In January 2021, Vogue Arabia opens a new chapter and rethinks what to look for in the upcoming year. Imbibing the lessons we learned from 2020, which include not taking anything for granted, the importance of living in the moment, and preserving our present for a better future, this issue honors the values held deeply by Vogue. It encourages the prioritization of the simple, but vital aspects of life, such as family, creativity, slow and conscious fashion, as well as clean and healthy eating.
Starring on the cover is Egyptian star Mona Zaki, who makes her Vogue Arabia cover debut with the January issue, following her tremendous success at Cairo International Film Festival winning the Faten Hamama Award for Excellence. Zaki is one of the most talented actors in the Middle East, playing iconic roles in movies such as Cinderella and Ehky Ya Shehrazade. She is also well-known for her various contributions to many national charities and advocacy campaigns. In the exclusive interview and shoot in Dubai with photographers Domen / Van de Velde, Zaki speaks passionately about her upcoming movie, her work to demystify autism, and her ongoing activism for defending women’s rights, both outside and within the film industry. “Arab female artists are neither short in experience, or popularity,” she says. “It is all about the producers. We, as actresses, are lacking nothing, but we do lack a producer with enough courage to give a woman the leading role. Like any other successful artists, I consider this pure injustice.”
As the end of this tragic year approaches, Zaki intends to start her new year by intending to provide the best professionally, by getting closer to family, by making use of all that surrounds her to expand resources of inspiration, and by caring for her health and her parents. “I exercised myself to ignore all the negative and worked on developing myself and focusing on what I love,” she shares.
On working with Zaki, editor-in-chief Manuel Arnaut says, “I met Mona many years back, when I was hosting a charity event for the previous title I edited, and Mona flew from Cairo as our guest of honor in her role as Unicef Ambassador. Since then, we’ve kept in touch, and I’m always astounded by her talent and capacity to be at the top of her game after so many years in the spotlight.”
The January issue also sees Selena Gomez more outspoken than ever. The 28-year-old Gomez is a busy star, adding to her success a cooking show, a beauty line challenging the stigmas surrounding mental health, and her political activism. With 195 million followers, she consistently uses her voice and platform to highlight issues that are important to her. “It might have been challenging when I was younger because, quite frankly, I was finding my own voice and trying to sort out who I was and what my beliefs were. As I’ve found my voice, I do feel it’s a responsibility to use my platform in a meaningful way,” says Gomez. When asked about what role she sees herself taking on in this world, she shares: “That’s the thing, we are all shaped by circumstances, and I am not sure what the future will be, as the evolution of our lives isn’t predictable. What I do hope is that I continue to be curious about life, challenge myself and learn from my mistakes – of which there will be plenty.”
Kicking off the year with positivity, the issue also holds all that you would expect from Vogue Arabia and more — the best of fashion and beauty inspiration to help you start the year looking and feeling your very best. Alongside exclusive interviews, shoots, and features the highlights of the issue include:
Spotlight on six female Moroccan singers: Manal, Abir, Faouzia, Ilham, Yousra, and Jaylann. With a blend of African, Andalusian, Amazigh, and Jewish influences, the music stemming from this new generation of singers is reflective of the depth and the diversity of their culture.
Also, discover Milla Jovovich in a stunning beauty shoot by Greg Swales. With a new movie coming out, actor and model Jovovich talks about her career, family, and beauty routines. “I love to feel shiny. At night, I put on all my oils and creams and no one can touch me” says Jovovich.
The January issue opens the discussion about plastic surgery, and its impact on women in the Middle East who are looking to these procedures to recreate the filtered look. We speak to regional beauty and health professionals who share their expertise and thoughts about this social phenomenon.
The issue also reveals the winner of the long-awaited 2020 Vogue Fashion Prize, Powered by NEOM. Among the 10 shortlisted Middle Eastern designers who worked hard in their atelier and presented their final entries, Moroccan designer Mohamed Benchellal of Amsterdam-based couture house Benchellal took home the top prize, with Karim Adduchi from Morocco, Sarah and Siham Albinali of Lurline from Saudi Arabia, and Lama Jouni from Lebanon taking home the first and second runner-up prizes respectively.
Pick up a copy of Vogue Arabia’s January 2021 issue, available on shelves and Magzter soon.
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