Will the Middle East get its own version of ‘America’s Next Top Model’?

Will the Middle East get its own version of ‘America’s Next Top Model’?
The hit US show was created by US supermodel Tyra Banks. (AFP)
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Updated 09 August 2022

Will the Middle East get its own version of ‘America’s Next Top Model’?

Will the Middle East get its own version of ‘America’s Next Top Model’?
  • Local media reported that the regional edition will be called “Arabia’s Next Top Model” 
  • Read on for our picks of who we would like to see sit on the judging panel of the possible Middle Eastern version

DUBAI: A Middle Eastern franchise of “America’s Next Top Model” is in the works, according to local media reports.

Although official confirmation is yet to be made, local media reported that the regional edition will be called “Arabia’s Next Top Model.” The production team is reportedly looking for a well-known host and judges in the modeling and fashion industries. Read on for our picks for who we would like to see sit on the judging panel of the possible Middle Eastern version.

The hit US show, which premiered in May 2003, was created by US supermodel Tyra Banks, who also serves as an executive producer. It was developed by TV producer Ken Mok and writer Kenya Barris. 

In the show, aspiring female and male models compete against each other in a series of challenges in order to win career opportunities in the modeling industry.

More than 50 spinoffs of the show were released around the world, including “Germany’s Next Top Model,” “Asia’s Next Top Model,” “India’s Next Top Model” and others.

Arab News contacted various TV production houses affiliated with international iterations of the show, but none had responded at the time of publication.

Although the production house is yet to confirm the news, here are our picks for who we would like to see sit on the judging panel of the possible Middle Eastern version.

Mona and Huda Kattan

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Tyra Banks (@tyrabanks)

The powerful women behind Huda Beauty and perfume brand Kayali would be the perfect judges, although their camp has not made an official announcement about their potential involvement in the show.

Banks, who created “America’s Next Top Model,” did meet Mona at an event in Abu Dhabi in March 2022, and posted that she was “a true beauty.”

The pair previously starred in a Facebook reality show titled “Huda Boss.”

Shanina Shaik

Part Saudi model Shanina Shaik would give the show a healthy dose of star power. The former Victoria’s Secret model has posed for a number of fashion houses and has appeared in the pages of Vogue Arabia. Although her social media accounts feature no mention of a potential starring spot on the show, here’s to hoping we will see her in the Middle East soon.

Jessica Kahawaty

The Lebanese Australian model, entrepreneur and humanitarian would be an ideal judge given her history as Miss World Australia 2012. She has starred in campaigns for international fashion houses and is a red carpet and front row regular at events around the world.

Kris Fade

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kris Fade (@krisfade)

The popular radio host is known for his sense of humor and would certainly lighten the atmosphere on the competitive show.

Amira Al-Zuhair

Saudi model Amira Al-Zuhair recently hit the runway for Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani and Lebanese couture label Georges Hobeika. The young star could be the ideal mentor for other up-and-coming models in the Middle East if she is picked to appear on the rumored show.

Elie Saab or Zuhair Murad




Elie Saab is a renowned Lebanese designer. (AFP)

Who better to handpick an up-and-coming model than the Arab world’s most famous designers? Elie Saab, Zuhair Murad, Georges Hobeika and Georges Chakra are all options for who we would like to see take a seat on the judging panel.


Saudi Arabia’s Nasiba Hafiz designs new line with US feminine care giant Always

Saudi Arabia’s Nasiba Hafiz designs new line with US feminine care giant Always
Updated 58 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s Nasiba Hafiz designs new line with US feminine care giant Always

Saudi Arabia’s Nasiba Hafiz designs new line with US feminine care giant Always
  • Not Hot Collection for women to stave off heat, humidity
  • ‘Biggest appeal was hi-tech material to keep cool and dry’

DUBAI: In a bid to beat the heat in style, Saudi fashion designer Nasiba Hafiz has teamed up with US feminine care giant Always, distributed by Procter & Gamble, to launch a new heat-resistant fashion collection.

The Not Hot Collection — dubbed the world’s first designer period wear by the brand — was inspired by Always Cool & Dry, a sanitary pad that was created to keep women feeling cool during their period. “When Always first approached me, I thought it was a great opportunity to explore the idea of working with this type of technology. It was also a challenge to work with plain yet very bright fabrics. Usually, I mostly work with prints. Also, as a woman who’s been brought up in Saudi (Arabia), Always was probably the most trusted brand out there, so I did not hesitate,” said Hafiz.

The Not Hot Collection features pops of color, breezy and comfortable shapes, and lightweight layers. (Supplied)

The designer, who likes to work with out-of-the-box fabrics and vibrant colors, is looking to change the way the world sees Saudi fashion. With comfort a priority, her clothes are created with the region’s intense heat and humidity in mind. “I’d say color and prints are always two main factors for my process when I design, but the biggest appeal to me was the technology of the material which keeps you cool and dry,” said Hafiz.

The Not Hot Collection features pops of color, breezy and comfortable shapes, and lightweight layers, “marrying style with function.” Think features like pockets, bike shorts that sit beneath a flowy dress, driving gloves and car seats that protect against searing-hot steering wheels — basically pieces that women in the Gulf need to stay cool.

Going into more detail about how she created the collection, Hafiz continued: “The design process took place during the hottest month of the year in Saudi (Arabia), and if I can even say this, I got inspired by the heat. I started thinking of the colors and materials that would bring me joy and make me feel a little better. Flowy silhouettes were a big part of the design, and at the same time, it had to be cool and active.”

“My favorite piece is the patched top that has a 90s feel to it: It’s on trend and it also allowed me to work with extra materials and not waste fabric,” she added.

Always x Nasiba Hafiz’s Not Hot Collection is now selling via a pop-up concept store in Jeddah and via https://nasibahafiz.com.


Arab Fashion Week to kick off in Dubai in October 

Arab Fashion Week to kick off in Dubai in October 
Updated 27 September 2022

Arab Fashion Week to kick off in Dubai in October 

Arab Fashion Week to kick off in Dubai in October 

DUBAI: Arab Fashion Week, organized by the Arab Fashion Council, is set to return to Dubai next month. From Oct. 10-15, fashion designers from the region and further afield will present their womenswear collections in a series of runway shows to be held at Dubai Design District. 

The six-day event will see designers present their Couture Fall-WInter 2023 as well as Ready-to-Wear Spring-Summer 2023 collections. Here we take a look at 12 designers you should keep an eye out for, among the 35 international labels taking part. 

Amato

The Dubai-based brainchild of Filipino-born designer Furne One, who has dressed the world’s most celebrated stars including supermodels Heidi Klum and Tyra Banks, will present its Couture Fall-Winter collection on Oct. 11.

Ilse Jara

The Paraguayan nature-inspired fashion label, with an aim of creating wearable art, will showcase its couture fall-winter 2023 collection on Oct. 11.

Weinsanto

Presented by the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, the Parisian designer who created non-fungible token wearables for K-Pop group Lightsum will showcase his couture fall-winter pieces on Oct. 11.

Pipatchara

Thai fashion designer Pipatchara Kaeojinda's eponymous label, focussed on slow and sustainable fashion, will showcase its Couture Fall-Winter 2023 pieces on Oct. 12.

Ivan Young

The Malaysian luxury womenswear label, founded in 2017 by two sisters and focused on creating delicate silk pieces, will present its couture fall-winter collection on Oct. 12.

Michael Cinco

The Filipino fashion designer based in Dubai, who launched his eponymous label in 2003, will showcase his label's Couture Fall-Winter collection on Oct. 13.

Ihab Jiryis

The Palestinian designer, known for his evening gowns and couture-wear, will present his label's Couture Fall-Winter 2023 collection on Oct.13.

Yassmin Saleh

The Lebanese fashion designer, who uses art to raise awareness on psychological and sociological issues, will present her label's Ready-to-Wear Spring-Summer 2023 collection on Oct. 14.

Vidhi Wadhwani

The luxe-pret label from India, with a special focus on handcrafted textures, bold colors and creative silhouettes, will present its ready-to-wear spring-summer 2023 collection on Oct. 14.

The Giving Movement

The UAE-based clothing label, on a mission to reinvent sustainable athleisure, will showcase pieces from its FIFTYMADE collection on Oct. 14.

Death by Dolls

Saudi Arabia's Sara Al-Saud, who once designed a Halloween outfit for superstar Beyonce, will present her LA-based fashion label's Ready-to-Wear Spring-Summer 2023 collection on Oct. 15.

Emergency Room

The Beirut-based label, which had its very first live show in Dubai earlier this year and is known for upcycling thrifted and vintage materials, will present its ready-to-wear spring-summer 2023 collection on Oct. 15.


Part-Lebanese singer Shakira to face trial for tax fraud in Spain

Part-Lebanese singer Shakira to face trial for tax fraud in Spain
Updated 27 September 2022

Part-Lebanese singer Shakira to face trial for tax fraud in Spain

Part-Lebanese singer Shakira to face trial for tax fraud in Spain

BARCELONA: A Spanish judge on Tuesday approved a trial for Lebanese Colombian pop singer Shakira on charges of tax fraud.

Spanish prosecutors accused the entertainer in 2018 of failing to pay $13.9 in taxes on income earned between 2012 and 2014. Prosecutors are seeking an eight-year prison sentence and a hefty fine if she is found guilty of tax evasion.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Shakira (@shakira)

Shakira, 45, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and rejected a deal with authorities to avoid going to trial. Her public relations firm has said that she has already paid all that she owed and an additional $2.8 million in interest.

The date for the trial has yet to be set.

The case hinges on where Shakira lived during 2012-14. Prosecutors in Barcelona have alleged the Grammy winner spent more than half of that period in Spain and should have paid taxes in the country, even though her official residence was in the Bahamas.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Shakira (@shakira)

Shakira, whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, has been linked to Spain since she started dating soccer player Gerard Pique. The couple, who have two children, used to live together in Barcelona but recently ended their 11-year relationship.

Spain has cracked down on soccer stars like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo over the past decade for not paying their full due in taxes. Both players were found guilty of evasion and received prison sentences that were waived for first-time offenders.


Actress Lyna Khoudri reveals release date for film based on Paris attacks

Actress Lyna Khoudri reveals release date for film based on Paris attacks
Updated 27 September 2022

Actress Lyna Khoudri reveals release date for film based on Paris attacks

Actress Lyna Khoudri reveals release date for film based on Paris attacks

DUBAI: French Algerian actress Lyna Khoudri’s new movie “Novembre” is set to hit cinemas early next month and the star has taken to social media to whip up interest among film fans.

The actress announced this week on her Instagram account that the movie will be out on Oct. 5 and shared pictures of the posters with her 100,000 followers. 

“‘Novembre’ by Cédric Jimenez on Oct. 5 in cinemas. Let’s go (sic),” she wrote. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by lynakhoudri (@lynakhoudri)

Directed by the French auteur Jimenez, the intense film charts the five days after the devastating November 2015 attacks in Paris that killed more than 100 people.

The movie premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this year in the Out of Competition section.

Speaking at a press conference after the film’s premiere in May, Jimenez said his mission was to show how the anti-terrorist unit experienced five “awful days.”

“The idea was not to turn them into heroes,” he said. “Even though the situation was resolved, there are only losers: the many people who died, the witnesses who are upset forever, the police officers who resigned because it was such a terrible hardship. In this kind of event, there are no winners.”

Khoudri stars as Samia in the film — a charitable young woman who volunteers at a homeless camp. Her flat mate is bankrolling her cousin, one of the terrorists.

She stars alongside actors Jean Dujardin – who plays the leader of the police division — Anaïs Demoustier, Sandrine Kiberlain, Jérémie Renier, Cédric Kahn, Sofian Khammes, Sami Outalbali, Stéphan Bak, Annabelle Lengronne and Raphaël Quenard. 


Sotheby’s to showcase rare finds at Riyadh International Book Fair

Sotheby’s to showcase rare finds at Riyadh International Book Fair
Updated 27 September 2022

Sotheby’s to showcase rare finds at Riyadh International Book Fair

Sotheby’s to showcase rare finds at Riyadh International Book Fair
  • 1840 Victorian globe showing Makkah, Madinah, among 10 pieces for sale
  • Growing Mideast interest in collectibles, says auction house head

DUBAI: The Riyadh International Book Fair returns from Sept. 29 to Oct. 8 presenting some of the most prominent Arab and international publishing houses and institutions. Considered a major cultural event, this year marks greater international participation, notably from Sotheby’s auction house for the first time, in partnership with the Saudi Ministry of Culture.

The auction house’s highlights include a rare album of photographs depicting Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh on their royal visit to Saudi Arabia in 1979 — including their welcome at Riyadh’s airport by King Khalid. There is a museum-quality World Globe dating to 1840. The Victorian piece belonged to Oxford University. It shows Makkah, Madinah and the port of Jeddah.

A rare album of photographs depicting Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh on their royal visit to Saudi Arabia in 1979. (Supplied)

In addition, an Ottoman carpet once belonging to the great traveler Gertrude Bell, gifted to her by King Faisal I of Iraq is on display. There is also a photorealist painting of a falcon by Nicholas Manning, marking, according to the auction house, the first edition of the finest work on falconry that has ever been produced.

Everything displayed will be on sale.

“Creativity is at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s future and there are ambitious plans in this sector — both in terms of grassroots initiatives and government support,” Edward Gibbs, chairman of Sotheby’s Middle East and India told Arab News. “We regularly sell a lot of material that buyers in Saudi are interested in, and there is certainly growing interest in collectibles.”

A rare album of photographs depicting Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh on their royal visit to Saudi Arabia in 1979. (Supplied)

Gibbs noted that over the past five years, the auction house has seen a doubling of the number of buyers and bidders from Saudi Arabia — with a high proportion interacting with Sotheby’s for the first time.

“We feel it is important to build on this by physically travelling to the region and bringing the best of what we can offer to the doorsteps of Saudi Arabia,” he added.

Late last year, the auction house was also present at the inaugural Diriyah Biennale. Its participation in the book fair marks increased engagement with Saudi Arabia during a time of great cultural expansion for the Kingdom.

A rare and unusually large 36-inch terrestrial library globe by John Addison and G&J Cary, circa 1840. (Supplied)

“We are traveling with 10 exceptional pieces, carefully curated to appeal to the tastes of collectors in the Middle East, and celebrating the illustrious history of the region,” Richard Fattorini, Sotheby’s senior specialist in books and manuscripts, told Arab News.

“The showstopper will surely be the monumental Victorian globe, which still has its original receipt. Visually and historically, it is the perfect piece to showcase at a book fair. The close links between Great Britain and the Kingdom are also celebrated in a few of the pieces, most notably with the photographs of Queen Elizabeth II’s visit.”