Saudi Arabia's first fashion week kicks off for women only

Saudi Arabia's first fashion week kicks off for women only”

Princess Noura Bint Faisal Al-Saud, who is also the honorary president of the Arab Fashion Council in Riyadh, joined designers, influencers, and industry insiders from Ukraine to Lebanon for the inaugural season of fashion week at the Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh. However, the Riyadh shows are not open to cameras, and attendees remain women-only.

While the kingdom has held fashion shows in the past, they have mostly been tied to charitable causes and did not include big names in the industry.

The people involved in making the fashion show happen called it a "historic" event.

"I never thought that I would come to Saudi Arabia but here I am - it's pretty cool, I am really excited", said American fashion model, Sierra Gilley.

"Fashion has always been an interest of Saudi Arabia", Princess Noura told AFP at the event. But it is being seen that under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, these have drastically eased.

The next addition of the fashion show is scheduled for October 2018. Recently, it opened its regional office in Riyadh.

Though women in Saudi Arabia face number of restrictions in their day to day lives, they have achieved small successes over time in their fight for equality.

She hopes the event will bring revenue into the kingdom and highlight local talent. "I want to create the same demand in Saudi Arabia, twice a year".

By bringing talent from Europe and placing worldwide brands on the same catwalk as Arab brands, he hopes to elevate local fashion designers.

Layla Issa Abouzeid, Saudi Arabia country director for the Dubai-based Arab Fashion Council (AFC) is the organiser of the event.

"I was always asking myself, why do us Arabs have to travel overseas to find our future? There are concerns that pictures of women wearing what's considered as revealing Western fashion is still a bit too much for the kingdom to take", said Reuters.

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