Saudi Arabia hosts its first-ever fashion week

Foreign and Saudi women attend the opening ceremony of Arab Fashion Week

It's expected to be a noteworthy event, with designers Roberto Cavalli and Jena Paul Gaultier featuring alongside local designers (Picture: AFP) Women attend the opening ceremony of Arab Fashion Week on Tuesday at Ritz Carlton hotel in Riyadh. Women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive from June 2018, ending the ban on women driving.

Fashion show kicked with a few restrictions like only women were permitted at events and photographers from outside were not allowed.

There are well known Models and makeup artists preparing for the inauguration Arab Fashion Week who expressed surprisingly about the venue of the event which is a Muslim Country.

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.

No abayas will feature on the catwalk.

The country has organised fashion shows in the past, but none have been part of a fashion week, and were usually hosted to raise money for charities. Arab Fashion Week will provide a proper platform to showcase the fashion and arts talents as the vehicle for a comprehensive range of entertainment options in Saudi Arabia.

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Industry figures from Italy, Russia and Lebanon flocked to Riyadh, many for the first time, to admire the work of local and global designers.

The people involved in making the fashion show happen called it a "historic" event. "I want to create the same demand in Saudi Arabia, twice a year".

Lebanese designer Naja Saade came to Riyadh to display his couture collection. "Our fashion council is trying to bring the fashion industry in Saudi Arabia to a whole new level, a whole new industry".

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

Jacob Abrian, AFC founder and chief executive, said many Arabs have had to leave their countries to have fashion careers, but this recurring event allows them to stay in the region. "Why can't we find our future in our own countries?"

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