Women attend the Arab Fashion Week in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia April 10, 2018. Picture taken April 10, 2018. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser Women attend the Arab Fashion Week in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia April 10, 2018. Picture taken April 10, 2018. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

Riyadh hosts Fashion for first time

Sat, Apr. 14, 2018
CAIRO – 14 April 2018: Saudi Arabia’s very first fashion week will be closing in style today with Roberto Cavalli on the runway, followed by a special performance by the Russian Ballet during a gala dinner. This is all a part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which began four months ago with the allowing of women to drive and opening public cinemas. This week it was announced that the kingdom will be participating in the 71st Cannes Film Festival.



When the Dubai-based Arab Fashion Council (AFC), which organized the event, launched its regional office in Riyadh, with the appointment of Princess Noura Bint Faisal Al Saud as honorary president, it was a milestone for the kingdom, as fashion is known to be an instrument for female empowerment and self-expression. Princess Noura explained to Vogue Arabia the power of fashion, saying, “A woman can be beautiful and strong, and all these values can be expressed through a personal sense of fashion and style.”

She continued, “With more women traveling and becoming more exposed, I see Saudi women finding their own fashion sense. They are becoming more confident and bold in their fashion choices, and giving their own personal touch that is very Saudi – and I love that.”

The reception area of the fashion week was open to men and cameras, but only women were permitted at catwalk events, where no abayas were featured and outside photography was barred, according to Reuters.

Layla Issa Abouzeid, AFC’s Saudi Arabia director, told Reuters that she “hopes the event will bring revenue into the kingdom and highlight local talent.”

She went on to explain, “[When] people go to Paris during the Paris Fashion Week, the hotels are completely booked,” adding, “I want to create the same demand in Saudi Arabia – twice a year. I want to create a platform for the local designers to go worldwide.”

The Arab Fashion Council is a not-for-profit organization that was established in London in 2014 with the license of the International Extraterritorial Authority to develop and regulate the fashion industry in the 22 Arab countries.

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