Saudi Arabia Announces Plans to Host Its First Ever Arab Fashion Week

Saudi Arabia is set to host its first Arab fashion week next month as part of a push to support aspiring Saudi designers and drive the growth in the design and fashion sector.

Princess Noura bint Faisal Al Saud, honorary president of the Arab Fashion Council (AFC), made the announcement in London on Monday February 19th, 2018 to a small group of industry insiders and journalists.

Reading a letter from the General Entertainment Authority in Saudi Arabia, she said that the Kingdom’s artistic community has been growing in size and confidence for a number of years. It is for this reason, she said, that the General Entertainment Authority believes that such an event will allow a proper platform to showcase fashion and artistic talent in the Kingdom.  The authority believes that the fashion week will also serve as the vehicle for a comprehensive range of entertainment options for the Saudi citizenry.

The General Entertainment Authority says it is proud to support an event that seeks to bring people together in a mutual appreciation of the power of fashion and art. The show, organized by the Arab Fashion Council, will take place from March 26th to 31st at the Apex Center in Riyadh.

Princess Noura told Arab News that the event would be open to designers from all over the world. “This grand and beautiful event is just the beginning” she added.

Layla Issa Abuzaid, Saudi Arabia country director at the Arab Fashion Council noted that launching the first Arab fashion week in Riyadh is aimed at not just organizing a world class and wonderful fashion event but also to promote the fashion sector. She believes that support to the sector will lead to reciprocal support of the other sectors in the economy such as the tourism, hospitality, travel and trade.

The AFC, which aims to unite 22 Arab countries under one umbrella, recently launched its regional office in Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia fashion designer Arwa Al Banawi, a regular exhibitor at Paris fashion week, has been eagerly anticipating the day when she can showcase her designs to an international audience in her own country.

Al Banawi believes that the Kingdom is becoming more receptive to the fashion and art industry and as a result more Saudi designers are now emboldened to follow their dreams. Al Banawi is optimistic that this is a very special time for female empowerment in the Kingdom. She also believes that the fashion week provides a window of opportunity for the world to see the beautiful and wonderful creative talent in Saudi Arabia.

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