Saudi Arabia is set to host its first ever Arab Fashion Week
The kingdom will welcome plenty of trend-makers next month as part of its “new era”.
Saudi Arabia will be setting the style pace next month, as the kingdom holds it first-ever edition of Arab Fashion Week.
Leading designers, top models and sartorial icons will jet into Riyadh for the six-day spectacle, which will be held in the capital from March 26 to 31.
The historical announcement was made in London on Monday, with the Arab Fashion Council’s honorary president, HH Princess Noura Bint Faisal Al Saud, revealing it marks a new chapter for the kingdom.
“We are proud of the significant progress achieved by the Arab Fashion Council in Riyadh, as we announce today the first Fashion Week in the history of the Kingdom,” the royal said in a statement posted on the council’s website.
“We are excited to see the fruits of the effort to launch this event in a relatively record period, and we thank the global support shown by the international fashion community, which strongly reflects the firm position of Saudi Arabia not only as an economic force, but also as a cultural and creative hub.”
HH Princess Noura Bint Faisal Al Saud, Layla Issa Abuzaid and Jacob Abrian.
HH Princess Noura also highlighted that the fashion week comes during a new chapter in the kingdom’s history, one where women will soon be allowed to drive.
“This is a new era that we are witnessing, an era where ‘only dreamers are welcome to join’ to use the words of HRH Prince Mohamed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” the royal added.
The Riyadh edition will take place at the Apex Centre, the jagged architectural icon designed by Dame Zaha Hadid, and will be headlined by none other than Italian legend Roberto Cavalli.
The Florence-born designer is famed for his exotic prints and bold use of colour, with the label sported by everyone from Beyoncé and Halle Berry to Britney and Kate Moss.
The news follows the recent opening of an Arab Fashion Council office in the kingdom, as well as the appointment of HH Princess Noura.
The launch of the fashion event comes under the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitious post-oil economic plan which aims to make Saudi a more modern, tourist-friendly destination.
As part of the initiative, the government also aims to increase the percentage of women in the nation’s workforce from 23 per cent to 28 per cent by 2020.
Additionally, more Saudi females have been appointed to top jobs, a royal directive allowed women to use certain government services without a male guardian’s consent, and recent approval was issued for the go-ahead of women’s gyms.
A second Riyadh-based AFW has already been scheduled for October, with more news about which designers will jet in next month expected to be revealed in the near future.
We’ll keep you updated on what to expect…