Supermodels jet to Riyadh for inagural MDL Beast Festival

Riyadh was jam-packed with international supermodels over the weekend. Instagram
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Updated 21 December 2019

Supermodels jet to Riyadh for inagural MDL Beast Festival

  • Supermodels, bloggers and It girls gathered in Riyadh for the inaugural MDL Beast festival
  • The jet-setting fashion set made sure to document their trip to the Middle Eastern nation

DUBAI: Over the weekend, Saudi Arabia’s capital attracted international supermodels, influencers and It girls who gathered in Riyadh for the inaugural MDL Beast Festival.

Instagram feeds were flooded with images and videos of supermodels Imaan Hammam, Irina Shayk, Stella Maxwell, Joan Smalls and Cindy Bruna living it up in the supermodel-packed Kingdom over the weekend.

Naturally, the jet-setting fashion set made sure to document their trip to the Middle Eastern nation on their social media platforms.

Hammam, who is of Moroccan and Egyptian descent, uploaded a snap of herself in Riyadh wearing a black cap by Jeddah-born womenswear designer Arwa Al-Banawi, which was inscribed with the text: “We are a Kingdom” in Arabic and English, over her hip-grazing braids.

“Jet lag is hitting but we’re not going to let that take over!!!” she captioned the image. “Excited to be here for @mdlbeast can’t wait to see my girls @simihaze and my favs!! @richforever @therealswizzz @realblackcoffee (sic),” she added, referring to Rick Ross, Swizz Beats and DJ Black Coffee.

In another clip, which she shared with her 811K followers via Instagram Stories, Hammam revealed that she was “so happy” to be in Saudi Arabia.

Russian model Irina Shayk also took to her Instagram page to upload a photograph of herself and fellow model Stella Maxwell backstage at the three-day festival.

In addition to jamming out to electrifying sets from the likes of Palestinian DJ duo SimiHaze and J Balvin, the A-list festival goers — which also included Egyptian actress Salma Abu Deif, Lebanese fashion bloggers Karen Wazen and Nathalie Fanj as well as American influencer Olivia Culpo — also headed to the desert.

From getting their hands decorated with intricate henna designs to enjoying leisurely camel rides — Victoria’s Secret model Elsa Hosk revealed it was her first time on a camel — the fashion set appeared to be having a blast in the Saudi desert.

Also in attendance were models Alessandra Ambrosio and Sofia Richie, as well as Victoria’s Secret Angels Romee Strijd and Nadine Leopold.

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Made it to Saudi! Can’t wait for tonight @mdlbeast

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They were joined by “Gossip Girl” actor Ed Westwick, rising star Luka Sabbat, blogger Negin Mirsalehi and Somali-American beauty Halima Aden who also jetted to the Saudi capital for the region’s biggest music event.  

Arabs in Paris showroom to highlight Mideast talent at fashion week

Updated 27 September 2020

Arabs in Paris showroom to highlight Mideast talent at fashion week

DUBAI: Paris Fashion Week is set to look a lot different this season. Kicking off on Sept. 28, only a handful of designers are staging physical shows while the rest are opting for digital presentations. Meanwhile, some designers, including Arab couturier Zuhair Murad, are opting out of showing collections this season entirely.

To ensure that Arab design talent gets the recognition they deserve this Fashion Week, the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode has teamed up with the Arab Fashion Council to host an exclusive showroom and presentation on the official Paris Fashion Week calendar that shines a light on Middle Eastern designers.


Today the Arab Fashion Council (AFC) has announced a new exciting project which aims to connect the Arab talents with the French fashion industry. The new initiative, titled “Arabs in Paris”, is a collaboration between the Arab Fashion Council (AFC) and the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode (FHCM) @fhcm aiming to enable the Arab designers to showcase their creativity officially in Paris Fashion Week’s calendar for spring/summer 2021. @parisfashionweek #ArabsInParis Aujourd'hui, l'Arab Fashion Council (AFC) a annoncé un nouveau projet passionnant qui vise à connecter les talents arabes à l'industrie française de la mode. La nouvelle initiative, intitulée “Arabs in Paris”, est une collaboration entre le Conseil arabe de la mode (AFC) et la Fédération de la haute couture et de la mode (FHCM) visant à permettre aux créateurs arabes de montrer officiellement leur créativité dans le calendrier de la mode de Paris pour la semaine. printemps / été 2021.

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The goal of the initiative, titled “Arabs in Paris,” is to not only spotlight the fashion talent from the region on a global scale, but to also connect designers with international media and buyers.

Participating designers include Lebanese design duo Azzi & Osta, Beirut-based footwear brand Pose Design, Esmod graduate Aboud Jammal, Lebanese womenswear label Ecaille, New York- based handmade jewelry brand Saad Collection, Jordanian ready-to-wear label Mada’En and Emergency Room Beirut, a clothing store based in Lebanon’s capital.


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“The project is in line with the Arab Fashion Council’s vision to build an Arab economy based on creativity and to promote the Arab talents on a global scale,” said Mohammed Aqra, chief strategy officer of The Arab Fashion Council in a statement. “This is the first strategic alliance project with our French counterparts.”

The showroom, which will open its doors from Sept. 30 to Oct. 5, 2020, will highlight the designer’s Spring 2021 collections and will be situated in Paris’s Rue Saint-Honore, adjacent to luxury shops like Dior, Fendi, Celine and more.

“Arabs in Paris” follows in the footsteps of other initiatives launched recently aimed to provide a global platform for regional talents.

In August, a virtual pop-up supporting 16 established and emerging designers from the Middle East and North Africa titled “Eastwave” launched online and featured a curated selection of brands spanning from ready-to-wear, accessories and jewelry, such as Egyptian accessories label Alliel, Dubai-based womenswear label Mrs Keepa and Lebanese womenswear brand Jessica K.