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Have You Heard of ‘The Middle East’s Creative Ecosystem’ Yet?

August 4, 2015

I don’t like to subscribe to many newsletters (who has time to read a ton of those everyday?) but one I’ve held onto over the years (read: have not rerouted to spam) has been the occasional NJAL newsletter. NJAL stands for ‘Not Just A Label’ and showcases contemporary designers that they feel to be pioneers in the industry. It’s definitely not your same old Vogue newsletter. NJAL is just the right amount of artsy and pragmatic.

Today’s featured article particular caught my eye: The Status Of Fashion Education in the Middle East. Not only was the title intriguing, but the pictures like this one below caught my attention as well.

“From Beirut and Istanbul to Tehran and across to Dubai—NJAL spotlights the educational opportunities available, their accessibility and what it all means for the Middle East’s creative ecosystem” – From the opening paragraph (picture property of NJAL)

I had never thought about Fashion Schools in the Middle East. Honestly, fashion schools are a dime a dozen (Art Institute anyone?) in Western cultures and I hadn’t given much thought to their presence elsewhere (shamefully westo-centric isn’t it?)

The essay is both informative and fascinating as it discusses the institutions that are popping up across the Middle East, from Lebanon to Dubai, and how they are being influenced by their Western cousins. The whole article (they technically call it an essay) is here. It’s a great read from, not only a fashion perspective, but also a global commerce, political, and cultural viewpoint. At a time when our main news stories about the Middle East consist of ISIS and suicide bombings, this essay is both refreshing and uplifting.  If you have a few extra minutes, I highly recommend.

Happy Reading!

Bucky

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