july/august 2022

Editor’s Letter: An Ode to Pink, from Jaipur with Love

Editor’s Letter: An Ode to Pink, from Jaipur with Love

Vogue Arabia editor-in-chief Manuel Arnaut. Photo: Ziga Mihelcic
Pink, not shockingly.
Last March, I visited Jaipur for the first time during Holi, and completely fell in love with the city. I instantly had the idea to put together an issue of Vogue Arabia fully dedicated to pink. From the walls of the iconic City Palace, to which we had special access for this issue through the kind support of Sawai Padmanabh Singh, the Maharaja of Jaipur, to Valentino’s Winter 2022 fuchsia collection that took social media by storm, the color seems to be literally everywhere.
Sawai Padmanabh Singh, the Maharaja of Jaipur. Vogue Arabia July/August 2022. Photo: Nishanth Radhakrishnan
I could not think of a better arena than the ‘Pink City’ itself to stage this blooming extravaganza. Let’s not forget that decades beforeKim Kardashian caused a stir in a shocking pink Balenciaga catsuit, Diana Vreeland so astutely stated that “pink is the navy blue of India.” More than a chromatic exercise, this issue also serves to highlight the strong link between the Gulf countries and India over centuries, initially motivated by trading roots, the two regions have been influencing each other in a creative tango that touches the fields of economy, food, art, architecture, entertainment, and fashion. I hope that as you turn these pages, you feel the same excitement we did putting them together in Jaipur. Pink made us happy, made us dream, and above all, it made us fall in love with fashion again and again.
Read Next: An Ode to Pink and India-Middle East Ties: Inside Vogue Arabia’s July/August 2022 Issue

17 Questions with Maumita, the First Up-and-Coming Indian Model to Front Vogue Arabia’s Cover

17 Questions with Maumita, the First Up-and-Coming Indian Model to Front Vogue Arabia’s Cover

Maumita poses against the Hawa Mahal in Jaipur. Vogue Arabia, July/August 2022. Photo: Nishanth Radhakrishnan
Besides being dedicated to the color pink, the Vogue Arabia July/August 2022 issue also celebrates the strong ties between the Gulf and India that have influenced each others’ food, art, fashion, and much more. And so, featuring on our cover for the first time is an up-and-coming model hailing from the country. Originally from Guwahati in Assam, Maumita is a 21-year-old who is currently pursuing a BA majoring in psychology. Her repertoire so far includes working for some of the much-loved Indian brands, such as Label Ritu Kumar, Fab India, Myntra, and Pink City Prints.

Below, get to know all about Maumita in 17 questions.
How would you describe yourself to someone you just met?
Introvert, great listener, and adventurous.
How and when did you get into modeling?
I have always enjoyed being in front of the camera—whether it’s acting or modeling. When I was a kid, my dad used to take pictures of me and my sister with his film camera. That’s how it started. I am extremely grateful to have been scouted right in my hometown, and then I was guided to get placed with agencies.
What three words best describe your personal style?
Comfortable, timeless, and expressive.
What is the oldest and most cherished item in your closet?
It’s definitely my mom’s mekhela sador from her wedding, which is a traditional Assamese attire. It’s priceless!
Can you share a few highlights of your career with us?
It has to be shooting for Fab India which was one of my biggest campaigns and of course, Vogue Arabia!
Who is your dream designer to work with?
It’s hard to name one but nationally, Sabyasachi Mukherjee and internationally, Casey Cadwallader, Yohji Yamamoto, and Supriya Lele.
What were the best moments of shooting the Vogue Arabia cover?
It was an absolute honor to shoot with the Maharaja of Jaipur. Besides that, getting to wear the most stylish outfits and working with an amazingly talented crew in my beautiful country were a few of the best moments of shooting for Vogue Arabia.
Since our issue is dedicated to pink, how does the color make you feel?
It makes me feel warm because it reminds me of love, bonding, happiness—and Jaipur!
What’s the best thing about being a model?
The best thing about being a model is getting to wear literal pieces of art that take a lot of time and effort to create, meeting super creative people from different cultural backgrounds, and traveling to beautiful places with a beautiful history.
What’s the worst thing about being a model?
The worst thing about being a model is having to stay away from my loved ones and being anxious about missing my flights!
If you could make Jaipur your home, where would you live?
Probably in Hawa Mahal (I wish it was possible). I bet it has a spectacular view!
What makes Vogue Arabia special to you?
Vogue Arabia is empowering and that’s what makes it special to me. Being one of the top Vogue magazines, it lends a voice to Middle Eastern women and also brings cultures together, and creates a platform to showcase the best in fashion.
Tell us one secret from the day you spent shooting with Vogue Arabia in Jaipur.
If I do tell, it won’t remain a secret anymore!
If you could steal one outfit/jewelry piece from the cover shoot, which one would it be?
The purple Elie Saab outfit that was shot in the middle of a huge crowd in a flower market. It was so dramatic, I loved it. Also, I could walk around in those Versace platform pumps forever.
Name one song that reminds you of India.
‘Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera’ by A.R. Rahman. It has a beautiful meaning behind it.
What’s one song that always reminds you of the Middle East?
‘Noor’ by Gobi Desert Collective. I discovered this song a few months ago and it reminds me of the Middle East whenever I listen to it.
What’s one thing you think India and the Middle East have in common? 
The warmth of the people and the colors of their cultures!
Read Next: How the Luxury Design House of Sabyasachi is Bringing India’s Rich Heritage to the World

An Ode to Pink and India-Middle East Ties: Inside Vogue Arabia’s July/August 2022 Issue

An Ode to Pink and India-Middle East Ties: Inside Vogue Arabia’s July/August 2022 Issue

Nour Rizk and Sawai Padmanabh Singh, the Maharaja of Jaipur. Vogue Arabia July/August 2022. Photo: Nishanth Radhakrishnan
The July/August 2022 issue of Vogue Arabia is an ode to pink, and the centuries-old relationship between India and the Middle East, featuring on the cover Sawai Padmanabh Singh, the Maharaja of Jaipur.
The cover story takes a deep dive into the fascinating life of 24-year-old Sawai Padmanabh Singh, the Maharaja of Jaipur and a recent graduate of art history and Italian at the Università e Nobil Collegio Sant’Eligio in Rome. His accolades are many, from leading public celebrations such as Holi and Diwali in official duties, to representing India in 2017 at the Polo World Cup zonal playoffs in Iran, the youngest player to do so. We journey through a day with the royal at his ancestral abode, the nearly-300-year-old City Palace, following in the footsteps of aristocrats and warriors to learn of its storied history, unique provenance, and enduring royal heritage. “I consider myself very lucky and fortunate that I was born into this family, but that doesn’t mean I am entitled or that I can get away with things others can’t,” the Maharaja shares. “My parents, and especially my grandmother, have always made sure that we know we still have to live our own lives and find our place in this world, work hard, and not take things for granted.”
Gem Palace jewelry. Vogue Arabia July/August 2022. Photo: Prachi Sharma
This issue also goes on a sensory excursion through the vibrant streets of Jaipur with 30 pages of fashion shot against the backdrop of the most iconic landmarks in the ‘Pink City’ – as Diana Vreeland so astutely stated, “pink is the navy blue of India”. From the historical red sandstone walls of Jaigarh Fort to the 11th-century stepwell Panna Meena Ka Kund, a modern storytelling of fashion collides with the legend-saturated fables of history in this celebration of rich Rajputana culture. We also visit the magnificent world of Gem Palace, renowned jewelers to the Jaipur royal family who, over the decades, have endeared themselves to everyone from Lady Diana and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to Elton John, and Angelina Jolie.
Nour Rizk in Jaipur, India. Vogue Arabia, July/August 2022. Photo: Nishanth Radhakrishnan
“Pink is literally everywhere in the fashion season, and I could not think of a better arena than the Pink City itself to stage this blooming extravaganza,” says Manuel Arnaut, Vogue Arabia editor-in-chief. “But more than a chromatic exercise, this issue also serves to highlight the strong link between the Gulf countries and India. Over centuries, the two regions have been influencing each other in a creative tango that touches the fields of economy, food, art, architecture, entertainment, and fashion.”
Vandana Sudhir. Vogue Arabia July/August 2022. Photo: Ankita Chandra
The issue also meets Vandana Sudhir, wife of the Indian Ambassador to the UAE. She reflects on a life well-lived in the Arab world: “Moving to the UAE has been so exciting. My husband has previously worked in the oil sector, and the two countries have a very strong historical connect — we were on the same trade route and have been trading partners for centuries. There are so many commonalities in our way of life, history, and culture.”
Rami Kadi. Vogue Arabia July/August 2022. Photo: Nicholas Mastoras
Emphasizing the art of traveling, the latest issue of Vogue Arabia also documents an escape to Athens with Rami Kadi, where he spends the day at the Zappeion Megaron. As the guest of honor, the designer closed the 30th Athens Xclusive Designers Week with a couture show featuring 43 dresses from the Spring/Summer 2022 Couture Collection, ‘Lucid Algorithms’.
Biarritz is our next stop, with its surfer shores and picturesque fisherman villages beckoning to hordes of French and European travelers. It is also home to The Hôtel du Palais, which was once the childhood playground of Empress Eugénie de Montijo, wife of Emperor Napoleon III of France. In the same vein of celebrating royalty, we fly to the sandy landscapes of Oman to discover the unique relationship between the Sultan of Oman and haute perfume maison Henry Jacques. Inspired by the desert and Oman’s history, its new flagship boutique in Paris features eight one-of-a-kind fragrances in flacons covered in 18-carat gold, solid silver, jeweler’s enamel, and encrusted with precious and semi-precious stones.
Read Next: How the Luxury Design House of Sabyasachi is Bringing India’s Rich Heritage to the World

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