The fashion industry is waking up to Arab women’s cultural style and finally giving it the representation it deserves by taking on a new edition of the world’s leading fashion magazine, Vogue. The long awaited and groundbreaking launch of Vogue Arabia proved a revolution. Saudi based designer, Hatem Alakeel, felt that Vogue’s forthcoming into the region symbolised “a whole new movement” for Arab fashion talent, adding so much more credibility to their work.
With Vogue Arabia officially on its second issue, the black tie launch served up a glamorous welcome at the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha in partnership with Place Vendôme, filling the room with a stylish VIP crowd and familiar faces such as Naomi Campbell, Lauryn Hill, Suzy Menkes, Zuhair Murad, Peter Dundas, Paul Andrew, Izabel Goulart and Sofia Richie to name a few.
Illuminated by an awe-inspiring light show and the magnificent Qatari skyline, the debut issue's cover featuring Gigi Hadid was both boldly and proudly displayed for the crowds to admire. Lauryn Hill stunned the specially selected group of guests, as she put on an electrifying performance while a marvellous three-course meal was served.
At the helm of Vogue Arabia’s launch was Princess Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz, who used her intimate knowledge of Arab consumers and cultural sensibilities to lead the celebration with great pride and power. “The job that Vogue Arabia has is to bridge east and west. To show what we share versus what sets us apart.” Abdulaziz stands firm in her beliefs and explains that although her region is conservative by nature, Arab women are no different to their counterparts around the world - they too want to feel empowered and look beautiful. Vogue Arabia is a chance to create editorials that are tactful and innovative but still celebrate women in a unique way.
Vogue Arabia really couldn’t have arrived at a better time, as a lot more designers are producing traditional fashion that caters specifically to Arab women. Just last year, Dolce & Gabbana launched a new hijab and abaya collection for Muslim women, which many hailed as both “overdue and worth the wait”. Vogue Arabia is a chance to celebrate and incorporate all customs and cultures. Designer, Peter Dundas, spoke on this exciting renaissance, “I think it broadens the horizons for Vogue and for fashion as well.”
Following this exciting event, we will get to see how Vogue Arabia continues to excel and grow alongside the other successful editions while staying true to their roots. If its arrival is anything to go by, the magazine promises to be bold, representative and divergent, providing something that Arab women can relate to. As the new cover states, the mission is to "reorient perceptions" - something that has been a challenge within the region for a long time. Vogue Arabia is about empowerment. Clothes aren’t going to change the world, but the women who wear them will.