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Dubai debuts Arab Fashion Week, aiming to unite people of different cultures

Riyadh+Arab+Fashion+Week+took+place+from+April+10+to+April+14%2C+2018.
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Dubai debuts Arab Fashion Week, aiming to unite people of different cultures

Riyadh Arab Fashion Week took place from April 10 to April 14, 2018.

Riyadh Arab Fashion Week took place from April 10 to April 14, 2018.

PHOTO COURTESY OF AEWORLD

Riyadh Arab Fashion Week took place from April 10 to April 14, 2018.

PHOTO COURTESY OF AEWORLD

PHOTO COURTESY OF AEWORLD

Riyadh Arab Fashion Week took place from April 10 to April 14, 2018.

Julia Dwight

The international vision of a modern Middle East is often largely political, inciting images of a war-torn desert and a culture set in its ways. President Donald Trump stated in the 2017 National Security Strategy that “for years, the interconnected problems of Iranian expansion, state collapse, jihadist ideology, socio-economic stagnation, and regional rivalries have convulsed the Middle East.” With this viewpoint remaining prominent, global designers are meeting in Saudi Arabia to create a change and build up the Middle East as an artistic center through the first Riyadh Arab Fashion Week.

The Arab Fashion Council created the event to build a more positive cultural image of the 22 nations they represent. Princess Noura bint Faisal Al Saud, honorary president of the organization, stated that Arab Fashion Week “reflects the global interest in our vision to transform the fashion retail industry in Saudi Arabia into a global and regional market,” reported Noor Nasani of The National.

The council already hosts an annual week-long event in Dubai and hopes that its expansion to other countries will encourage improved international relations through high fashion.

Arab Fashion Week also pioneers “ready-couture,” a combination of ready-to-wear styles and the designer-client relationships of couture. The event brings this new field of fashion to design houses around the globe, as established designers such as Roberto Cavalli and Jean Paul Gaultier arrive in Riyadh to present their shows. It also aims to propel regional labels, such as Aiisha Ramadan of the United Arab Emirates and Bibisara of Kazakhstan, into the international eye, contributing to the goal of emphasizing the Middle East as an artistic center.

Jacob Abrian, founder and chief executive of Arab Fashion Week, believes that the event allows local designers to avoid having to leave their home to find work and prestige.

“I was always asking myself, why do us Arabs have to travel abroad to find our future? Why can’t we find our future in our own countries?” Abrian said.

As the Middle East continues to gain traction in the fashion industry, the Arab Fashion Council hopes to use its presence in Saudi Arabia to inspire a new attitude towards the region with the clothes they present.

Riyadh Arab Fashion Week took place from April 10 to April 14, 2018.

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Dubai debuts Arab Fashion Week, aiming to unite people of different cultures