Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s Rawkan Binbella Takes Us on an Inspiring Journey Through Paris in Valentino Pink PP

Saudi Arabia’s Rawkan Binbella Takes Us on an Inspiring Journey Through Paris in Valentino Pink PP

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Valentino’s vibrant color, Pink PP powerful, playful, and so pretty—seems to have become a favorite this year. So strong is its appeal, that the Italian fashion house’s cheerful palette, the brainchild of Creative Director Pierpaolo Piccioli, has taken over the globe, showing up everywhere from the streets of Paris to the glossy windows in the Middle East.
And now, Valentino has one more milestone to celebrate. This season, the brand has announced the re-location of its Jeddah boutique, which is now located in the heart of Al Andalus District, one of the kingdom’s most exciting shopping spots. The new space houses, of course, the iconic Valentino Pink PP Collection. What’s more, the new Valentino store now offers not just women’s wear, but also a vast selection for men.
To mark the special moment, Saudi Arabia’s very own Rawkan Binbella is now seen in a special Vogue Arabia video, walking the dreamy streets of Paris in some of Valentino’s most-loved looks in deep ebonies and bold Pink PP. Pierpaolo Piccioli’s pink bounces off the screen as Binbella struts through the city of romance in slouchy coats, oversized parkas and Valentino Garavani Pink PP sneakers, all contrasted with Valentino’s sleek black staples, perfect for the end-of-year chill. As he explores the streets of Paris, Binbella takes us on a special journey with his words, which echo the powerful sentiment behind Valentino’s latest collection. “Freedom is not the lack of obligations,” says the actor, “It’s the power of choosing your own individuality.”

Truer words have never been spoken. Watch the complete video now!

Talent: Rawkan BinbellaDirector: Nicole Lily RoseDirector of photography: Cheyne Tillier-Daly Editor: MG FabreSound engineer: Thibault NguyễnStyle: Gaultier Desandre NavarreGrooming: Frédéric KebbabiProducer: Danica ZivkovicProduction coordinator: Rama NaserLocal production: Gaëlle Bijani at RumeurCamera assistant: Edward Wendt 

This Newly Signed Memorandum Will Empower the Saudi Fashion Industry and Designers

This Newly Signed Memorandum Will Empower the Saudi Fashion Industry and Designers

Saudi brand Atelier Hekayat. Photo: Hayat Osamah
The Misk Foundation’s Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Nonprofit City in Riyadh and the Saudi Fashion Commission signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to empower the blossoming fashion industry in the Kingdom on Monday.
The agreement was signed by David Henry, CEO of the City, and Burak Çakmak, CEO of the Saudi Fashion Commission at the Ministry of Culture headquarters in Diriyah. The event was held in the presence of His Excellency Hamed bin Mohammed Fayez, Vice Minister of Culture and Vice Chairman of the Board of the Fashion Commission.
The partnership was made to cultivate cooperation between the two associations to establish more education and training programs for young Saudi designers, get familiarized with entrepreneurial opportunities and bring in talents and investors to the fashion industry in the Kingdom. It also provides a platform to collaborate and bring forth a diverse range of fashion-related events and festivals in the city. The Fashion Commission also signed a contract at the City Hub to construct a high-end product development studio for product sampling and prototyping. The studio will be furnished with the most advanced and latest machinery, technology, and expertise to foster the development of the fashion design community.
Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Nonprofit City and The Ministry of Culture’s Fashion Commission sign MoU
Çakmak explained the importance of fashion in the country’s cultural landscape and said, “Fashion is a true reflection of Saudi heritage and identity. The signing of the memorandum of understanding reflects the commitment of the Fashion Commission to advance the growth of the Saudi fashion sector and enhance its contribution to the local economy in line with Vision 2030.” Meanwhile, Henry said the collaboration will be an important step toward the growth of the fashion scene in the Kingdom while staying in line with the city’s vision. “We look forward to working together with the Fashion Commission to create opportunities that inspire the next generation of talent and cement the Kingdom’s position as a global leader in the industry while showcasing Saudi culture,” he said.
The Nonprofit City is located in the Irqah neighborhood, bordering the Wadi Hanifa, and is spread over more than 3.4 square kilometers.
Read Next: Influencers in Saudi Arabia Must Now Obtain a Permit to Post Ads on Social Media

Did You Miss This Romantic Message Hidden in Rajwa Al-Saif’s Engagement Abaya?

Did You Miss This Romantic Message Hidden in Rajwa Al-Saif’s Engagement Abaya?

Photo: Instagram.com/queenrania
Earlier this month, the world came together to celebrate a very special moment for the royal family of Jordan: the engagement of the son of Queen Rania Al Abdullah and King Abdullah II, Prince Hussein. In case you missed it, the royal is now all set to marry Rajwa Al-Saif, a 28-year-old Saudi native who holds a graduate degree from the College of Architecture at Syracuse University.
Photo: Instagram.com/queenrania
The happy news was shared on Instagram via Queen Rania’s official Instagram page, and while got busy showering the much-loved queen with congratulations and well wishes, many couldn’t look away from the elegant ensemble the bride-to-be wore in her first pictures as Prince Hussein’s fianceé. A beaming Rajwa Al-Saif positively glowed as she stood alongside her future husband, dressed in a dreamy white abaya doused in intricate gold embellishment. The light-as-air piece was paired with a soft green head scarf and cinched in at the waist with a bold gold belt, which we now know was a piece borrowed from Al-Saif’s mother-in-law-to-be, Queen Rania herself.
Queen Rania wearing the same belt at Jordan’s Independence Day event in 2019
The look, both timeless yet age-appropriate, was quick to catch everyone’s attention, and has been confirmed as a bestseller from the archives of Orient 499, the Lebanese label that prides itself on its dedication to sustainability, and spotlighting local craftsmanship.
“The abaya Rajwa Al-Saif wore is crafted from a rare handwoven fabric made with silk and linen threads,” co-founder Frank Luca revealed to Vogue Arabia. “The front and the back of the abaya are hand embroidered with sequins and beads in our atelier by our artisans. The intricate hand embroidery takes about three weeks to produce. The design was conceived by my co-founder and fashion designer Aida Kawas in 2013, and due to its popularity, we have reproduced it but in limited quantities. The attention to detail as well as the lightness of the fabric made this item a bestseller, and it has been produced a few times ever since its creation in 2013, but for a total number of 12 pieces throughout the years.”

The romantic message you missed in Rajwa Al-Saif’s abaya design
Look closer at Rajwa Al-Saif’s elegant abaya, and you’ll notice a special message hidden in the details. On the back of the bride-to-be’s abaya sit two gold birds that seem to share a body. “The birds represent our brand, and this is a motif often found in our designs, be it objects or clothing,” Luca elaborated. “The two birds on the back represent two lovers united with the continuation of their chest.” It’s safe to say that the romantic meaning behind the embroidery on Al-Saif’s outfit made it the ideal choice for the occasion. Below, take a closer look at the Orient 499 abaya that’s had everyone talking.
Photo: Courtesy Orient 499

You Can’t Miss This One-of-a-Kind Ramadan Bazaar in the Heart of Jeddah

You Can’t Miss This One-of-a-Kind Ramadan Bazaar in the Heart of Jeddah

Saudi designers Honayda Serafi and Nasiba Hafiz. Photo: Courtesy of Basamat
Saudi events agency Basamat has launched a unique and exciting Ramadan Bazaar in the historical area of Al Balad in Jeddah. From April 20-23, the event will spotlight 20 Saudi Arabian brands as well as international labels through activations and an exclusive runway show. Guests will have the opportunity to interact with designers in a showroom and purchase products as well as receive immersive experiences such as styling, hair and makeup masterclasses, exclusive shopping opportunities, and private suhoor events. Among the professional creatives who are a part of the Bazaar include celebrity hairstylist Nabil Harlow, stylist Lejenke, who has worked with Naomi Campbell, Beyoncé, and Kim Kardashian. 
Photo: Courtesy of Basamat
A few of the bespoke luxury events and activations allow guests to have their purchases customized to their liking, including makeup and nail stations. The event also features an installation pertaining to Saudi culture and destinations, wherein guests can learn about the Holy Month of Ramadan and the heritage of the Kingdom. Brands included within the Bazaar are Honayda, Nasiba Hafiz, Otkutyr fashion house, Galag, Kim’s Caffee, The Parlor Salon, and 28.g.
Below, find out more about the Bazaar from Aisha Almamy, founder of Basamat.
Aisha Almamy. Photo: Charl Marais
What made you want to launch the Bazaar during Ramadan?
I wanted to launch the Bazaar in Ramadan as it is the month when everyone in Saudi, Jeddah, and Mecca, gather and families meet each other. It’s the month of giving back, it’s the month where everyone is spiritual and is trying to be the best version of themselves.
Why did you pick Al Balad as the location?
The location of the Bazaar is in the heart of Jeddah, it’s a Unesco site, and nobody has ever done an event there and I was the first to have this opportunity. The location is in between historical houses where our roots come from, where our grandfathers and grandmothers used to live.
Photo: Courtesy of Basamat
Tell us more about the unique concept of the Bazaar.
We have around 20 brands from all the departments from high fashion, couture, streetwear, art, beauty, perfume, nail salon, styling, and accessories. We also have a beautiful runway for the fashion show. Every day is the participants’ day; they get a chance to show their clothes on the runway in the middle of these authentic houses. I picked and approached the brands I wanted to work with me. My event is a very niche and very high-end event, and my idea is to bring high fashion into the original Jeddah. They called Jeddah the Bride of the Red Sea and my idea was to have the shining ring as my Bazaar for that bride. The shape of the runway is in bright white that looks like a diamond surrounded by colorful lighting so with the drone you see it as a diamond surrounded by colorful gems.
We have booths for the designers to present their goods and collections, and we have the help center which is a non-profitable organization for special needs children and part of the income of this event is charity to help the kids. We also have Dar Al-Hikmah college, one of the few fashion and art universities, so we wanted to bring the girls there who study fashion and art to join our masterclasses for free. We have three masterclasses—three major experts we flew here, so we have one day for makeup, one day for styling, and one day for hair.
Photo: Courtesy of Basamat
What kind of an experience do you aim to offer the visitors of Bazaar?
It’s about quality and creating community and experience, as well as luxury. We have valet parking for all of our guests, we have a PA to welcome the guests at the entrance and guide them through the event and introduce the story behind each brand, as well as a bell boy to carry their purchases. We have a Basamat lounge for our VIP platinum guests and the celebrities that we invite.
The event was also made possible with the help of our sponsors, Porsche and Aston Martin. We have a green recycled Saudi water brand and we have Arbab Al Haraf, an art community as a sponsor. We also have Liquid, a Saudi production company, and the most amazing lighting guy, Hussein Gazaz, who is called the King of Lights in Jeddah, Half of the magic in this event was created by his lighting.
I studied fashion and film production and lived in Paris for nine years. I double-majored in film production and entrepreneurship at the American University of Paris and I lived in London. Now, I’m back in Saudi and I couldn’t be happier to feel that I am bringing all the knowledge and everything that I’ve learned to the heart of my city and country where my family used to live.
Read Next: Everything to Know About Saudi Arabia’s Inaugural Islamic Arts Biennale in 2023

Meet the First Two Women to Drive F1 Cars in Saudi Arabia: Aseel Al Hamad and Abbi Pulling

Meet the First Two Women to Drive F1 Cars in Saudi Arabia: Aseel Al Hamad and Abbi Pulling

Abbi Pulling and Aseel Al Hamad Photo: Courtesy of Alpine
Going through the very first Saudi State and home to the Al Saud Dynasty, state of Diriyah, all the way to the vibrant King Abdallah Financial District, the engines of the BWT Alpine F1 cars blasted through streets of the Kingdom. Behind the wheels were Aseel Al Hamad, Saudi Automobile & Motorcycle Federation Board Member, and Abbi pulling, Alpine Academy Affiliate Driver, who marked themselves in history as the first-ever women to drive F1 cars in Saudi Arabia.
The two motorsport record-breakers not only take the lead for the first women to drive the Alpine V8-powered E20 cars, but with the support of Saudi Tourism Authority, have also made waves with the first time an F1 has ever been driven through the streets of the Kingdom’s capital, Riyadh. As a female leader and member of the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission and a board member of the Saudi Automobile & Motorcycle Federation, Al Hamad has also consistently worked to advance strategies and policies to promote women in motorsport, specifically in Saudi Arabia. The F1 driver has previously made history with Alpine in 2018 when she took the same E20 on track at Paul Ricard Circuit, France.
Aseel Al Hamad. Photo: Courtesy of Alpine
“It was beautiful to drive with BWT Alpine F1 Team once again, and even more special to do this in my country of Saudi Arabia and my home city of Riyadh,” says Al Hamad. “I hope this inspires more generations to fall in love with Formula 1 and for more women to consider motorsport as a future career.” Of taking the journey with 19-year-old Pulling she said, “I was super happy to meet Abbi, a lovely girl with lots of ambition, and an amazing passion for racing. She shows that with enough drive, girls can become professional racing drivers. It is important that we showcase examples to demonstrate to the younger generation that it can be them in the future; it doesn’t matter your gender; you need to show your talent. I will be cheering for them and opening the doors and hopefully we will see them on podiums in the near future.”
Abbi Pulling. Photo: Courtesy of Alpine
Having joined Al Hamad in the drive through the Kingdom, Pulling will soon compete in the W Series this year. Part of the Alpine Affiliate Programme, Pulling promotes young racers and provides them the training and guidance needed to make it all the way through to F1. “I got my first experience of an F1 car last weekend and it was everything I was expecting, and more,” said Pulling. “I started racing when I was just eight years old, always with the goal of reaching Formula 1, and I am so pleased to have got that little bit closer. It is very important for the industry to encourage and support young, female talents to achieve their ambitions. It was a pleasure to meet Aseel and to hear about all her initiatives to support young racers. It’s super encouraging for myself and the next generation.”
Read Next: Everything to Know About Rally Jameel, Saudi’s First Women’s-Only Motoring Event

Saudi Arabia Will Be Home to the Region’s Largest Waterpark

Saudi Arabia Will Be Home to the Region’s Largest Waterpark

Photo: Courtesy of Qiddiya Investment Company
Saudi Arabia will introduce its very first water park at the entertainment megaproject of Qiddiya. Housing 22 rides and slides and breaking the record for the biggest in the region against Aquaventure Waterpark at Atlantis, The Palm Dubai, the mega-park will stretch for 252,000 square meters of land.
Qiddiya is one of the Kingdom’s upcoming projects alongside the popular theme park Six Flags as part of Vision 2030. The entertainment hub has already broken records with the Falcon’s Flight ride which is set to be the fastest in the world and Sirocco Tower, the world’s tallest drop-tower ride, and now, the waterpark will be its’ biggest addition to date.
Abdullah bin Nasser Aldawood, board member and managing director at Qiddiya Investment Company stated, “The Qiddiya water theme park will be a year-round immersive family entertainment destination, the first of its kind and offering experiences that have never before been offered in Saudi.”
Photo: Courtesy of Qiddiya Investment Company
The park will have nine zones that are each named after local references of wildlife and nature such as Camel Rock and Viper Canyon. It also has plans in motion to reduce the amount of water used. Some rides will lessen water usage by 75% through the use of recycling. Moreover, decreased water pressure had been taken into consideration minimizing water evaporation by 50%. For the visitors who want a smooth landing after slides and rides, the park has also installed what they call a “run out” system whereby swimmers simply glide into shallower pools, thereby cutting water waste and offering a more gentle ride.
Enhancing the refreshing experience even further, seventeen food and beverage outlets will be available to visitors to recharge and explore the water park in all of its amusement. The giga-project of Qiddiya will welcome all water park and sports enthusiasts by also opening the park to large-scale sporting competitions in their facilities designated towards such events.
Read Next: Basma AlSulaiman Highlights 5 Remarkable Artworks That Celebrate Saudi Arabia

HRH Princess Noura AlFaisal: “The Future of Saudi Fashion Is Abundant and Full of Potential”

HRH Princess Noura AlFaisal: “The Future of Saudi Fashion Is Abundant and Full of Potential”

Photo: HRH Princess Noura AlFaisal
Come February 25, all eyes will be on the Kingdom, where the 2022 edition of the Saudi Cup will kick off. Held over two days, the cup will, as always, see some thrilling races—the winner of which will take home £26 million in prize money. But what’s likely to keep every fashion enthusiast on their toes during the event is the impeccable fashion that’s likely to be on display during the event.
Just like its previous edition, the 2022 Saudi Cup comes with a strong, and extremely special, dress code. Put together by the Fashion Commission of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture, the cup’s style guide puts a heavy focus on traditional crafts and age-old techniques from the Kingdom. The aim? To celebrate the rich heritage of Saudi Arabia and its beautiful attire. All set to watch the best of the races and put the best of Saudi Arabian fashion on the global map is HRH Princess Noura AlFaisal, whose efforts towards spotlighting Saudi heritage have gained her immense appreciation across the region. “This year is about owning your culture more than just showing it,” she tells Vogue Arabia in a special interview. “I work on the Saudi Cup for The Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia (JCSA). Essentially, I work between the Club Ministry of Culture on all the cultural activations in the event. Last year, I was proud to be part of the project, as it was the first ever that involved all of the commissions within the ministry. I did work very closely with the Fashion Commission to co-create the dress code last year, and as it was the first year, it was important to represent diversity and authenticity. I was honored and privileged to play my part in what is now, I believe, a significant event in Saudi culture.”
The dress code, for those who may not know, comes with a detailed style guide, spotlighting staples like the bisht, sayah and daglah for men, and thobes and headdresses in rich colors, patterns and embroideries for women. “I hope that this year, we see not only our heritage represented and displayed in its multifaceted and varied way, but that we also see a generation of young designers taking that heritage, owning it and evolving it, so that it expresses them and the culture that they are creating,” Her Highness explains. “We are birthing a new nation, and I, for one, can’t wait to see what they create.”
Below, the passionate royal shares her favorite fashion memories, her opinion on how clothing empowers women, and the one piece of style advice she’d like to share with the world. 
Photo: HRH Princess Noura AlFaisal
Fashion seems to have always been a point of interest for you. Can you tell us how this love story began? What is your earliest memory related to fashion?
I grew up in a family of strong women. My mother and her sisters were all independent, and had a strong sense of self that they expressed through their style. My earliest memories are of these beautiful women, and I remember wanting to be just like them.
Are there any looks from the past Saudi Cups that remain your favorites?
I think we all remember Honayda Alserafy, and the beautiful clothes she designed for the Saudi Cup, and HRH Prince Bandar bin Khalid looked wonderful in Art of Heritage. On a personal note, I loved the outfit that Shahd AlShehail (founder of clothing label Abadia) made for me last year. But there are many images that pop up in my head. It was such a beautiful couple of days.
Just like 2022, 2021’s Saudi Cup dress code focused heavily on spotlighting the traditional clothing of the Kingdom. Would you say that this year’s dress code is in any way different from last year’s? Now that the world is opening up post Covid, do you think that this year’s looks will be even more extravagant or celebratory?
Last year felt like a celebration to me. At the time, we were seeing a light at the end of the tunnel in terms of lockdown, the Saudi Cup winner was a Saudi horse, and it was the first time we had seen HRH Prince Mohammad Bin Salman in public  in a very long time. I think it is best to just wait and see what this year brings—but it is very exciting!
Photo: Lina Mo. Designer: ArAm by Arwa Alammari. Stylist: Zeina Kilani. Makeup: Hessa AlAjaji. Hair: Amani Al-Shamrani. Creative direction: Latifa bint Saad. Creative lead: Saif Hidayah. Curation: Hatem Alakeel. Production manager: Ahmed AlSenan.
‘Fashion’ is a concept that is much larger than just stylish clothes. It helps us express ourselves and stand out as individuals. How would you say that fashion empowers women—and Arab women—in particular?
Fashion does indeed express an individual’s personality, but I don’t think it’s limited to women and not especially Arab women. In my experience, Arab women have always had a strong sense of self identity, and they have many ways in which they express that. Like all women, fashion is one of the many tools they use to do so.
Every country, every region has its own national costume. However, what is it that you think makes the traditional pieces of our region such a joy to wear?
The variety, colors and patterns all combine to make our costumes unique. The fact that every pattern comes from a different region and the way it is worn expresses so much about the person wearing it. It is very nuanced and extremely beautiful.
As someone who has dedicated so many years to Saudi fashion, do you see our traditional crafts slowly fading away, or have you been able to witness a resurgence of our age-old techniques? Does the future of Saudi fashion look promising to you?
I have dedicated my life’s work to supporting the design ecosystem in Saudi Arabia, with all its various streams. And yes, across the board, there was a sense of losing many of the traditional crafts. But all the hard work of the MOC, and many other entities as well, has helped build a resurgence in our connection to our heritage. I truly believe that the younger generation has the ability to protect, preserve and revive theses crafts. The future of Saudi fashion is abundant and full of potential.
If there was one piece of style advice you could share with the younger generations in the Kingdom, what would it be?
Be authentic, be yourself.
Lastly, can you tell us a little bit about what we might see you dressed in during the Saudi Cup?
Now, that I will keep to myself for now!
Below, a look at some of the best traditional ensembles spotted at the Saudi Cup 2021.

Read Next: The Fascinating & Colorful History Behind Saudi Arabia’s Bedouin Fashion

Princess Noura Bint Mohammed Al Faisal Al Saud: “The Future of Saudi Fashion Is Abundant and Full of Potential”

Princess Noura Bint Mohammed Al Faisal Al Saud: “The Future of Saudi Fashion Is Abundant and Full of Potential”

Photo: Nourah Alfaisal
Come February 25, all eyes will be on the Kingdom, where the 2022 edition of the Saudi Cup will kick off. Held over two days, the cup will, as always, see some thrilling races—the winner of which will take home £26 million in prize money. But what’s likely to keep every fashion enthusiast on their toes during the event is the impeccable fashion that’s likely to be on display during the event.
Just like its previous edition, the 2022 Saudi Cup comes with a strong, and extremely special, dress code. Put together by the Fashion Commission of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture, the cup’s style guide puts a heavy focus on traditional crafts and age-old techniques from the Kingdom. The aim? To celebrate the rich heritage of Saudi Arabia and its beautiful attire. All set to watch the best of the races and put the best of Saudi Arabian fashion on the global map is HRH Princess Noura bint Faisal Al Saud, whose efforts towards spotlighting Saudi heritage have gained her immense appreciation across the region. “This year is about owning your culture more than just showing it,” she tells Vogue Arabia in a special interview. “I work on the Saudi Cup for The Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia (JCSA). Essentially, I work between the Club Ministry of Culture on all the cultural activations in the event. Last year, I was proud to be part of the project, as it was the first ever that involved all of the commissions within the ministry. I did work very closely with the Fashion Commission to co-create the dress code last year, and as it was the first year, it was important to represent diversity and authenticity. I was honored and privileged to play my part in what is now, I believe, a significant event in Saudi culture.”
The dress code, for those who may not know, comes with a detailed style guide, spotlighting staples like the bisht, sayah and daglah for men, and thobes and headdresses in rich colors, patterns and embroideries for women. “I hope that this year, we see not only our heritage represented and displayed in its multifaceted and varied way, but that we also see a generation of young designers taking that heritage, owning it and evolving it, so that it expresses them and the culture that they are creating,” Her Highness explains. “We are birthing a new nation, and I, for one, can’t wait to see what they create.”
Below, the passionate royal shares her favorite fashion memories, her opinion on how clothing empowers women, and the one piece of style advice she’d like to share with the world. 
Photo: Nourah Alfaisal
Fashion seems to have always been a point of interest for you. Can you tell us how this love story began? What is your earliest memory related to fashion?
I grew up in a family of strong women. My mother and her sisters were all independent, and had a strong sense of self that they expressed through their style. My earliest memories are of these beautiful women, and I remember wanting to be just like them.
Are there any looks from the past Saudi Cups that remain your favorites?
I think we all remember Honayda Alserafy, and the beautiful clothes she designed for the Saudi Cup, and HRH Prince Bandar bin Khalid looked wonderful in Art of Heritage. On a personal note, I loved the outfit that Shahd AlShehail (founder of clothing label Abadia) made for me last year. But there are many images that pop up in my head. It was such a beautiful couple of days.
Just like 2022, 2021’s Saudi Cup dress code focused heavily on spotlighting the traditional clothing of the Kingdom. Would you say that this year’s dress code is in any way different from last year’s? Now that the world is opening up post Covid, do you think that this year’s looks will be even more extravagant or celebratory?
Last year felt like a celebration to me. At the time, we were seeing a light at the end of the tunnel in terms of lockdown, the Saudi Cup winner was a Saudi horse, and it was the first time we had seen HRH Prince Mohammad Bin Salman in public  in a very long time. I think it is best to just wait and see what this year brings—but it is very exciting!
Photo: Lina Mo. Designer: ArAm by Arwa Alammari. Stylist: Zeina Kilani. Makeup: Hessa Alajaji. Hair: Amani Al-shamrani. Creative direction: Latifa bint Saad. Creative lead: Saif. Curation: Hatem Alakeel. Production manager: Ahmed.
‘Fashion’ is a concept that is much larger than just stylish clothes. It helps us express ourselves and stand out as individuals. How would you say that fashion empowers women—and Arab women—in particular?
Fashion does indeed express an individual’s personality, but I don’t think it’s limited to women and not especially Arab women. In my experience, Arab women have always had a strong sense of self identity, and they have many ways in which they express that. Like all women, fashion is one of the many tools they use to do so.
Every country, every region has its own national costume. However, what is it that you think makes the traditional pieces of our region such a joy to wear?
The variety, colors and patterns all combine to make our costumes unique. The fact that every pattern comes from a different region and the way it is worn expresses so much about the person wearing it. It is very nuanced and extremely beautiful.
As someone who has dedicated so many years to Saudi fashion, do you see our traditional crafts slowly fading away, or have you been able to witness a resurgence of our age-old techniques? Does the future of Saudi fashion look promising to you?
I have dedicated my life’s work to supporting the design ecosystem in Saudi Arabia, with all its various streams. And yes, across the board, there was a sense of losing many of the traditional crafts. But all the hard work of the MOC, and many other entities as well, has helped build a resurgence in our connection to our heritage. I truly believe that the younger generation has the ability to protect, preserve and revive theses crafts. The future of Saudi fashion is abundant and full of potential.
If there was one piece of style advice you could share with the younger generations in the Kingdom, what would it be?
Be authentic, be yourself.
Lastly, can you tell us a little bit about what we might see you dressed in during the Saudi Cup?
Now, that I will keep to myself for now!
Below, a look at some of the best traditional ensembles spotted at the Saudi Cup 2021.

Read Next: The Fascinating & Colorful History Behind Saudi Arabia’s Bedouin Fashion

Expo 2020 Dubai’s KSA Pavilion Will Host a Special Fashion Show Spotlighting Three Saudi Designers

Expo 2020 Dubai’s KSA Pavilion Will Host a Special Fashion Show Spotlighting Three Saudi Designers

Photo: Courtesy of Tima Abid
The booming presence of Saudi Arabia‘s fashion industry will be celebrated at the world’s biggest fair very soon. On February 16, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, in collaboration with The Saudi Fashion Commission, will host a fashion show featuring three designers, each presenting a selection of 10 pieces from their latest collections.
Arwa Al Banawi is one of them, who after launching her eponymous label in 2015, became renowned for her edgy designs catering to the modern woman. Combining traditional tailoring with contemporary styles, the Dubai-based brand’s offering ranges from statement pieces to wardrobe staples favored by both, the cool kids and working women. Al Banawi’s Saudi pride also shines through her work, which often features traditional patterns and various slogans and words in Arabic. In 2017, her skillful blend of Arab and western influences lead her to collaborate with Adidas, which enlisted her once again in 2021 to reinterpret its classic Forum Lo shoe unveiled at Al Ula.
Photo: Courtesy of Arwa Al Banawi
Al Banawi will be joined by Tima Abid, the Saudi couturier who made her Paris fashion week debut in 2020, 16 years after establishing her namesake brand. Since then, the designer has gone on to dress a number of stars including Assala and Oumaima Taleb, and was even tapped by Balqees Fathi to create her wedding gown in 2016. After her first fashion show in Paris, which was attended by members of the Al Saud royal family, Abid shared, “I want to be the Chanel of Saudi Arabia. I want to show that the Saudi woman can do it. When any woman wears Tima Abid, I want her to feel strong, elegant, and delicate.” This reflects in her designs which not only feature figure-hugging silhouettes and sheer panels but are also imbued with fearlessness and confidence. Ready-to-wear label Abadia will also be presenting its designs at the show. The label is known for using artisanal techniques for its pieces which feature embroidery and beading, and aim to connect traditional craftsmanship with modern aesthetics.
Photo: Courtesy of Tima Abid
The event is the Expo 2020 Dubai’s first fashion show dedicated to highlighting Arab designers. Previously, the British Fashion Council in collaboration with HSBC Middle East and Chalhoub Group also hosted an exclusive show for Preen by Thornton Bregazzi at the UK Pavilion.
Read Next: “Listen to the Voices of Young Women.” Malala Yousafzai Champions Girls’ Right to Education at Expo 2020

Saudi Cup 2022: Everything to Know About the Traditional Dress Code

Saudi Cup 2022: Everything to Know About the Traditional Dress Code

Photo: Instagram.com/norahsahman
There’s plenty of anticipation building around the start of the Saudi Cup, which will take place on February 25-26 this year. In about two weeks’ time, some of the world’s fastest horses will descend in Saudi Arabia, vying for the £26 million prize. Alongside the fact that the competition will be totally action-packed, we will also see a lot of the Kingdom’s heritage showcased with pride.
Past editions of the world’s richest horse event have seen attendees dressed in the best of local designers, and this year is set to be no different. The dress code and etiquette listed on the website, of course, spotlights the general requirement for guests to dress modestly. While women will not need to cover their heads, it is advised that they wear full-length clothing with their arms covered.
The Fashion Commission of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture has also encouraged all attendees to celebrate Saudi culture by dressing in styles inspired by the traditional heritage of the Kingdom. This particular dress code also found artistic expression via illustrator Norah Sahman, and Saudi heritage fashion expert Dr Laiba Albassam. Sahman took to Instagram to express her excitement about her involvement with the Cup, saying, “It was a great honor to create the illustrations that inspired the Saudi Cup dress code, commissioned by the Fashion Commission at the Ministry of Culture @mocsaudi to highlight Saudi heritage fashion. Creatively I’ve long been inspired by Saudi heritage fashion pieces and love to take the time to document our culture through drawings. As I am inspired by Saudi’s rich fashion culture, I hope you are too!”
Excited to see what attendees wear to the Saudi Cup this year? You won’t have to wait long now. Scroll through the Instagram post below for more details on the unique dress code.

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