Pre-Incubation - Dilmun Star Program


Based on field research and experience, BFI found that many fashion designers and would be fashion entrepreneurs lack requisite product development skills and basic business acumen to launch their products and develop their brands. The Dilmun Star program is conceived to address these issues by building the capability of budding entrepreneurs to create commercially viable products and launch their business with confidence.


  • To challenge the status quo and pick potential fashion startup candidates with ideas that could go global. They will work in a competitive setting with predetermined themes.
  • Increase awareness of issues that impact the fashion industry today and influence
  • consumer behavior and educate participant about important subjects in the fashion such as innovation, technology, and sustainability.
  • To showcase Bahrain as the hub for creativity and fertile land that produces not only local or regional talent but international brands for the future.

The Themes

The Dilmun Star is a 7-month competitive program. During the program, BFI will mentor, train and equip 20 fashion designers to produce innovative capsule apparel collections applying one or all of the following themes:


Develop products that reflect the Kingdom of Bahrain’s long-standing heritage from history, culture, geography or environment.


Develop innovative ways to create products that are environmentally friendly in terms of manufacturing, materials, usage or impact.


Incorporate the use of technology in design and product development as a tool and to transform apparel to the effective value-added product to the consumer.

Program Stages

The program stages are illustrated as the following:

Idea & Design Assessment

Design Sketch

Pattern Making

Produce Gold Sample

Size Set Sample

Define Production Sample

Develop Sales Sample

Runway Show


The program participants will be offered:

One on one mentoring by expert fashion and product designers

Daily access to tools, 3D printing technology, machinery and equipment

Daily access to experienced technicians

Access to raw material sourcing

Focused workshops and seminars to develop technical capability and business

knowledge to be conducted by design masters, experienced fashion, media and
business consultants reputed international academic institutions and organizations.

Master classes and workshops that address different topics in fashion are offered as part of the pre-incubation program for free and are open to the public for a fee paid in advance.

Program Finale

Assessment of participants creations to be conducted by a panel of esteemed judges in the world of fashion, marketing, retail and technology

Participants will Pitch their creations at Pitch Fashion model
Experienced market buyers will assess pricing and positioning compared to the market.
Final Selection of top three winners to be celebrated at VIP Gala Dinner

Participants will be recognized for completion of the program and can continue on to the Designer in Residence incubation phase.

Typical Applicants

  • Come up with a new and unique idea with market potential
  • Hold a degree in fashion or fashion-related field is preferred but not required
  • Applicants with work experience in highly entrepreneurial, customer order
    fulfillment, and/or service-focused industries are also strongly preferred


  • Bahrain residents
  • 18 years of age or older by the application deadline date
  • Ready to start a business in fashion and able to obtain a commercial registration
  • Able to commit to the BFI program including a minimum of 20 hours in the studio during Sunday – Thursday business hours
  • Attend scheduled one on one mentor sessions, seminars, and BFI media events, info sessions, and programs

Application Guidelines

  • Fill out the application form
  • Complete an interview with Bahrain Fashion Incubator Representative
  • Submit BD 500 deposit fee towards the program to be refunded upon successful completion
Idea & Design Assessment

Draw from inspiration an idea or concept that meets the themes set in the program, has clear customer target and offering (e.g. casual, athleisure, party etc.) and will potentially have commercial appeal

Design Sketch

Designers to choose colour chart, material and propose size variation.

Pattern Making

Develop design patterns manually and CAD.

Produce Gold Sample

Integrate material into the design and ensure accurate fit sample.  It’s the sample where are issues related to design and production are fixed.

Size Set Sample

Produce sample for each size variation

Define Production Sample

Develop clear production sample order sheet for each size variation with clear description and instructions.

Develop Sales Sample

It’s the high-quality perfect sample that will be used in photoshoots presented to judges and potential buyers and featured on the runway.

Runway Show

Final live presentation of the collection to the media, buyers, consumers and industry followers.

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