M7 and Printemps Doha Reveal Industry Mentors for ‘The Collective’ Retail Incubation Programme

Qatar’s epicentre for innovation and entrepreneurship in design, fashion and technology, M7 and Qatar’s largest luxury department store, Printemps Doha have revealed a selection of mentors for The Collective Retail Incubation Programme

M7, Qatar Museums’ fashion, design and technology innovation hub, revealed this year’s selection of industry mentors for ‘The Collective’ retail incubation programme, in partnership with Printemps Doha – Qatar’s largest luxury department store.

‘The Collective’ is a retail incubation programme that aims to empower and equip Qatar-based established and up-and-coming designers through their creative process, whilst ultimately enabling them to develop a successful retail business. 

Organisers at M7 have revealed that industry leaders taking part as mentors for ‘The Collective’ include: Laetitia Lumbroso, co-founder of label ‘Destree’, who is teaching Sales and Distribution, Cutting Studio founder and 1309 designer Ghada Al Subaey, who is teaching Production and Supply Chain Management; Missak Haji Avedikian, a Lebanese Armenian fashion designer and consultant, and Chuchri Cavalcanti, mentor and advisor to regional start-up fashion brands, who spent 15 years in executive positions for the brands such as Elie Saab, Zuhair Murad and Reem Acra.

Ghada Al Subaey, commented on her role as mentor on the Retail Incubation programme, saying: “Fashion design has the power to carry powerful statements, and one of my main ambitions is to inspire our young designers to form their own distinct point of view, whilst carrying a universal message. I hope to inspire students on the programme to confidently use their skills to incorporate bold messages into their work, utilizing a range of techniques such as embroidery.”

She added: “Sustainability is one of my main concerns, and I believe that the new generation of creators must learn to love and respect the planet. I feel that all designers should consider utilizing vegan and environmentally friendly fabric and non-toxic biodegradable packaging wherever possible. I strongly believe that it is possible to incorporate ethical business practices into the creation of beautiful clothing.”

The mentors provided guidance and support to the seven selected designers over the course of the five-month programme, as well as the necessary tools, expertise and one-on-one coaching which assisted them in taking their design ideas from initial concept to the retail market. The retail incubation programme included sessions that discussed retail buyer behaviour, design and development, production and supply chain, marketing and communication, sales, and distribution, as well as visual merchandising. As the next stage, the designers will showcase their brand and sell their capsule collection in a dedicated M7 x Printemps Doha concept space at Printemps Doha from March 2023.

‘The Collective’ retail incubation programme is also endorsed by Fashion Trust Arabia 2019 Prize winner, Roni Helou. He commented on the partnership, saying: “There are so many facets of the business that can be overwhelming for many designers. This mentorship programme not only provides the designers with insight into the industry, but also guidance from experienced mentors who recognise the importance of nurturing the next generation of designers. As a designer myself, much of my growth was shaped by mentors and other fashion designers who are paving the way in this industry. ‘The Collective’ programme was tailored-made to tackle issues young designers face today”.