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Inside the Vogue Arabia Launch Party in Doha

April 7, 2017: The Museum of Islamic Art and Place Vendôme Qatar played host to the launch party of the twenty-second edition of Vogue in Doha tonight. Editor-in-Chief Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz and team Vogue Arabia celebrated with global colleagues from Condé Nast International, including Chairman and CEO Jonathan Newhouse, longstanding company president Sir Nicholas Coleridge, and International Editor Suzy Menkes, along with Naomi Campbell, Farida Khelfa, designer Zuhair Murad, Peter Dundas, Olivier Theyskens, Manish Arora, Noor Fares, Elie Saab Jr., Delfina Deletrez Fendi, Angelica Cheung and many others, along with special guest Lauryn Hill.

Hot on the heels of the Condé Nast Luxury Conference that took place in Muscat, Oman one day prior to the event, HRH Sheika Aisha Khalid Al Thani welcomed the guests to Doha and the arrival of the publication in the region. Next, Abdulaziz shared with the audience, “This is a dream that I’m very happy to say has materialized… I feel the job that Vogue Arabia has is to bridge East and West—to show what we share as opposed to what sets us apart.” Mr. Newhouse followed with remarks to highlight the importance of the launch of Vogue in the Arab world and added, “it is a dream come true.”

The Qatari capital’s skyline peeked through archways illuminated with the debut issue’s cover girl, Gigi Hadid, as the crowds enjoyed a striking performance light show before moving on to the after party in central Doha. Lauryn Hill surprised the dinner guests with a live set spanning her legendary musical archive, while a three-course meal was served to the two hundred choice dinner guests.

Edgardo Osorio of Aquazzura told Vogue Arabia, “I think it’s been a long time coming that this region has a voice.” Peter Dundas reflected that the Vogue Arabia launch “broadens horizons and recognizes different cultures.” He continued: “My niece made me promise to bring her a copy back to Norway, so that’s a sign of how successful it has been.” Naomi Campbell coined the launch as “revolutionary and a huge step forward for fashion, and for women.” The supermodel described how it will open the fashion industry to “a whole new wave of the next generation.” Designer Hatem Alakeel reflected that Vogue’s arrival in the region signaled “a whole new movement and no-one can deny that. I think it raises the bar on recognition. I think that designers feel like they have an actual space… It adds so much more credibility to the world of Arab talent.”

Shashi Menon, CEO and Publisher of Vogue Arabia, noted: “The long-awaited launch of Vogue Arabia is a watershed moment for the region. As a pan-Arab title, it was especially meaningful for us to celebrate the launch here in Doha, at the beautiful Museum of Islamic Art.”

Nicholas Coleridge, the President of Condé Nast International, commented: “The first issue is honestly a jewel-like issue. It’s very difficult these days to do a cover that one doesn’t feel like has seen before. And I don’t believe I’ve seen this cover before.” Coleridge went on to add, “It managed to be, very cleverly, something that was very respectful and true to the traditions of this part of the world but also feels like a very modern cover.” Coleridge considered the magazine title’s presence in the marketplace to be significant inwardly and outwardly for the region. “I think it will probably have the effect of stimulating people to become fashion designers in this part of the world, perhaps with even greater confidence than they perhaps would have done because there’s a way into it.”

The April issue of Vogue Arabia is available now. Subscribe here to get your copy first and fast.

See how cover girl Imaan Hammam featured in Vogue Arabia’s April issue.

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