LONDON: Saudi Arabia is set to host its first Arab Fashion Week next month as part of a push to support aspiring Saudi designers and drive growth in the sector.
Princess Noura bint Faisal, honorary president of the Arab Fashion Council (AFC), announced the news to a small group of industry insiders and journalists in London on Monday morning.
Reading a letter from the General Entertainment Authority in Saudi Arabia, she said: “Saudi Arabia’s artistic community has been growing in size and in confidence for a number of years and the General Entertainment Authority believes that such an event will allow a proper platform to showcase their fashion and arts talents as the vehicle for a comprehensive range of entertainment options in Saudi Arabia.
“The General Entertainment Authority is proud to support an event that seeks to bring people together in a mutual appreciation of the power of fashion and art.”
The show, organized by the Arab Fashion Council, will take place from March 26 to 31 at the Apex Center in Riyadh.
Princess Noura told Arab News that the event would be open to designers from all over the world. “This event is just the beginning,” she said.
Layla Issa Abuzaid, Saudi Arabia country director at the Arab Fashion Council, said: “By launching the first Arab Fashion Week in Riyadh, we are aiming at more than to organize a world-class fashion event. We believe that to promote the fashion sector will support other economy sectors such as tourism, hospitality, travel and trade. Our fashion sector is among the fastest growing in the world.”
The AFC, which aims to unite 22 Arab countries under one umbrella, recently launched its regional office in Riyadh.
Saudi Fashion designer Arwa Al-Banawi, a regular exhibitor at Paris Fashion Week, has been eagerly anticipating the day when she can showcase her designs to an international audience in her own country.
“Saudi Arabia is becoming more and more developed and I’m seeing a lot of Saudi designers following their dreams, it’s a very special time for female empowerment and also for the world to see the beautiful creative talent in our country.”
“I can’t wait to have my first fashion show in Riyadh. I’m really excited that this is finally happening in my own country.”