The October issue of Vogue Arabia is a special edition, collector’s issue paying homage to the late photographer Peter Lindbergh.
Lindbergh worked with Vogue Arabia, shooting the October cover story with modest model Ugbad Abdi in what would later become one of his last shoots ever. The issue, which looks at modesty through the lens of the iconic photographer, features an extended fashion shoot with Abdi.
“The issue includes more than 30 never-before-seen images taken by Peter Lindbergh, featuring new hijabi model Ugbad Abdi,” explains Editor-in-Chief Manuel Arnaut. “We shot the story this summer, in New York City, with Peter super excited to understand and dive into the spirit of the Arab world, portraying the concept of modesty though his acclaimed eye.”
“At the beginning of September, when we were starting the process of selecting the images, we received the sad news of his passing. This was absolutely devastating,” continues Arnaut. “Respecting Peter’s family’s wishes, we kept his original edit and considered all layout suggestions, paying our ultimate homage to the photographer as we imagine he would have wanted: no words, just powerful images.”
The cover is the second cover story shot by Lindbergh for Vogue Arabia. His first, also shot in New York, starred Gigi Hadid as the muse, for the March 2019 edition.
“Peter was warm, friendly, and always eager to cooperate,” remembers Arnaut of the major project. “Even though we were really short on time – as Gigi Hadid was coming literally from the airport to the set – he insisted that we all sit down for a meal together so we could get to know one other in a more relaxed environment. This was later reflected in the shoot, where Hadid looked at times vulnerable yet powerful, as if she had nothing to hide.”
Similarly in the October issue, Lindbergh has managed to capture a natural rawness in Abdi’s otherwise glamorous shoot. Despite only making her runway debut this year – opening for Marc Jacobs in a bespoke feathered cap, and becoming the first hijab-wearing model to walk for Fendi and Lanvin, Pierpaolo Piccioli’s Valentino couture – Abdi confidently strutted through the streets of New York with the confidence of a super with decades of experience.
Born in Kismayo, Somalia at the height of the civil war, Abdi and her family fled to Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya when she was an infant, living there for nine years. Her life now is world’s apart, working with industry greats and becoming one of the most wanted talents in fashion. “I couldn’t believe how quickly it happened,” she explains of her rapid journey to fame. “Fast-forward a year later, and I’m living in New York with a dream job!”
The cover star credits her agency, Next Management, with helping her not only to walk in heels for the first time in her life but also to stand up for her modest style – something she says designers and photographers are happy to embrace. “The hijab is a part of the person I am,” she says. “It gives me a sense of comfort to be myself at all times. It gives me a voice.”
On working with the Lindbergh she adds, “There are so many greats in this industry that I’ve had the honor and pleasure of working with. I look up to people who are wholeheartedly themselves, genuinely kind, and who embrace others.”
Other highlights from Vogue Arabia’s October issue include: street style star Rawdah Mohamed modeling the key pieces for FW19; an investigation looking at how fashion’s biggest brands are getting it wrong when it comes to representing society; how layering perfumes is the key to creating your own beauty identity; on the 80th anniversary of The Wizard of OZ Liza Minnelli remembers it’s leading star, her mother, Judy Garland; Dutch designer Iris Van Herpen reveals her never-before-seen haute couture collection; Arab model Farida Khelfa welcomes you inside her Parisian townhouse; Cindy Bruna dazzles in exquisite Chaumet pieces; Saudi stars Mila Al Zahrani and Dhay discuss their new movie The Perfect Candidate.
The collector’s issue will have four covers, each starring Ugbad Abdi. The October issue also comes with the fall/winter 2019 edition of Vogue Man Arabia, starring Real Madrid’s Algerian-French striker Karim Benzema. Also included is your guide to the UAE’s top restaurants.