Qatar America Institute for Culture (QAIC) was pleased to participate as a member of the leadership committee with the Diplomacy and Fashion Project for the Inaugural First Fashion Gala, celebrating First Lady/Gentleman Fashion in Washington, D.C. at the Conrad Hotel on Wednesday, October 12, 2022. The gala, which was attended by more than 200 guests including Ambassadors, their families and other country representatives, featured a fashion show of first ladies and gentlemen from 27 countries across the world. Haya Al Adsani, founder and creative director of the Qatari couture label Harlienz represented Qatar with two replica designs worn by Her Highness Sheika Moza bint Nasser Al-Misnad at two public appearances in Doha in 2020 and 2021.
At the fashion show, QAIC Executive Director, Fatima Al-Dosari, also wore a design from Harlienz by Haya Al Adsani, accompanied with modern Arabic jewelry, a luxury handbag and footwear all designed by Qatari designers. “This is one of my proudest moments in Washington D.C. I couldn’t have asked for a better embodiment of Qatari fashion, showing my home country’s elegance from head-to-toe,” said Al-Dosari. She added, “The pandemic took away our Qatari fashion splash in the US in 2020, but I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to represent my talented Qatari sisters and brother who were part of that program at this important event in the United States’ Capital. My heartfelt thanks to Haya Al Adsani of Harlienz, Noor Al Fardan of Noudar, Ibrahim Al Haidos of Fursan, and Hissa Haddad of Hissa Haddad footwear. I appreciate your great trust in me and the QAIC team and look forward to showcasing your talent at many more events in the future.”
In response to her participation, Designer Haya Al-Adsani stated, “Fashion is a silent language of diplomacy. As diplomatic icons will travel and get to be introduced to different cultures and different languages, fashion can be the tool to convey what a designer wants to send as an indirect message. For us, the most important thing when we design a piece is to think of the concept of the abaya that we respect and embrace! Through Her Highness, the abaya styles that she wears will empower the women around her. As she will show confidence while wearing her abaya by her choice as a free will. Wearing Abaya and getting this experience to try to feel the secret relationship between the woman and her piece, with all the colors and cuts available, will give the feeling of loyalty on a bigger scale. Fashion diplomacy will, with no doubt, increases the awareness of the Qatari Abaya in the eyes of other nationalities, to show the open-minded ladies who choose to empower themselves and try to get rid of their insecurities. As we revive the abaya garments in new cuts and fabric, we marry fashion to diplomacy. Since each has its own rules and protocols, and this is what a designer would like to show as an indirect message throughout her pieces.”