DUBAI: Emirati designer Latifa Al Gurg will showcase her chic but sustainable creations on a global stage at the next World Expo, after winning a competition to dress more than 30,000 Expo 2020 Dubai staff and volunteers.
Al Gurg, founder of fashion label Twisted Roots, emerged victorious after going head-to-head against two other finalists in a style showcase at Expo 2020’s newly opened House of Volunteers.
She will work closely with Expo 2020 to develop the uniforms, which will be worn by the Expo workforce as they welcome millions of visitors to the six-month celebration of innovation in Dubai from 20 October, 2020 to 10 April, 2021.
Latifa Al Gurg said: “I am honoured and privileged to have participated in this competition and to win it is a dream come true. Ever since Dubai triumphed in its Expo 2020 bid, I have felt it was important for me to be part of this national milestone. I took up this challenge as I wanted to showcase my nation’s culture and achievements through my designs.”
The competition was launched to engage the local fashion community and offer designers the chance to become an integral part of the first World Expo ever hosted in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region.
The finalists were evaluated based on criteria including practicality, the inclusion of sustainable elements and their representation of Emirati culture, while staying true to the Expo 2020 brand.
Led by Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau, the judging panel comprised Expo 2020 staff from various departments and volunteers, as well as Manuel Arnaut, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Arabia; Sass Brown, Founding Dean, Dubai Institute of Design; and Innovation and Jazia Al Dhanhani, CEO, Dubai Design and Fashion Council.
Dr Hayat Shamsuddin, Vice President, Arts and Culture – Content and Programming, Expo 2020 Dubai, and a member of the evaluation panel, said: “It is essential for the Expo 2020 uniform to truly reflect the UAE’s culture and values, while also acting as a symbol of our creativity, innovation and evolution. The judging panel unanimously agreed that Twisted Roots successfully integrated all these elements in a thoughtful and elegant way.”
Practical, modest, weather appropriate and easily identifiable, Twisted Roots’ winning concept combines traditional and modern cultural references, and takes inspiration from the sky, the stars and the desert.
The concept also incorporates the Expo 2020 subtheme of Sustainability by encouraging people to donate their old fabrics, which can be recycled to help create the new uniforms. Old polyester fabrics, for instance, can be stripped and reused to weave into collars and cuffs.
Al Gurg said: “My journey so far has been incredible; I have grown immensely through this process. I have learnt so much about the UAE and what it means for us to host the next World Expo. This is a unique opportunity for us to show the nation’s warm hospitality to the international community, and I hope that everyone who wears the uniform feels an immense sense of pride as they welcome the world to Expo 2020.”
The first World Expo ever hosted in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, Expo 2020 Dubai expects to attract 25 million visits between 20 October, 2020 and 10 April, 2021. With about 70 per cent of visitors projected to come from outside the UAE – the largest proportion of international visitors in the 167-year history of World Expos – Expo 2020 will bring the world together for a six-month celebration of human ingenuity and progress. News Desk