 27th season, the SoPritti exhibition — one of the UAE’s leading fashion, glamour, and lifestyle events — is back for its summer edition, showcasing a roster of prominent South Asian designers at Swissotel Al Murooj on June 4. The event – titled SummerAffair - is the only exhibition to bring renowned Indian and Pakistani fashion, jewellery and accessory designers to the UAE. The one-day happening features items from a mix of distinguished and debutant designers and distributors, including Misha Lakhani, Rina Dhaka and Rizwan Beyg. Other South Asian designers involved include award-winning Indian fashion designer Pallavi Puri, who recently introduced her Emirati line to coincide with Ramadan in Dubai, and the elegant, exclusive ethnic-wear of Studio Sajid.
This summer’s edition sees designers showcase intricate collections and world-famous couture lines to the UAE’s most refined fashionistas. Created by Dubai-based event management veteran Pritti Nanda, SoPritti has grown in popularity among both exhibitors and visitors as the shows unite South Asia’s biggest names in fashion and lifestyle, blurring the lines between geographic borders.
“Catering to the UAE’s booming fashion landscape, the designers we feature at the summer exhibition have been handpicked to showcase their exclusive collections, which include both classic and urban styles to complement the diverse tastes of residents,” said Nanda. “As always, they are affordable, cool, and comfortable – perfect for summer. What makes the SoPritti exhibition stand out is that every shopper is offered a personalised shopping experience.” The event is free to attend and open from 10.30am to 4.30pm. SoPritti is a UAE-based initiative that strives to bring customers the best in fashion and art through glamorous and exclusive exhibitions. Established in 2011 by Nanda, a regional innovator in event organisation, the fashion house boasts annual participation by some of South Asia’s most influential designers. All SoPritti’s events support good causes and raise awareness around different issues, including the well-being of less fortunate children in the UAE and around the world. Pritti Nanda designs her answers for Rlixa
SoPritti was the very first ethnic exhibition in the UAE, bringing big Indian and Pakistani designers to the region. How have you retained your authenticity, with other exhibitions following?
SoPritti has always been a passion of mine. I’ve attended multiple ethnic exhibitions in the past where you don’t necessarily see a melting pot of cultures or nationalities. With SoPritti, I wanted to bring multiple nationalities under one roof and be personally involved in the entire process. Even today, 27 seasons later, I am very closely involved throughout every step of the process, from selection and curation through to being on-site at the exhibitions. I’m fortunate to work with designers that have always obliged as well when I request some of the biggest names to be present, giving people the opportunity to interact with them. I believe all of these factors contribute towards setting SoPritti apart from all the other exhibitions in the market.
SummerAffair showcases top South Asian designers, including Misha Lakhani.
What do you mean when you refer to the exhibition as “SummerAffair”? What can people expect?
No one in the region has held a summertime exhibition in the past, mainly because we as an industry usually look to hold exhibitions in Spring, Fall and Winter owing to wedding season and other events. However, we wanted to do something different at SoPritti and bring a new set of collections to consumers this summer. At the SummerAffair, one can expect a lot of casualwear, Indo-western and ethnic casual styles. Shoppers can expect designers such as Rina Dhaka, and the elegant, exclusive ethnic-wear of Studio Sajid. We’re looking at flowy materials and lighter, summer colours as part of all the collections displayed. This season’s collection is budget friendly as well.
What do shoppers look for at an exhibition? What’s currently trending?
The fashion industry is an ever-changing landscape, with an array of new designers every season. Over the past decade and a half, we’ve noticed consumer behaviour shift from wanting what the celebrities are wearing to curating their own personal style and have also encountered multiple customers, specifically looking for sustainable fashion. As of this season, florals and lighter colours are definitely trending and our designers aim to bring just that to the current edition of SoPritti.
Rizwan Beyg’s design creation.
Can you give an insight into your big exhibition coming up at the end of the year and designers we can expect to see?
Our exhibition towards the end of the year will feature a lot of heavy ethnic clothing, the kind that is suitable for weddings and upcoming festivals. You can expect a lot of sequins work, bling and darker colours – we aim to cater to an audience looking for outfits for Diwali parties, weddings, Christmas parties and New Year’s Eve.
What are your thoughts on the fashion landscape? Is it changing or changeless?
Nothing truly remains constant; the fashion landscape too, has evolved consistently over time. We’ve seen audience personalise their style and curate a look from different designers and we’ve also seen consumers looking for an exact same piece that they’ve seen on someone online. Even this year, owing to the short life of any trend, we aim to feature very different styles at our SummerAffair.