“In a moment when spending quality time with your beloved ones is crucial, we decided to dedicate this Ramadan issue to the ‘families of style,'” writes editor-in-chief Manuel Arnaut in the Vogue Arabia May 2019 issue editor’s letter. During a month where family is particularly celebrated in the Arab world, Vogue Arabia releases three special covers emphasizing strength in unity.
The first cover to be unveiled stars Tunisian model and presenter Rym Saidi and her adorable baby, Bella Maria. The cover marks the first time that Bella Maria has been publicly photographed – the baby hasn’t even made a full appearance on Instagram. “Motherhood gives me the inner strength I didn’t know I had,” states Saidi, who was interviewed by her husband, TV host and journalist, Wissam Breidy. The trio were the ultimate happy family as they posed for photographer Alvaro Beamud Cortés.
The second cover star, also shot by Alvaro Beamud Cortés, is Egyptian-Italian model and social entrepreneur Elisa Sednaoui Dellal, who is photographed alongside her mother, Anna Morra Sednaoui, who also plays the role of interviewee in the story. On asking her daughter about the impact of her upbringing, Dellal replied, “I am incredibly lucky to have parents who have always been true to themselves. Non-conformists. Unapologetic. You taught me to be brave enough to be myself.”
Our third cover star is beauty entrepreneur Huda Kattan, who makes her Vogue cover debut alongside her seven-year-old daughter, Nour. In the shoot, which also stars her sister Mona, Huda opens up about the importance of family bonds especially when it comes to the success of the Kattan brand. “Nothing is better than working with your family,” she shares during the intimate conversation, exclusive to Vogue Arabia. The family were shot by photography duo Domen / Van de Velde.
Family inspiration continues as we explore the intimate Paris boutique hotel San Régis owned by Lebanese Elie Georges and managed by his daughters Zeina and Sara. We also go inside the vault of the internationally-renowned pearl masters, the Al Fardan family. Meanwhile, in beauty, five Middle Eastern women – Ilham Mestour, Nour Flayhan, Lana El Sahely, Nora Al Ramadhan and Farnoush Hamidian – share secrets passed down from their mothers.
Every year, more and more fashion brands are inspired by the Holy Month, offering women modest pieces for their daily family gatherings. Peter Dundas shot his new modest capsule for Vogue Arabia while American designer Thom Browne looked to Egypt as the perfect backdrop for his tailored suiting, revealing that the landscape reminds him of a David Lean film. In the world of fragrance, Louis Vuitton launches a new perfume inspired by the Middle East.
The notion of family also extends to our own. Vogue Arabia celebrated its second anniversary with its closest friends, and pictures from the glittering Dubai-based soirée can be found inside the May 2019 issue. On this evening, our #buyarabdesigners campaign officially launched with the likes of Yousra, Shereen Reda, and Amina Khalil starring in an exclusive video (watch it here). The ethos to support our own continues in this issue with interviews with L’Afshar, Bambah, and Cherine Magrabi on the launch of her line of enamel minaudières titled 13BC. Particularly eye-opening, Jordan Fashion Week debuted, increasing the scope of Arab fashion designers and with a full report in the magazine. “Fashion is a fundamental part of any region’s culture, and we should nurture what is made in Arabia,” writes Arnaut.
This month’s shoots look to the street – tie dye and acid prints for a kaleidoscopic mix; or, display sophisticated femininity with midi and pencil skirts. Diala Makki and Anum Bashir debate flats or heels; for beauty, an Eid-themed shoot shows how makeup and modesty meld with brio. All this and more inside the Vogue Arabia May 2019 issue, on shelves soon.