Arab-origin, Muslim models take over runways at Milan Fashion Week

Amina Adan and Halima Aden walked the runway for Max Mara. (@amina_adan)
Updated 25 February 2018
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Arab-origin, Muslim models take over runways at Milan Fashion Week

DUBAI: From Somali-American star Halima Aden to lesser known beauty Amina Adan, hijab-wearing models and beauties of Arab descent are taking Milan Fashion Week by storm.
Both models walked for Max Mara in the brand’s Autumn/Winter 2018 show on Thursday, alongside such fashion stars as Gigi Hadid and Cindy Crawford’s daughter, Kaia Gerber.
Aden sported a silky headscarf and skirt-and-trousers combination while Adan, who was raised in Denmark, showed off a grey checkered blazer paired with a black leopard-print scarf.
After the show, Adan took to her Instagram page to thank Max Mara for the experience, posting: “Thank you for this amazing experience, @maxmara.”
Far from being the only Muslim models to take Milan by storm, the pair were joined in the fashion-forward city by models-of-the-moment Gigi and Bella Hadid, both of whom walked in a variety of shows, including Missoni, Versace and Alberta Ferretti.

Thank you for this amazing experience @maxmara #Aminainmilan

A post shared by Amina Adan (@amina_adan) on

For her part, Imaan Hammam, a Dutch model of Egyptian and Moroccan descent, walked the runway for Versace on Friday, dressed in a figure-hugging, belted black mini-dress.

Backstage @versace

A post shared by Imaan Hammam (@imaanhammam) on

However, despite the two hijab-clad models and litany of international names garnering praise from pro-diversity fashion insiders, some critics are slamming Italian fashion house Gucci for outfitting white models with headscarves and turbans in the brand’s Feb. 22 show.
Actor and model Avan Jogia sparked debate on Twitter after he tweeted a photo of a white model wearing a turban, saying: “Yo, @gucci... I mess with you guys... but this isn’t a good look for you... could you not find a brown model?”
Meanwhile, fashion photographer Faiyaz Kolia told Indie magazine that “Gucci got to pick and choose from cultural imagery all the things that are aligned to their ‘fantasy’ narrative without any consequences, and then so easily put on white skin… What message does that send? That it’s ok to wear a hijab if you’re young, beautiful, rich, and white but not if you’re actually a Muslim or a person of color?”


Destiny’s designers: Kelly Rowland, Beyoncé don Arab gowns at charity event

Kelly Rowland wearing Yousef Al-Jasmi. (AFP)
Updated 15 October 2018
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Destiny’s designers: Kelly Rowland, Beyoncé don Arab gowns at charity event

DUBAI: Kelly Rowland and Beyoncé both chose Middle East-based designers for their trip down the red carpet at a charity event last week.

The superstars attended the City of Hope Gala in Santa Monica, California, wearing floor-length gowns by designers from Kuwait and Lebanon.

For her part, Rowland chose a glittering, rose gold gown by Kuwaiti designer Yousef Al-Jasmi, with a high collar and slit at the back. She accented the figure-hugging dress with a pair of dazzling earrings and slicked-back hair.

Meanwhile, Beyoncé chose a black velvet jacket by Lebanese label Elie Saab. The belted piece featured embellishments on the shoulder and a plunging neckline and is from the label’s Autumn/Winter 2016 collection.

Beyoncé paid homage to a high-profile music executive being honored at a charity event to raise money for cancer research, The Associated Press reported.

The singer’s vocals soared as she performed three ballads including her 2009 smash hit “Halo” and “Ava Maria” after saluting the character of Warner/Chappell Music Publishing CEO Jon Platt at the City of Hope gala near Los Angeles on Thursday night. She took the stage following her husband, Jay Z, who presented Platt with the Spirit of Life award during a charity event that raised more than $6 million.

“Most people lead with their ego, but you lead with your heart,” Beyoncé said Platt, who will soon be leaving his position at Warner/Chappell to take on the top role at Sony/ATV, the top publishing company in the music business.

“You have touched so many lives, mine included,” she added.

Jay Z called Platt the “Obama of the music industry.” The music executive is known for signing publishing deals with Jay Z, Usher, Kanye West and Snoop Dogg. His roster of songwriters at Warner/Chappell includes Lil Wayne, Bruno Mars and Timbaland.

Both Beyoncé and Jay Z appeared at the black-tie charity event after the couple wrapped up their On The Run II tour about a week ago.

“I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award than my brother, Jon Platt,” Jay Z told more than 1,000 attendees. “He’s known as ‘Big Jon’ and he has a beautiful soul.”

City of Hope is a treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases as the Music, Film and Entertainment Industry Group has raised more than $118 million in 45 years. The award is the group’s highest honor recognizing those that have helped further music, film and entertainment.

Previous Spirit of Life award recipients include Quincy Jones, Clive Davis, Irving Azoff and Mo Ostin.

Music mogul Diddy, singer Usher, former NBA player Chauncey Billups and some of Platt’s family members took part in a video dedicated to the music executive. Platt’s oldest son, Jonathan Platt, was diagnosed with diabetes.