Vogue Arabia editor-in-chief Manuel Arnaut. Photo: Ziga Mihelcic
This March, all the editors of Vogue worldwide agreed that such an important month in the fashion calendar should be used to highlight and celebrate creativity. It’s a concept we are anchoring all our respective issues in. At a time when the world is experiencing so many challenges, the joys of witnessing the genius of a fashion designer, artist, chef, or performer, can drive us, more than ever, to a place of bliss, even if only for a brief instant. At home, closing your eyes to the rhythm of your favorite song can transport you far, far away. And what about dressing up and feeling beautiful even if you are staying in? Instant gratification.
It is regrettable that historically, the work of creatives has been undervalued on so many occasions. Look at Vincent van Gogh, for instance, who died in poverty and with one fewer ear, being only celebrated after his passing. With regards to fashion, during my professional life I have lost count of how many times I have heard the comment, “Come on, it’s only clothes, you are not saving lives.” Naturally, I’m aware that there are other activities and jobs of equal or greater importance, and yet, I cannot help but think of my colleagues in the creative fields as unsung heroes, so many times working under harsh conditions, but bringing beauty, depth, and color to the world we live in.
Models Patrice K and Athiec Geng photographed by Mous Lamrabat, wearing Studio Mousmous
This March also marks the fourth anniversary of Vogue in Arabia. This made me think that while creativity is not limited to any region, it makes sense to focus our issue on the artistry in our territory. Let’s start with our covers: shot in Marrakech by up-and-coming Moroccan talent Mous Lamrabat, these images are perhaps less glossy than what we usually prioritize, but there is something so optimistic and deep about the shots, that most of the team – not all, since creativity should also be divisive – jumped with excitement when I shared the first draft.
As you turn each page of this issue, I hope you will feel proud and curious about the stories of success we are shining a spotlight on, from the Egyptian opera singer enchanting the world to a female director at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation explaining why Emirati women have a world of opportunities ahead, or our portfolio with the young creative Arab community making waves in New York, shot by Tunisian female photographer Oumayma Ben Tanfous.
After a year that had so many bumps in the road, I would like to end this letter by thanking the entire team involved in the making of Vogue Arabia, from the people in the office and our external contributors, to our advertisers who supported us even when their businesses were suffering, and, of course, our readers. You are the ultimate reason why we put so many hours of hard work into all we do. This is your magazine, so happy birthday to you, too.
Read Next: Inside Our Fourth Anniversary Issue Celebrating Arabia’s Creative Visionaries
Originally published in the March 2021 issue of Vogue Arabia