Saudi Arabia will host its first fashion week from10 April which will take place at the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh.
The four-day event will feature local Arab designers and European brand names including Roberto Cavalli and Jean Paul Gaultier, a media report said.
“Since the initial announcement made in February, Arab Fashion Week Riyadh has garnered significant interest from international guests wanting to attend,” said Layla Issa Abuzaid, the country director for Saudi Arabia at the Arab Fashion Council, the Dubai nonprofit responsible for the event.
Originally supposed to be held in February the event was postponed “to accommodate all the international guests who had applied to attend,” said Jacob Abrian, the chief executive of the Arab Fashion Council. “We are extremely thankful for all the trust and support that we have received to make it happen.”
The high-profile, high-stakes plan for a first fashion week in Saudi Arabia, unthinkable even two years ago, comes at a time of groundbreaking reform in the country, led by Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman.
Saudi Arabia is trying to shift away from a reliance on oil and gas revenues and is repositioning itself as a dynamic place for business, hospitality and leisure.
Saudi officials have gone to great lengths of late to spotlight promises by the crown prince to let women drive and play a greater role in the country’s work force; to expand entertainment opportunities; and to encourage foreign investment.
Change, they say, is in the air.
Arab Fashion Week Riyadh, at which shows will be held in the evening for women-only audiences, will come at a time when women have more access than ever to public arts and entertainment: In January, female fans were welcomed into soccer stadiums for the first time, and a decades-long ban on cinemas was lifted in December.