RIYADH: There is great demand for shopping among Saudi tourists in the UK, Simon Collis, the British ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said at an event in Riyadh on Tuesday.
“We know that shopping in the UK is one of the top three favorite activities for Saudis when they visit the country,” Collis said. “Many of these brands are also available in Saudi Arabia and we hope that UK brands and partnerships can continue to grow in the retail market in Saudi Arabia.”
The UK Department for International Trade contributed to the event by showcasing the autumn/winter collections of British fashion brands Karen Millen, Austin Reed, Cath Kidston, Dune London and Sleek Makeup.
Collis said that the UK fashion industry was one of the most vibrant and creative business sectors with a universal appeal.
“London Fashion Week, which featured over 80 designers and 100 brands, is a testament to the fact that the UK is home to some of the world’s most innovative designers,” he said.
During the event in the ambassador’s residence garden, Sameerah Rawaha, from Karen Millen, talked about the brand in Saudi Arabia. “Karen Millen has been in Saudi Arabia for almost 18 years, and it was considered the first international premium brand in Saudi,” she said.
Rawaha presented the latest autumn/winter collection from Karen Millen during the event, including the evening wear collection.
The Austin Reed and Cath Kidston brands were also represented. Austin Reed was established in the UK in 1900 and the brand was launched in Saudi Arabia in 2014.
“Since then the journey has been very long and challenging, but what I have seen is that there is no difference between fashion in the UK and in Saudi Arabia,” a representative for the brand said.
Kim Steel, from Sleek Makeup, said: “It is a UK brand which has been around since 1985 and over time the brand has developed and evolved. The brand (has) catered for darker color skins; it has really helped in catering to Middle Eastern skin shades. We are all about liveliness and creativity, there are no boundaries to makeup.”