Photo for illustrative purposes only. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, skyline at night.

Islamic Lifestyle

Saudi ministry kicks off new fashion incubator with hackathon

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture is kicking off its new Fashion Incubator Program with a virtual hackathon.

The incubator will support students, entrepreneurs, practitioners and self-employed individuals in the Kingdom’s fashion sector, state news agency SPA reported on Thursday (Dec 3).

The first phase of the Program will be a virtual fashion hackathon in which teams would need to solve challenges in design, technology and sustainability in fashion. The winning team will receive a five-day trip to Milan Fashion Week. Registration for the  hackathon started on Thursday.

The second phase of the Program comprises a training camp that includes a five-day virtual event.

The third stage is the incubator phase that aimed at sponsoring emerging companies in the fashion sector and developing their projects through mentoring sessions, intensive training and the possibility of financial support.

The incubator program falls under the remit of the ministry’s Fashion Commission set up in 2019. It is one of 11 specialized commissions created under the purview of the minister of culture to manage, develop and organize the cultural sector.

In 2019, 11 Saudi universities offered fashion design programs and 925 men and women were in fashion-related professions, according to the ministry of culture’s report on the state of culture. The report identified that organizational and financial obstacles have hampered local designers, who limited their output and confined the sector to the role of consumer. Cultural changes in recent years have made local products and brands more prominent in daily life, said the report. 

Saudis spent 4.3% of their income on clothing, textiles and shoes in 2019.

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