Saudi Arabia is set to host in March its first ever Arab Fashion Week, overturning decades of draconian policies on arts and entertainment. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the powerful heir to the Saudi throne, has been leading a drive to reform the country’s dependence on oil, including expanding the private sector and empowering women.
The Dubai-based Arab Fashion Council announced on Monday that fashion week would be held in Riyadh from March 26 to March 31, with a second edition already scheduled for October.
Arab Fashion Week will take place at Riyadh’s eco-friendly Apex Centre, a white honeycomb-like venue designed by the late celebrated Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid
In December, the Arab Fashion Council announced the opening of a regional office in Riyadh and named Saudi Princess Noura Bint Faisal Al-Saud as its honorary president.
The line-up for the Riyadh event has not been revealed yet and it remains unclear whether it will limited to modest designs in accordance with the strict dress code observed in Saudi Arabia.
The Gulf kingdom, which has some of the world’s tightest restrictions on women, requires them to wear, by law, a loose-fitting abaya robe to shroud their bodies in public.
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