DUBAI: From the Elie Saab runway to the LVMH prize cocktail party and the Aquazzura event on Monday night, Paris Fashion Week has kept Amira Al-Zuhair on her toes. This season, the up-and-coming Saudi model walked three shows in Milan, the Elie Saab show in Paris and also flew back to Milan to shoot a project for Prada.
Arab News caught up with the model, who was born to a French mother and a Saudi father, to get a glimpse of her life behind the scenes and how she keeps up with the beautiful chaos of fashion week.
“Fashion week can get hectic — but not in a bad way — it’s what I do and something that I enjoy. I like this time because I get to meet the designers and see the collections — it’s very exciting,” she said.
She explained that castings and fittings occur three to four days before the show.
“Fittings take longer than casting because you have to try a few looks on, see what fits you, and do a little walk. The team then decides on the appropriate hairstyle with the look you’ve been assigned,” Al-Zuhair said. Then there’s the actual show day, where the call time is typically four hours before the show, which includes hair and makeup and rehearsals.
“If you have multiple looks in the show, you have a minute or two max to change into the second outfit in between the show. For Elie Saab, I had two looks — which is the maximum — it’s almost impossible to do more than that,” she explained.
During fashion weeks, her days can start at 5 a.m. and go on till 11 p.m. if she has events to attend.
“You have to be extremely organized with your schedule,” she explained. “Logistically, you have to ensure that all your outfits are ready and your cars (are) ready to take you from one place to another.
“This time, it was a bit less stressful because I only did one show in Paris as I traveled back to Milan for the Prada campaign. But for example, I did five shows for couture week last season. When you have more shows, you need to be really disciplined as every minute counts. So, imagine five shows, five castings and fittings!”
To unwind, Al-Zuhair opts for activities like swimming and running, which she said clear her head and give her peace of mind.
“It’s also important to spend time with family. It’s always a pleasure to get together and laugh with them – this is how I destress during fashion week,” the model added.