High hopes for Arab Fashion Week as panelists talk job opportunities, Vision 2030

Attendees from all over the world listened to a panel discussion held to open Arab Fashion Week in Riyadh. (Photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
Updated 11 April 2018
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High hopes for Arab Fashion Week as panelists talk job opportunities, Vision 2030

RIYADH: Arab Fashion week in Riyadh began with a bang on Tuesday evening as attendees from all over the world listened to a panel discussion held to open the historic event.
With the market for luxury brands well established in the Kingdom, some of the biggest names in international fashion are attending the event over the coming days, including Roberto Cavalli, French couturier Jean-Paul Gaultier and Russian designer Yulia Yanina, as well as 13 designers from across the Middle East and Central Asia who will showcase their creations in highly-anticipated runway shows.
Speaking on Tuesday night’s opening panel, which was held at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh — where the rest of fashion week will also take place — Princess Noura bint Faisal Al-Saud, honorary president of the event organizers, Arab Fashion Council (AFC), said that the event was part of a historic movement that would go far in developing the nascent fashion industry in Saudi Arabia.
“This historical movement is not exclusive to Saudi Arabia, but to the whole world,” she added. “Fashion is a universal language that the whole world speaks.”
Luca Ferrari, the Italian ambassador to the Kingdom, said: “Saudi Arabia is an important market for the fashion industry… I think (it) is perfectly capable of doing its own fashion.”
Meanwhile, Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council, said: “Creating an environment where young entrepreneurs can flourish (is important). In a matter of years, we will see a different ecosystem in Riyadh.”
The 26-year-old CEO of the AFC also shared his thoughts on the importance of the fashion industry in the country, saying “Saudi Arabia is the most important hub for the fashion industry in the world. Today, it is a fact and a reality that fashion week is an important pillar. We are all motivated and committed. Development of local talent is a reason why the government is supporting this so much.”
It was increasingly evident during the panel discussion that the inaugural Arab Fashion Week in Riyadh is about so much more than just fashion. There are high hopes that a local fashion industry will positively impact the economy and create a multitude of job opportunities in various sectors, something that all panelists agreed is part and parcel of Vision 2030.
The opening ceremony ended with a performance of the traditional Saudi Al-Arda dance and dinner.


Bollywood starlet Sonam Kapoor wows in Lebanese designs

Updated 22 April 2018
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Bollywood starlet Sonam Kapoor wows in Lebanese designs

DUBAI: Actress Sonam Kapoor was in Dubai to celebrate the 150th birthday of luxury Swiss watch brand IWC Schaffhausen and she dressed to impress in not one, but two Lebanese-designed looks.
The Mumbai-born star posted snaps of her various outfits to her Instagram account, including photos in which she flaunts Elie Saab and Ashi Studio gowns.
Kapoor, who is an IWC Schaffhausen brand ambassador, showed off a midnight blue Elie Saab dress, with a plunging, wide neckline, flared skirt and tasseled details.

Next up, she showcased a teal, ankle-length ball gown with a fitted, strapless bodice, which she paired with black heels, side swept hair and sparkling drop earrings by Chopard.

Both looks were put together by her stylist and sister, Rhea Kapoor, who chose a stunning pink number by designer Rosie Assoulin for IWC Schaffhausen’s gala dinner at the Burj Al-Arab.
The ruffled crop top and matching, floor-grazing skirt was quite a head turner, especially when paired with Kapoor’s tight bun and chunky Chopard earrings.
“‘Anything is possible with sunshine and a little pink.’ — Lilly Pulitzer,” she captioned the photograph, quoting the American socialite and fashion designer who was born in 1931.
Kapoor took to Instagram to share a video of herself throwing glitter in the air alongside IWC Schaffhausen CEO Christoph Grainger-Herr, which she captioned: “Happy to be celebrating this milestone of 150 years with IWC! Chris you are better at this than me!”
Kapoor also stepped into a decidedly more masculine ensemble during her trip to the UAE, wearing a white suit by Spanish brand Delpozo, which was belted at the waist and worn with slinky ankle boots.
Straight after the bash in Dubai, Kapoor jumped into a promotional tour for her new film, “Veere Di Wedding,” a comedy based on four women attending their friend’s nuptials.
The movie was co-produced by Kapoor’s sister, Rhea, and stars Bollywood sensation Kareena Kapoor, as well as actresses Swara Bhaskar and Shikha Talsania.
Kapoor recently starred in “Pad Man” alongside Bollywood legend, Akshay Kumar. The film tackled the true story of a man who helped bring affordable sanitary pads to women across India and marked a divergence from her usual genre choice.
The 32-year-old actress and fashion icon hails from Bollywood royalty and is the daughter of actor and producer Anil Kapoor, and the granddaughter of filmmaker Surinder Kapoor. She is also the niece of filmmaker Boney Kapoor and actor Sanjay Kapoor.