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The Defining Fashion Moments of 2017

Gigi Hadid Laura Loomer

Gigi Hadid in custom-created Brandon Maxwell. Photographed by Inez and Vinoodh for the March issue of Vogue Arabia 2017

As 2017 comes to an end, Vogue Arabia notes the key defining fashion moments of the year.

Vogue Arabia Print Launches
The debut issue of Vogue Arabia launched in March and featured Palestinian-American model Gigi Hadid photographed by Inez and Vinoodh, and styled by Brandon Maxwell, on the dual covers. The launch of Vogue Arabia— the 22nd edition of the renowned publication— was a historic one on many levels. It was the first Vogue to break into the market in digital prior to print, the first Middle Eastern Vogue publication in both Arabic and English, and the only Vogue to cover an entire region. So far, there have been a total of nine issues, which have featured Bella Hadid, Halima Aden, Nora Attal, Rihanna, Farida Khelfa, Kenza Fourati, Afef Jnifen, Jourdan Dunn, Pooja Mor, and Imaan Hammam on the covers.

Read the full story here.

Halima Aden Makes Her Runway Debut at Yeezy Season 5

Yeezy Season 5 Fall 2017 .

When Halima Aden stepped out at Yeezy Season 5 wearing an oversized, fuzzy coat last February, she went on to make history as the first hijab-wearing model to appear on an International runway and be signed to leading modeling agency IMG Models. The Somali beauty went on to walk for Max Mara and Alberta Ferretti during Milan Fashion Week, as well as grace the cover of Vogue Arabia’s June issue. The Somali-American model first made headlines last year by becoming the first hijab-wearing woman to compete in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant. The 20-year-old also broke grounds when she donned a burkini in the swimsuit category of the competition.

Read the full story here.

Nike Debuts the Pro Hijab

Nike Pro Hijab

Nike athlete and professional fencer, Ibtihaj Muhammad wearing the Nike Pro Hijab. Courtesy of Nike

In an effort to make global sports more inclusive to women, Nike introduced a high performance Pro Hijab made specifically for Muslim athletes. The sporty headgear, which hit shelves earlier this month, made its runway debut at Saudi designer Mashael Alrajhi’s show during Fashion Forward Dubai in October, and was photographed in plenty of editorials before its official release date. Featuring ultra lightweight, stretchy fabric and miniature breathable holes for venting, the game-changing hijab was first tested out by a number of Muslim athletes such as Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, Emirati figure skater Zahra Lari and Egyptian Nike Run Club coach Manal Rostom. The Pro Hijab was also nominated for this year’s Beazley Design of the Year award, which was won by Ikea’s flatpack refugee shelter last year. The award’s aim is to recognise the world’s best designs in six different categories – fashion, architecture, digital, graphics, product, and transport – before naming an overall winner in January 2018.

Read the full story here.

The Modest Movement Evolves


The Muses of Modesty feature photographed by Francesco Scotti for Vogue Arabia, September 2017

Following successful turns in Istanbul and London, the third edition of Modest Fashion Week, spearheaded by Franka Soeria and Özlem Şahin, made its Middle Eastern debut in Dubai’s Burj Park overlooking the Burj Khalifa. The two-day event served as a platform to showcase collections by global modest fashion ready-to-wear, abaya, and couture designers. In addition to runway shows, DMFW— Which kicked off with a Modenisa catwalk show, featuring Halima Aden— included interactive talks and workshops. In attendance were a number of modest influencers including Dina Torkia, Habiba da Silva, Mariah Idrissi, Nabilabee, Saufiya Goodson among others.

Read the full story here.

The Barbie #Shero line is modeled on women who break boundaries in various fields. No less, in November 2017 the latest release was revealed. Based on the US Olympic fencing medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad and is the first hijab-wearing Barbie. “I’m proud to know that little girls everywhere can now play with a Barbie who chooses to wear hijab. This is a childhood dream come true,” Muhammad said in an Instagram post.

Safiya Abdallah photographed by Francesco Scotti for Vogue Arabia, September 2017

Designer, Vogue Arabia star, and social activist Safiya Abdallah ignited a #>Hijabi campaign about the diversity of the modest dressing movement also in November 2017. Abdallah’s campaign aims to shatter stereotypes surrounding the hijab, as well as kickstarting a positive, self-affirming conversation about the different styles women connect with the ways of modesty.

See the video exclusively here.

Fashion Loses the Legendary Couturier Alaïa

Azzedine Alaia


Azzedine Alaïa passed away in Paris in November at the age of 82 from heart failure. Shortly after news broke of the iconoclastic Tunisian designer’s passing, emotional tributes began to pour in from friends and fashion insiders from around the world. A month to the day of his passing, the house he built released a statement announcing its continuation by way of a number of events and exhibitions. The first exhibition is set to take place in late January, during Haute Couture Week in Paris, in his Marais atelier. The tribute exhibition will display his couture creations. Then in Spring 2018, the newly-opened London Design Museum will host “Azzedine Alaïa: the Couturier”.

Read the full story here.

Fashion Forward Moves Into its 10th Season

Backstage ahead of the Arwa al Banawi show at Fashion Forward October 2017 held at the Dubai Design District on October 26, 2017 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Twenty-eight designers showcased their Spring 2018 collections during the milestone 10th season of Fashion Forward at Dubai Design District. Among them were six returning and new women’s and menswear designers from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The up-and-coming labels (the longest-running of them, Mashael AlRajhi, was launched in 2013) showcased strong, wearable collections that are sporty, contemporary, modest, and on-trend.

Read Vogue Arabia’s exclusive interview with FFWD founder Bong Guerrero here.

The Supers Reunite at Versace

Versace Spring 2018. Getty


Donatella Versace gave the Spring 2018 Milan Fashion Week the most unforgettable runway moment by bringing back Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Carla Bruni, and Helena Christensen during the finale of the Versace show. An ode to her murdered brother Gianni, who founded the house, the ’90’s era supermodels posed in gold lame before taking to the catwalk to the chorus of George Michael’s “Freedom”. Donatella brought back the excitement to the brands latest spring 2018 ad campaign, which features a star studded model lineup, including Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Gisele Bündchen, Kaia Gerber, Gigi Hadid, lensed by renowned fashion photographer and longtime House collaborator Steven Meisel. The campaign is titled “A New School Take on Family Tradition,” and comprises of stunning collection of images and videos.

Read the full story here.

Bouchra Jarrar exits Lanvin, Christopher Bailey departs Burberry, and Clare Waight Keller makes her Givenchy Debut

Photographed by François Goize

It’s been a year of designer musical chairs. Bouchra Jarrar stepped down from her role as Creative Director of Lanvin in July after showing only two collections for the storied Parisian House. The designer, who was named the successor to Alber Elbaz in 2016, exited her position before the Spring 2018 show. Jarrar’s departure was followed by another major change in an iconic fashion house. Christopher Bailey, the British designer who helped pivot Burberry into a global luxury brand, left his post as president and chief creative officer after 17-years at the helm. Meanwhile, this year saw former Chloé Creative Director Clare Waight Keller make her debut at Givenchy with a presentation of the Spring 2018 collection during Paris Fashion Week in front of a star-studded front row that included Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Julianne Moore, Fan Bingbing, and Lily Collins.

Read the full stories here, here, and here.

Condé Nast International Hosts its Luxury Conference in Oman

Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa, Muscat, Oman. Courtesy of Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa

Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa, Muscat, Oman. Courtesy of Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa

In April, fashion industry denizens flocked to the capital of Oman for the annual Condé Nast International Luxury Conference held in Muscat. The three-day event titled “Mindful Luxury”, took place at the Al Husn Hotel in the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa in Muscat and featured prominent speakers such as Alber Elbaz, beauty mogul Huda Kattan, Aquazzura’s Edgardo Osorio, Farfetch founder José Neves, and jewelry designer Noor Fares. It was the first time that Condé Nast International held its renowned Luxury Conference in the Middle East. “The fact that this year’s conference is being held in Muscat, Oman, is significant given the country’s rich and dynamic relationship with luxury, which stretches back over 1,000 years,” said His Excellency Sayyid Badr bin Hamad Albusaidi, Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sultanate of Oman, in his welcome speech. “Omanis love to explore, to reach out, to share values and learn from other cultures and for proof look no further than the Shabab Oman, the magnificent sailing vessel of the Royal Navy of Oman. A full-size clipper ship touring the world, it is an ambassador for Oman’s culture of openness and friendship.”

Read the full story here.

2017 DDFC/Vogue Fashion Prize Winners Are…

fashion prize winners

2017 DDFC/Vogue Fashion Prize Ready-to-Wear Winner, Faissal El-Malak; CEO and Publisher of Vogue Arabia, Shashi Menon; Accessories category winner, Joanna Laura Constantine; Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Arabia, Manuel Arnaut; High Jewelry winner, Nadine Ghosn; and CEO of the Dubai Design & Fashion Council, Jazia Aldanhani.

An intimate crowd gathered at the Five Palm Jumeirah in Dubai for a gala to honor the 2017 DDFC/Vogue Fashion Prize finalists and announce the winners of the annual endowment that celebrates the region’s rising star talents. Faissal El-Malak was crowned the ready-to-wear design winner, Joanna Laura Constantine took home the prize for the accessories, and, Nadine Ghosn won the high jewelry category. Each designer recieved a collective prize valued at US $250,000; an opportunity to sell their Spring 2018 collections at Harvey Nichols in Dubai and Bloomingdale’s Kuwait; receives high-level mentorship; and an advertising campaign promoting their retail launch. Bravo to the 2017 winners!

Read the full story here.

Colette Closes its Doors for Good

Esteban Cortazar x Colette window display in Paris.

Colette shuttered its doors for good this week. The cool, multi-brand, Parisian boutique, run by Colette Roussaux and her daughter, Sarah Andelman, at 213 Rue Saint-Honoré, co-hosted a final closing party with Saint Laurent— its last designer collaborator. The concept store first announced it was closing in July via a statement shared on Instagram, shocking the fashion world. “As all good things must come to an end, after 20 wonderful years, Colette should be closing its doors on Dec 20 of this year,” the store said in an official statement. “Until our last day, nothing will change. Colette will continue to renew itself each week with exclusive collaborations and offerings, also available on our website” From November 27th to December 20, the House of Saint Laurent took over the 740 sq m store’s first floor with a small curation of its Spring 2018 pieces alongside some limited edition items such as headphones, speakers, a black vespa, and an exclusive, limited-edition vinyl curated by Travis Scott that features artists such as Kanye West, James Blake, Frank Ocean, Bon Iver.

Read the full story here.

The Met Gala Honors a Living Artist for the First Time in Over 30 Years

Bella Hadid at the 2017 Met Gala. Getty

For the first time in 34 years, the Metropolitan Museum of Arts chose to focus on a living artist for the theme of its 2017 Costume Institute exhibition and Met Gala 2017: “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons”. The last monographic show to honor a living designer was its Yves Saint Laurent exhibit in 1983. The exhibit featured over 100 Comme des Garçons womenswear pieces designed by Kawakubo, and dating back to the label’s first runway collection in 1981 all the way to the most recent shows. The Costume Institute Benefit took place on the first Monday of the Month (May 1) and was co-chaired by Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams, and Anna Wintour, with Kawakubo serving as honorary chair. Celebrities in attendance included Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, Zendaya, Kim Kardashian West, and more.

See the best dressed from the 2017 Met Gala here.

Kaia Gerber Takes Fashion Week by Storm

Kaia Gerber

Kaia Gerber’s runway debut for Calvin Klein collection Spring 2018. Indigital

Shortly after her 16th birthday, Cindy Crawford’s daughter Kaia Gerber immediately celebrated by becoming runway-elegible. She walked a total of 18 shows during the Spring 2018 New York, London, Milan, and Paris Fashion Weeks, making her debut at Calvin Klein. She also rocked the runways of Alexander Wang, Rihanna’s Fenty Puma, Coach, and Marc Jacobs, where she closed the show. Overseas, she walked for a number of big-name brands including Burberry, Fendi, Prada, Bottega Veneta, Moschino (as an opener) and Versace, in which she walked twice and alongside her mom, who made a surprise finale appearance with fellow supers Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Helena Christensen and Carla Bruni. Not bad for a first timer.

Related: Kaia Gerber’s Runway Debut Was Everything We Wanted It To Be

Top Fashion Maisons Go Fur-Free

Spring 2018. Indigital

Last October, Gucci pledged to going fur-free by Spring 2018 via an announcement made by the house’s CEO, Marco Bizarri, during the 2017 Kering Talk at The London College of Fashion. In addition to banning fur, the Kering-owned Italian label has joined forces with the Fur Free Alliance, an organization that aims to end the fur trade. In going fur-free, Gucci joins the ranks of other major fashion brands including Giorgio Armani, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, and Stella McCartney (McCartney has been fur-free since launching her brand). Just recently, Michael Kors also committed to joining the fur-free movement.

Read the full story here.

Ashi Studio Celebrates its 10th Anniversary

Designer Mohammad Ashi with his models. Photographed by Stephanie Galea for Vogue Arabia

Saudi couturier Mohammed Ashi marked the 10-year anniversary of his brand with a three-day extravaganza in Abu Dhabi. Ashi spoke to Vogue Arabia exclusively about the past, present, and future of his highly-regarded couture and ready-to-wear offerings in the October issue of Vogue Arabia.

Read the full story here.

Gigi Hadid Slays Muslim Hating Blogger

Bella and Gigi Hadid at Anna Sui Spring 2018. Getty

Vogue Arabia’s debut cover star Gigi Hadid spoke out against Islamophobic hate speech stated by a blogger and right-wing activist Laura Loomer via Twitter. After the terror attack that took place in New York in early November 2017, writer Laura Loomer photographed two women wearing hijabs walking past the scene of the incident and alleged that the women were smirking. “Muslims are out in full force at the scene of the NYC #ISIS attack today rubbing it in everyone’s face. Aimlessly walking around in hijabs”, Loomer captioned in her Tweet. The American-Palestinian model stated in a caption on Twitter, “‘Laura, I hate to give you attention, but I need to tell you – You’re a f***ing moron.” The model replied to @lauraloomer’s Tweet.

Read the full story here.

Rihanna Launches All-Inclusive Fenty Beauty


Rihanna unveiled her hotly-anticipated Fenty Beauty cosmetics line globally in September, and it was definitely worth the wait. Nearly two years in the making, the debut collection features a total of 91 products, including 40 different shades of foundation that cater to every skin tone, a primer, lipgloss, blotting paper, and highlighters. The launch was accompanied by an equally inclusive video campaign that featured a diverse cast of models of all ethnicities, such as Vogue Arabia’s June cover girl Halima Aden, Paloma Elsesser, and Slick Woods.

Related: 5 Must-Have Products From Fenty Beauty

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