Happy birthday to us! It’s been a year since the launch of the print edition of Vogue Arabia – and we’re celebrating this milestone with a historic cover featuring two of the Arab world’s most famous models. The legend that is Iman shares the cover with Imaan Hammam, dressed in Saint Laurent and Wrap Life turbans. Says editor-in-chief Manuel Arnaut, “Finding the right model or celebrity that effortlessly combines an idea of beauty and style, while also capturing the spirit of the times, is an exercise that occupies my mind for the better part of the month. I truly believe that a cover should also encapsulate a message of hope and go above and beyond just a pretty image. This is exactly what we tried to achieve when we invited two of the biggest models with strong ties to the Arab world to be our March cover stars.”
Inside, Iman writes how she was discovered by photographer Peter Beard in Kenya in 1975 and fought for equal pay as a model in the US. She also speaks candidly about reconciling her religion with her career. “It is an oxymoron to have your foot in the modeling business and to call yourself a Muslim but at the end of the day, you need to look in the mirror and feel good when you ask, am I doing the right thing?” Hammam shares how her Egyptian-Moroccan heritage still inspires her, and how she’s proud to be the modern poster girl for the diversity movement – a door first opened by Iman. “Fashion is all about having a personality – and nothing is as inspiring as the power of being you,” she says.
Since the launch issue with Palestinian-American model Gigi Hadid on the cover, Vogue Arabia has continued to be a leader in the evolving efforts to ensure diversity in the fashion industry. In a study of 49 international fashion titles by The Fashion Spot, Vogue Arabia came out tops for racial diversity on its covers. The March issue is Hammam’s second Vogue Arabia cover, after also gracing the April 2017 issue. Other headline-making covers included Bella Hadid shot by Karl Lagerfeld for the September 2017 issue, Rihanna paying homage to Nefertiti on the November 2017 cover, rising star Nora Attal scoring her first Vogue cover for the December 2017 issue, and Lebanese superstar Nancy Ajram as she’s never been seen before on the January 2018 cover. The two stars of the March issue were brought together in New York by fashion director Katie Trotter, shot by Patrick Demarchelier, and styled by Michael Philouze.
The March 2018 anniversary issue is a bumper 400 pages and weighs in at a whopping 1kg. In this biggest-ever issue, expect modest fashion trends, bold beauty, empowering women, icons of Arabia, celebrity interviews, and a Middle Eastern royal contributor. Further highlights include model Cindy Bruna dressed in Alaïa while jumping across rooftops in Tunisia; an exclusive interview with Sheikha Mozah Al Maktoum, the first female pilot hailing from Dubai’s ruling family; a candid discussion with Saint Laurent’s young creative director, Anthony Vaccarello; four former beauty queens talking about life after Miss Lebanon; Ingie Chalhoub being honored in the best way possible; and Halima Aden and Mariah Idrissi discussing the changing face of fashion.
Pick up your copy of the anniversary issue on March 1.