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

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.


Carrie Underwood and Lucy Liu turn to the Middle East for the Kennedy Center Honors

Underwood opted for her signature nude pout and smoked-out eyes. (Getty)
Updated 45 min 18 sec ago

Carrie Underwood and Lucy Liu turn to the Middle East for the Kennedy Center Honors

  • Carrie Underwood turned to the Lebanese label Fouad Sarkis at the 42nd annual Kennedy Center Honors
  • Underwood stepped out wearing a shimmery, dusty rose gown that boasted long, off-the-shoulder sleeves

DUBAI: It seems that Carrie Underwood has caught the Arab label bug.

Shortly after turning heads at the 2019 Country Music Association Awards wearing an embroidered column gown by Lebanese couturier Elie Madi, the singing sensation turned heads at the 42nd annual Kennedy Center Honors on Sunday in Washington, D.C., wearing a striking ensemble from another Arab designer. 

The “Love Wins” singer nearly demanded a double take as she stepped out wearing a shimmery, dusty rose gown that boasted long, off-the-shoulder sleeves from Lebanese label Fouad Sarkis, whose lineup of couture gowns have also been spotted on Bollywood star Sonam Kapoor. The princess-worthy dress featured sparkling floral embroidery throughout, which further shone under the lights.

The princess-worthy dress featured sparkling floral embroidery throughout, which further shone under the lights. (Getty)

She completed the show-stopping look with a pair of diamond hoop earrings and matching rings. 

As for her hair and makeup, Underwood opted for her signature nude pout and smoked-out eyes while her sleek hair was tucked behind one ear. 

The 36-year-old joined the likes of Tom Hanks, the Jonas Brothers, John Legend, Steven Spielberg and Joseph Gordon Levitt for a celebrity-studded evening packed with musical performances and speakers.

After her dazzling red carpet turn, Underwood took to the stage to pay tribute to American singer Linda Ronstadt with a rendition of Roy Orbison’s 1977 hit "Blue Bayou" followed by a rendition of "When Will I Be Loved."

Lucy Liu also opted for an ensemble by an Arab designer for the evening. (Getty) 

It's been an exciting year for Underwood, who recently released a record-breaking sixth studio album entitled “Cry Pretty” and embarked on a worldwide tour for the album in addition to co-hosting the Country Music Awards for the 12th time and welcoming her second child, a baby boy named Jacob, with her athlete husband Mike Fisher. 

Meanwhile, another guest in attendance at the star-studded event was actress Lucy Liu who also opted for an ensemble by an Arab designer for the evening. 

The “Charlie’s Angels” star made a statement wearing a strapless, clementine-colored gown from Beirut-based designer Georges Chakra. The floral-embellished design boasted an oversized bow on the bodice and long, floor-trailing train that swept behind her as she walked and posed for cameras. 

She completed the look with a set of bold, purple jeweled earrings and a yellow box clutch that featured a metal clasp.