In the June issue of Vogue Arabia, we focus on identity – from embracing it, like cover star Halima Aden, to reinventing it, like the young Arab designers breathing new life into traditional craftsmanship. Take a walk through an Old Dubai souk with perfumer Christopher Chong, who is celebrating 10 years with Omani brand Amouage, and visit the meticulously refurbished Paris manor of Sheikh Mohammed bin Fahad Al Thani.
Designer Layla Moussa talks nostalgia and authenticity, two of the biggest stars of Ramadan TV, Nelly Karim and Hind Sabri, share their thoughts on fame, family, and fashion, and Jordan’s HRH Princess Nissa Raad writes a moving letter to her artist grandmother, Princess Fahrelnissa Zeid, now the focus of a major retrospective at the Tate Modern in London.
In his first letter as Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Arabia, Manuel Arnaut describes the interlinking themes of the June issue.
For someone who loves fashion, there’s nothing more stimulating than being able to share ideas with others who might know it better than you do. With an encyclopedic understanding and an archive of more than 3 000 pieces of traditional Saudi Arabian jewelry and garments, HRH Princess Basma bint Majid bin Abdul-Aziz AlSaud certainly fits this profile. We recently met in Dubai, on a shoot documenting Her Highness’s work as president of Art of Heritage, which holds one of the largest collections of traditional clothing, textiles, and artefacts in the Kingdom and aims to keep Saudi handicrafts alive. Talking about the richness of Khaleeji style, the princess – who has not spoken to the media prior to this interview with Vogue Arabia – says, “The world doesn’t see what’s behind the abaya.”
Listening to Her Highness describing Arabian fashion heritage was like traveling in time to remote corners of the Kingdom, where women wore bold shades of orange, green, gold, and fuchsia. In an issue where we celebrate the region’s identity, it is interesting to realize how the “old” Arabia feels so utterly contemporary. The recent international collections are bursting with punchy colors that seem inspired by the work of David Hockney, the artist of the moment, whose outstanding career we are also paying homage to.
After my appointment as Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Arabia, selecting the cover of my first issue was one of the most important decisions. Halima Aden, who proudly states that she wears her hijab “as a crown,” is the perfect model for this Holy Month. More than just a flawless beauty, at only 19 years old, the Somali-American is making her way to the top by being true to her strong convictions and mastering the art of just being herself. She also gives us hope for a world where diversity and respect are the norm, not the exception, allowing people from every background or religion to blossom. I can’t wait for these brighter, colorful times.
Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Arabia