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Saudi Arabia Makes Fashion History with First Swimwear Show

In a groundbreaking move, Saudi Arabia hosted its inaugural fashion show featuring swimsuit models on Friday, marking a significant departure from the country’s conservative norms, where just a few years ago, women were obliged to wear abaya robes covering their bodies.

The poolside event showcased the designs of Moroccan fashion designer Yasmina Qanzal, predominantly featuring one-piece swimsuits in hues of red, beige, and blue. Many of the models sported exposed shoulders, with some even revealing their midriffs, signaling a departure from traditional modesty standards.


Qanzal expressed her gratitude for being part of this historic moment, emphasizing the significance of the event in Saudi Arabia’s evolving fashion landscape. The show took place during the Red Sea Fashion Week at the St Regis Red Sea Resort, a key component of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 reform program spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Prince Mohammed‘s progressive reforms aim to modernize Saudi society, including initiatives to boost the fashion and tourism sectors. While these changes have been lauded for their forward-thinking approach, they have also faced opposition from conservative factions within the country.


Attendees, including fashion influencers Shouq Mohammed and Raphael Simacourbe, praised the swimwear show as a symbol of Saudi Arabia’s evolving cultural landscape and its embrace of international fashion trends. Despite the significance of the event, they noted the ongoing need for sensitivity to local customs and traditions.


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