A future void of colorism, nepotism, and sexism. A future where each individual can proudly own her truth, her history, her authentic self. The Vogue Arabia October 2021 issue points to a new world, a community of individuals who are like-minded in their quest for excellence and non-conformism. On the cover, the leaders of the new guard are model and activist Rawdah Mohamed, Nadia Khaya, and Aouatif Saadi.
Lensed by Julien Vallon, they share their individual journeys of immigration and finding home within. “I want people to understand the individuality of hijabi women and the power that lies in being your authentic self. Hijabi women are fully capable of speaking for themselves and defending their rights to exist,” states Mohamed. “I try to do this by taking space in the places I deserve. I stand up for my rights and try to break barriers so that the next generation will have equal opportunities. The same way women before me paved the way for me, I too, desire to pave the way for newcomers.”
As Expo 2020 Dubai launches this month, Vogue Arabia reflects on the region’s remarkable achievements and honors the women of the past who helped forecast the world of tomorrow, the issue offers tributes to Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, Egyptian feminist and writer Nawal El Saadawi, and Fatima Al-Fihri, Tunisian founder of the Al-Qarawiyyin mosque—women who broke barriers and whose achievements shaped the world of today.
Looking to those who link the present and future, Vogue Arabia explores how creativity is passed down through families. Georges and Jad Hobeika; Georges and Jennifer Chakra; Stefan, Sylveli, Christian, and Yasmine Hemmerle—couturiers and high jewelry designers sharing the passion and expertise in craft from one generation to the next.
Continuing our highlight on exceptional and unique talent, the feature The Vanguards highlights artists like Lebanese designer Khaled El Mays, Saudi street artist Noura Bin Saidan, and Dubai-based couturier Andrea Brocca who are pushing boundaries and attracting the attention of the likes of Dior and Lady Gaga along the way.
Stepping inside the magnificent salons of the Valentino Paris headquarters, editor-in-chief Manuel Arnaut sits down with Pierpaolo Piccioli, and debates whether fashion is art, both men taking opposing views of the subject. In an exclusive preview of the couture collection, ahead of its reveal in Venice, the two men reflect on his painterly eye for color with Piccioli remarking that blending hues requires the eye of a master.
In beauty, the latest techniques are explored, particularly biomes; the art of using the skin’s living bacteria to rejuvenate the face. Meanwhile, the artistry of perfume is examined through the eyes and words of one of the world’s greatest architects Frank Gehry and his first collaboration with fragrance with Louis Vuitton.
There remain, of course, many obstacles to women today—and bullying is one of them. Vogue Arabia speaks with Rakeen Saad, Jordanian actor and leading star of the Netflix show Al Rawabi School for Girls, which shines the spotlight on this form of cruelty that knows no borders. “As Arab woman, walking on the streets and being picked on by men is a form of bullying,” she states. Pointing that empathy is the way forward, she continues, “I feel sorry for those who bully. I believe that they are suffering themselves and they mirror their feelings onto others.” Here is to the future world, one which elevates kindness and creativity—both have no limit and are right at home in these pages.