Initiative aims to provide resources and skills to Saudi fashion startups to scale up their businesses and accelerate growth over a five-month period.
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 startups to scale up their businesses and accelerate growth over a five-month period.
“Small businesses are the heartbeat of the Instagram community as Instagram remains the destination where people come to discover new talents and brands and purchase products, especially in fashion & beauty. During the pandemic, we focused on helping businesses thrive – telling their story and providing them with the tools to sell and flourish on the platform. And today, through Fashion Lab, we are reinforcing this commitment in Saudi Arabia, working with a like-minded, community-oriented group, such as Chalhoub, to pool our knowledge, experience, and resources to help five promising fashion brands scale up their business, build strong brands in the Kingdom, and scale their reach beyond the region,” Anna Germanos, Head of Consumer-Packaged Goods, Retail and E-Commerce for MENA at Meta, said in a statement.
A first-of-its-kind concept in KSA, Fashion Lab builds on Chalhoub Group’s commitment to identify and boost innovative Saudi brands with disruptive ideas and provide them with a platform to evolve as business leaders. The program is focused on early-stage ventures and brands, each receiving up to $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 at 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 startups 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 the #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.