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Saudi Arabia holds first 'swimsuit models' fashion show

Saudi Arabia holds first 'swimsuit models' fashion show


Saudi Arabia held its first fashion show Friday featuring models in swimsuits, marking a significant change in a country where less than a decade ago women had to wear body-covering abaya dresses.

The poolside event featured designs by Moroccan designer Yasmina Qanzal, including one-piece swimsuits in shades of red, beige and blue.

Models sported styles with exposed shoulders and partially visible midriffs. Qanzal highlighted the cultural significance of the event, calling it an “honor” to be part of this historic moment.

The show was part of the inaugural Red Sea Fashion Week, held at the St Regis Red Sea Resort, a component of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 initiative led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

This program aims to reform the social and economic landscape of the country.

Since 2017, Saudi Arabia has introduced a series of dramatic social reforms to soften its austere image, historically influenced by the strict Islamic form, Wahhabism.

Syrian influencer Shouq Mohammad noted that the event aligns with Saudi Arabia's efforts to open up to the world and develop its fashion and tourism sectors.

French influencer Raphael Simacourbe, also in attendance, acknowledged that while the swimsuits may not be considered risky on a global scale, they represent a major achievement in the Saudi context.

According to a 2022 report by the Saudi Fashion Commission, the fashion industry was worth $12.5 billion, or 1.4% of the national GDP, and employed 230,000 people.




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