Vogue Arabia’s February 2023 cover stars Huda Kattan, whose brand, Huda Beauty, turns a decade old this year. The beauty mogul is captured in a magical moment for our latest issue that celebrates surrealism—a word often used, and even more often, misunderstood. But it is in this realm of fantasy, where dreams merge with avant-garde elements that some of the most beautiful creations come.
Posing for photographer Pierfrancesco Artini, Kattan finds herself morphing into a mermaid for our February cover spread, and touches upon the topic of transitions and growth in a special interview with editor-in-chief Manuel Arnaut. “A lot of us are given the idea of who we are, our boundaries, our ceiling, and how far we can go. The concept of transformation to become a magical version of yourself is so liberating,” she says during the candid chat. “When I consider how far we’ve come, and what we have built…” she pauses to reflect. “And being on the cover of Vogue, too. Me, a little brown girl coming from the middle of white America. Holy crap, that’s a moment!”
As the conversation continues, Kattan also spotlights the challenges that come with her global fame and billion-dollar empire, from tackling trolls to protecting her daughter Nour from bullies. “I realized that the most important thing is to just be honest with her about everything, as this is part of life,” the entrepreneur reflects. “And she understands, as there are also benefits. She sometimes has more opportunities; and some of her [classmates], especially teenagers, get excited when I show up in school.”
Carrying forward the focus on inspiring women who have the power to influence millions, the February 2023 issue also brings readers up close and personal with Leona Lewis, who most recently lit up Instagram feeds with her vibrant musical performance at the 2022 Vogue Ball of Arabia. In this month’s issue, the Award-winning British songstress opens up the door to her world and speaks of falling deeply in love with music, her newborn daughter, and living free from fear as she reaches her third decade in the entertainment industry. “I think back to the little girl sitting in her room, just singing her heart out, rehearsing and practicing, having these wild dreams of being a singer, and recording albums,” Lewis reminisces about her childhood. “I didn’t know if it was possible, and those dreams became a reality. It’s something I’m so grateful for, because it never would have happened without the support of everyone around me, of all the fans that love the music.”
Another power player you’ll come across in our pages this month is Paris Hilton, who, in case you missed it, announced the birth of her first child earlier this week, and yet, somehow, never ceases to amaze with her many innovations. Fresh off the release of her latest fragrance Ruby Rush, the heiress channels Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe for Vogue Arabia’s lens, and opens up about life in the limelight, her upcoming memoir, and the special bond she shares with the Middle East.
Keeping the idea of surrealism and its hypnotic beauty in mind, the February 2023 issue of Vogue Arabia also highlights the importance of the moment today, in a post-pandemic world, and takes readers on a journey to revisit the Kings of Surrealism, from Iris Van Herpen and Schiaparelli to Tomo Koizumi and Richard Quinn. Zeroing in on Alberta Ferretti—the woman behind her eponymous label as well as Moschino, Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, and Pollini—we also drive right into the headquarters of Ferretti’s company Aeffe, which has played a powerful role in shaping the way women dress.
“I remember watching movies in the Sixties, with my mother, and seeing women in their lingerie, watching how they would move, and seeing how wonderful they would feel in their skin; then, they would dress, and the magic disappeared,” Ferretti recalls. And so chiffon, lace and silk became her staples, earning her the moniker of Queen of Lingerie, with everyone from Angelina Jolie and Meryl Streep to Hailey Bieber reveling in her creations. As the multi-hyphenate now focuses on becoming closer to her Arab customers, she shares her journey and reflects on a loaded question: Did being a woman ever serve as a challenge in her career? Read the full interview to find out.
On a closing note, we take a deep dive into the world of the Arab Surrealist Movement, founded in Cairo by poet and theorist Georges Henein, and steadily taking over the world one startling artwork at a time. “Today, artists are using and working with art outside and beyond the realm of nationality and geography,” says Sam Bardaouil, co-founder of multidisciplinary curatorial platform Art Reoriented, about surrealism’s lasting impact. The result? A generation of art and fashion that inspires creatives everywhere to color outside the lines.
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