Saudi Arabia hosts its first-ever fashion week

Participants attend the opening ceremony of the Arab Fashion Week

Participants attend the opening ceremony of the Arab Fashion Week

Arab Fashion Week has arrived in Saudi Arabia for the first time, and shows are due to start today.

"The first Arab Fashion Week in Riyadh will be more than a world-class event", Layla Issa Abuzaid, country director for Saudi Arabia at the Arab Fashion Council, said when the project was announced.

Gulf News reported that Jean Paul Gaultier and Roberto Cavalli headlined the Arab Fashion week which is opened to certain excitement and controversy.

Princess Noura Bint Faisal Al-Saud, honorary president of the Arab Fashion Council in Riyadh, joined designers, influencers, and industry insiders from Ukraine to Lebanon for the inaugural season of fashion week at the Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh, the hotel now infamous as the holding place of hundreds of royals and businessmen arrested in a state-sponsored corruption crackdown.

"It is not something that was previously "off the table" or 'out the picture, '" she added.

Saudi Arabia's first ever fashion week is due to start in the capital Riyadh today after several delays.

Listed as an worldwide fashion week alongside Paris and Milan, Arab Fashion Week offers exclusively see-now-buy-now collections and pre-collections. Arab Fashion Week will provide a proper platform to showcase the fashion and arts talents as the vehicle for a comprehensive range of entertainment options in Saudi Arabia.

The moves come as part of Vision 2030, the kingdom's post-oil economy plan under which the government aims to increase the percentage of women in the nation's workforce from 23 per cent to 28 per cent by 2020. The crown prince has also hinted that the abaya, the long loose robe worn by women from the neck down, may not be compulsory.

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