Fashion Lab: Chalhoub Group’s collaboration with Instagram sets the stage for fashion start-up in KSA


November 28, 2021 | By RetailME Bureau

By Justina Eitzinger – RetailME Bureau

The Greenhouse, Chalhoub Group’s space for innovation and entrepreneurship, and Instagram have teamed up to mentor and develop high-potential local fashion startups in KSA. The initiative came from the “Fashion Lab” program launched by Chalhoub Greenhouse to promote corporate entrepreneurship and innovation and identify disruptive and innovative Saudi Fashion brands.

Instagram will join forces with Chalhoub Group to provide resources and skills to Saudi fashion start-ups to scale up their businesses and accelerate growth over a five-month period.

A first of its kind concept in Saudi Arabia, Fashion Lab builds on Chalhoub Group’s commitment to identify and boost innovative Saudi brands with disruptive ideas and provide them a platform to evolve as business leaders. The program is focused on early-stage ventures and brands, each receiving up to USD 15,000 in funding for developing retail propositions across streetwear, sustainable fashion, contemporary design, and accessories. The program is an open innovation platform that integrates Chalhoub Group’s operational expertise with the insights of industry professionals to grow prospective Saudi brands and nurture the Saudi fashion talent. The brands have been given access to Chalhoub Group’s extensive retail network through “Muse Concept Store” in Riyadh Park including other online and offline channels to sell their products

“Saudi Arabia has a fast-evolving fashion ecosystem driven by its young population and its amazing pool of talented designers. The Greenhouse launched the Fashion Lab earlier this year with an ambition of supporting and encouraging this ecosystem of great entrepreneurs and accelerating this truly home-grown entrepreneurial culture dedicated to the fashion industry and at the same time contributing to our own brands and concepts that serve our local customer. We believe that we can create the biggest impact through partnerships and concerted collective efforts.  We are excited to join forces with Instagram on this initiative that will have long-term

positive impact in promoting innovation and developing young fashion champions from the Kingdom for the world,” said Dina Sidani, Chief Innovation Officer, Chalhoub Group.

For its first batch of start-up graduates, The Fashion Lab has chosen eco-conscious eyewear brand Cones and Rods (@cones.rods),  luxury bag brand Dania Shinkar (@daniashinkar_official) and ready-to-wear brands NOMS (@nomslife) Proud Angeles (@proudangeles) and Kaf by Kaf (@kafbykaf). All five brands will be given immersive training on growing their business and will be guided through multiple aspects, including marketing, and retailing through digital and social media. In addition, Instagram will be offering a series of workshops to enable the start-ups to leverage the full capabilities of its platform. These include best practices on media marketing, marketing tech, creative and content creation, as well as working with content creators, media reporting and performance measurement.

In addition, to increase the visibility of the brands, Instagram has teamed up with Saudi-based creators Abdullah Al Jumah, Abdullah Bakr, Elias Setta, and Lamia Al-Maliki to take on the role of brand ambassadors.

Last year, Meta launched #LoveLocal campaign across the Middle East and North Africa to support small businesses and help them leverage the necessary digital tools to survive, recover and deliver results online. As part of this campaign, local small businesses were spotlighted, and people were encouraged to buy local. Instagram also recently launched the new Shop tab, which makes it easier for people to discover and support small businesses they love and shop the latest trends.

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