Editor’s Letter: Manuel Arnaut on Working with Samira Said, and What to Expect from Our May 2022 Issue
Samira Said for Vogue Arabia, May 2022. Photo: Philipp Jelenska
This month I had a major fan moment, as we had the honor of photographing the one and only Samira Said. The singer is not only one of the most distinctive voices in the Arab world, on stage since the Seventies, she is also one of those stars you just have a blast with on set. As you might guess by Samira’s daring sense of style over the decades, she is truly Arabia’s fashion chameleon. She had no reservations during our photo shoot and was keen to try new things and reinvent herself. A true diva!
Visiting Samira at home in Cairo and chatting the night away over some Moroccan tea on a gorgeous Ramadan night was also a treat, and I loved to hear that after an eight-year hiatus, the artist is about to launch a new song in Moroccan Arabic, after Eid. That will certainly cause a commotion in her native country.
This month’s issue comes packed with other amazing women who inspire us with their leadership and vision. It is not a secret that the top roles in fashion, especially in regards to high-profile business positions, have been mostly occupied by men. Finally, we see a shift in this paradigm, with incredible women being appointed to top roles at iconic fashion houses. Some examples are Leena Nair, who was appointed Global CEO of Chanel in December; Hélène Poulit-Duquesne, CEO of Boucheron; Alison Loehnis, president of luxury and fashion at Yoox Net-A-Porter Group; Pascale Lepoivre, CEO of Loewe; and Tunisian Nadia Dhouib, who was just appointed general manager of Paco Rabanne. We speak with some of these women in a feature on p106.
We’re also delving deep to underscore fashion’s latest efforts on sustainable and cruelty-free creations. During the pandemic, we saw this important change being accelerated, and recently even Fendi signaled interest in collaborating on the development of lab-grown, plastic-free faux fur. On the other hand, I see many of the promises that have been made by the industry – less traveling, smaller shows, and so on – being completely forgotten, with fashion weeks and shows in exotic locations coming back stronger than ever before, pushing new purchases and consumerism. What happened to “buy less, buy better?” As part of the “fashion machine,” I’ve been having a hard time finding a balance, both as a consumer and as a professional. I don’t have the answer now, but finding this equilibrium is something we at Vogue Arabia will be working on. And I hope you can do the same, too, as we all have a role to play in the positive or negative impact that fashion has on the ecosystem. It all starts and stops in our closets.
Read Next: Vogue Arabia’s May 2022 Issue Showcases the Return of an Icon with Moroccan Singer Samira Said
Originally published in the May 2022 issue of Vogue Arabia