World Retail Congress in Dubai by Fiona Hammett, L4 Fashion Buying Student at FRA

World Retail Congress in Dubai by Fiona Hammett


Apart from being one of the best experiences of my life, it was the most fantastic opportunity for our careers and learnt so much, all of the hard work definitely paid off.

The challenge: The aim of the challenge was to choose a well established retailer from our country and come up with a concept to disrupt their business and steal their market share. We had to consider every aspect of our business from how we are going to market it, where it will be and all the financials.

Our unique and edgy brand we created was a brand called ‘Make Me’ the idea of the brand was creating quirky on the edge t-shirts that were controversial commenting on current headlines and trending topics in the media. We designed them all ourselves and also collaborated with artist’s designs for exclusive collections.

The preparation for the Congress was a long and hard process, but worth every second. We were privileged enough to have meetings and so much help from well established retailers from the likes of Wallis, Arcadia, Marks and Spencer and more.

We created our own merchandise to take with us, as well as our ‘Make Me’ t-shirts we took bags, phone cases, and card holders.

In Dubai: After practising in our hotel room, restaurants, at the congress, over lunch and even going over our lines in bed; on the Wednesday we were lucky enough to present our concept in the stunning hotel conference area that was Madinat Jumeirah, we presented to a large room of spectators and a panel of judges that listened and asked us questions about our idea.

Apart from being so proud of ourselves and presenting even better than our rehearsal, we had the biggest relief and joy. That evening our fantastic lecturer (Tony Morgan) took us for the most incredible evening of our lives, which including a fabulous dinner, looking over the sparkling Burj Khalifa and dancing fountains.

We had the most amazing trip and feel so lucky.