Farida Khelfa, Afef Jnifen, Hanaa Ben Abdesslem, and Kenza Fourati have all incited a seismic shift in the global perception of Arab women. Here are women so free that their liberty gives flight to others. Four designers share stories of the luminous beauty and strength of character of the Arab women who did it first. Photographed by Tom Munro, styled by Vogue Arabia’s Katie Trotter, and explored by Features Director Caterina Minthe for the October issue, uncover the story behind four of Arabia’s greatest muses that feature on a special four cover edition of the magazine.
As the first Muslim model signed to Lancôme, Hanaa Ben Abdesslem’s face was featured in a campaign that went around the world. At the height of her success, she made the decision to explore other fashion industry avenues. Reem Acra reflects on the woman behind the model.
Algerian-French Farida Khelfa is a muse and former model for Jean Paul Gaultier, Jean-Paul Goude, and Azzedine Alaïa. In the 1980s, she became the first Maghreb model to be featured in the international spotlight. She went on to create documentaries and become the ambassador for couture house Schiaparelli. Now, as she prepares to return to filming, Jean Paul Gaultier talks about the woman who became an icon.
Kenza Fourati started modeling at 15 and she continues to break barriers through political activism and improving conditions for models in her adopted city of New York. This fall, she will launch a platform to showcase collaborations with Tunisian designers and artisans. Giorgio Armani shares his impressions, while Kenza recalls the words he said that have stayed with her.
Model, TV personality, and wife of Pirelli tycoon Marco Tronchetti Provera, Tunisian Afef Jnifen is a charismatic ambassador of Arab culture. Her friend, the couturier Giambattista Valli, gives a closer look.
Models: Farida Khelfa, Afef Jnifen, Hanaa Ben Abdesslem, and Kenza Fourati.
Director and Photographer: Tom Munro
Camera: Stephen Kidd
Fashion Director: Katie Trotter
Make Up: Lloyd Simmonds
Hair: Seb Bascle
Nails: Christina Conrad
Set Designer: Samirha Salmi
Location: Rouchon Studio, Paris.
Colour Grading: Jamie Noble for Studio RM
Producer: Ricci Productions & Creatives
Film: A Bog Films production.