On this unforgettable Wednesday October 26, Pulse met the judges before their deliberations on who would take home our 2022 Prizes from our 24 candidates. We asked them about the general impression they had of the candidates’ work. In a nutshell, what struck them most was the glimpse they said they had of the future of fashion and the world we are heading into: nomadism becoming the norm, the abolition of borders, a return to the source, to local cultures and know-how that are all part of a new universal culture, and above all, an acute awareness of sustainability, ethics and inclusiveness. 

Here are a few quotes we grabbed on the fly. 

Olivier Rousteing | Creative Director of Balmain

“I saw incredible talent, passion, ambition, and the desire to tell life stories. It’s a magical moment, all these cultures crossing paths, and touching and moving creations around living stories. That’s what fashion is about: A fight. A struggle to change the world. Isn’t fashion more of a revolution than evolution?”

Imran Amed | Founder and Chief Executive of The Business of Fashion

“It is all about resilience. A lot of the designers are coming through difficult moments, tough environments, all expressed with great creativity and innovation.” 

Ruba Abu-Nimah | Creative Director of Tiffany & Co 

“It was amazing and lovely to see such interesting talents in the Middle East. Living outside the region, this show is eye opening. It changes my perspective.”

Charaf Tajer | Creative Director of Casablanca

“Beauty and hope. People expressing themselves and their different identities. It is all about expression.”

Guram Gvasalia | Creative Director of Vetements

“An exciting experience, seeing talents from different regions, so many beautiful presentations. You want to support everyone. At least make sure we support them all. So many life stories.”

Gabriella Karefa-Johnson | Stylist, Global Vogue Contributing Editor

“I am very happy to be here. It is a phenomenal experience to come to the Middle East and see the history, the craftmanship, the religion, the iconography involved in traditional garments and fashion. It is also a privilege for the global audience. I was struck by all the designs and how the young designers are centered on sustainability. It is inspiring to see how instinctively they put handmade, local communities and local production at the core of their works. They are so eco-minded.”