A delegation of the Sharjah Business Women Council (SBWC) recently held a meeting with a number of officials from Gucci, the luxury Italian fashion and leather goods brand at its headquarters in Florence, Italy.
The respective establishments discussed mutual cooperation methods through project launched by the SBWC to actively support and empower women in Sharjah and develop their professional capabilities internationally.
The SBWC delegation that comprised of representatives from the SBWC and the Executive Office of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and Honorary Patron of Sharjah Business Women Council (SBWC), toured the Gucci factory in Casellina, Central Italy, which employs more than 1,000 skilled craftsmen, workers and experts in making premium bags, accessories and leather goods. During the visit, the delegation explored Gucci’s facilities and its various departments where they were briefed on the craftsmanship and professional skills of workers in the factory.
During the meeting, HE Ameera Bin Karam, Chairperson of SBWC, underlined that the fashion industry has become a new field of creativity in which professional Emirati girls and women who chose the fashion field can compete globally.She added that aspiring business world pioneers must be well-informed and kept abreast of the latest trends and developments while sharing their expertise with others in order to produce exceptional creations capable of competing.
Bin Karam said: “The prestigious history of this superior Italian brand is an incentive for Emirati women who wish to work and specialize in the areas of fashion and jewelry design and accessories; to create their own brands, bearing the name of the country, and at the same time giving them an opportunity to create sustainable enterprises that are able to develop and expand over the next decades. We seek through such visits and talks to forge real long-term partnerships with the world’s top brands to develop the productivity and product quality by women engaged in the “Bidwa” project, while promoting traditional Emirati crafts globally.”
The SBWC Chairperson went on to say that: “All projects undertaken by the Sharjah Business Women Council, including “Bidwa”, are focused on raising the quality and professionalism of working women in the emirate of Sharjah and the UAE. We are keenon providing facilities and training and marketing tools, to ensure that women can earn rewarding revenue from the craftsmanship and products they create through our projects and programmes. This is meant to help working women achieve financial self-sufficiency and to continue to support them in developing their businesses, and hence why we are here in Italy, the fashion capital of the world,striving to connect Emirati women to leading fashion designers and encourage them to become among global top designers.”
The delegation also visited the Gucci Museum, located in the historic Palazzo della Mercanzia (Palace of the Merchandise) in the heart of Florence where they were acquainted with the exquisite contents of the grandiose three-storey building extending across 1715 square metres.
The museum opened in 2011 on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the eponymous fashion house, where the SBWC delegates were briefed by museum officials on the history of founding the brand in 1921 by iconic designer Guccio Gucci.
Gucci’s legacy lives on through his label’s slogan – “Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten” – a man who managed to turn his love and skills in making timeless leather accessories into one of the most successful fashion brands in the world.
The “Bidwa”project aims to support and develop traditional crafts with a view to enhance women’s contribution to economic sectors in the UAE and preserve traditional Emirati crafts by marketing products inspired by the authentic local heritage.
In the first phases of the project, SBWC managed to reach 200 productively creative women through field visits to neighbourhoods and cities in Sharjah to train them on how to develop the “Talli”technique and other traditional crafts.
The SBWC delegation, led by HE Ameera BinKarm, included Noura Al Noman, Director General of the Executive Office of HH Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, NajlaEissa Al Ansari, Vice-Chairperson of SBWC, Irm Mazhar Allawi, Administrative Adviser at the Executive Office of HH Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi, Yara bin Shaqar and Hind Madani, and Asma Al Hammadi from the Executive Office of HH Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi.
Prior to this visit, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between the SBWC and the Italian Academy in Florence, to strengthen cooperation between both parties in the area of developing traditional Emirati crafts and incorporating them into modern fashion designs and other fashion products while promoting them globally.
The MOU aims to set up a student-exchange programme between the academy and UAE universities and offering girls and women members of the Sharjah Business Women Council the opportunity to receive training at the academy.
Established in 2002, the Sharjah Business Women Council aims to create and enhance the work environment for women as well as train and prepare women to enter into private economic activities and enhance their participation in social and economic development. To achieve its goals, the Council carries out diverse programs, initiatives and activities, including conferences, seminars, workshops, studies and research, in addition to forging partnerships with government and private bodies and foundations in the country and beyond.