In yet another world exclusive, Vogue Arabia has flown top international model Winnie Harlow to Saudi Arabia, where she modeled alongside rising star Shahad Salman for the June issue, themed “women standing for women.”
Photographed by Dan Beleiu in Riyadh’s Sadus heritage village, cover stars Harlow, from Canada, and Salman, from the Kingdom, share their touching stories of success, notably pointing out how vitiligo – a skin condition caused by the lack of melanin – hasn’t stopped them from achieving their dreams. The theme sends a positive message to readers about the importance of representation.
The cover shoot was the first time Harlow and Salman have met. Yet despite living thousands of miles apart, they knew each other via social media. “Almost a year ago, Shahad made a post on Instagram with our pictures next to each other. She wrote in the caption that it was ‘weird’ how similar we looked,” shares New York-based Harlow. “I commented saying that it was not weird, but that she was so gorgeous.”
The social media site was also where the talent scouts at Vogue Arabia spotted Mecca-based model Salman, who had little experience in fashion prior to this cover story. However, understanding the impact of the shoot on the lives of women who look to the media for positive representation, she says, “Before, I didn’t feel good about myself and I didn’t like the way I looked. Winnie was the person who gave me the confidence to fight. I never expected to meet her. Sharing time on the set of Vogue with her was a dream. I feel that now I, too, can inspire other girls from Arab world.”
In line with the work that has been developed by the publication – producing disruptive covers, turning the spotlight to body positivity, diversity, and religious freedom – Vogue Arabia’s June issue also aims to contradict the stereotypes so often attributed to Arab women. In a 12-page portfolio, shot between Jeddah and Riyadh, inspiring leaders and high-achieving women from across the Kingdom are put on the radar, including cancer specialists, racecar drivers, fashion designers, ocularists, and a visual effects producer. “Across this issue, you will meet business owners, scientists, athletes, humanitarians, pilots, diplomats, and designers who are creating a new narrative of what contemporary Arab women represent,” comments editor-in-chief Manuel Arnaut. “While, like in any country, there is still plenty to be achieved, we cannot overshadow the disruptive female leadership that we are witnessing in the region.”
Also in the June issue, the once enfant terrible of the art world, Saudi Arabian artist Abdullah Qandeel, reveals his plans to rouse his country’s youth with the Creativity Terminal; TV star Lojain Omran and her sister Aseel open up about their passion and identity; while in an exclusive interview, Princess Lamia Bint Majid Al Saud discusses her latest philanthropic endeavors. Plus beauty gets a retro look with styles inspired by singer Etab, while glitter gets a grown-up and eco-friendly makeover.
Vogue Arabia’s June issue will also include a London Special supplement, curated for Arab travelers who visit the British capital during the summer months. Free with the main magazine and also distributed in key hotels, restaurants, and spas in the city, it features the best lifestyle and fashion addresses London has to offer this affluent visitor. On the cover, long-time Londoner and celebrity presenter Lebanese star Raya Abirached offers a glimpse of her A-list life in the UK.
Editor-In-Chief Manuel Arnaut
Photographer Dan Beleiu
Fashion Director Katie Trotter
Models Winnie Harlow at First Access Ent and Shahad Salman
Editorial & Fashion coordinator Mohammad Hazem Rezq
Hair Stylist Nabil Harlow at Open Talent Paris using Leonor Greyl hair care
Make-up Artist Kate Mur using Dior Makeup
Photo assistant Giorgio Lattanzi
Local photo assistant Abdulaziz Salem
Shot on location at Sadus Village, Saudi Arabia