Saudi Arabia Hosts First Ever Swimwear Fashion Show

Saudi Arabia’s first fashion show featured women modeling bikinis without head coverings.

The poolside exhibition took place on Friday during the first Red Sea Fashion Week at the St. Regis Red Sea Resort.

Saudi Arabia is one of the most conservative countries in terms of women’s fashion, due in large part to its commitment to Islamic law.

In public, women are typically expected to wear the abaya, a loose-fitting black cloak with a headscarf to conceal their hair.

Although Saudi Arabia has steadily seen advances that allow for more freedom in wearing and reduce the enforcement of rigid dress regulations, societal expectations and cultural conventions continue to favor conservative approaches to women’s fashion, particularly in public and formal situations.

The Red Sea Fashion Week swimsuit exhibition showcased Moroccan designer Yasmina Qanzal’s summer beachwear collection.

The collection consisted primarily of one-piece swimsuits in tones of red, beige, and blue.

The Arabian models had exposed shoulders, and others had their midriffs partially showing.

According to media reports, Qanzal described it as “an honour” to be a part of the country’s historic fashion moment.

“This country is very conservative but we tried to show elegant swimsuits which represent the Arab world,” the designer said.

“When we came here, we understood that a swimsuit fashion show in Saudi Arabia is a historic moment because it is the first time to have such an event.”

The Red Sea Fashion Week is part of the Red Sea Global project, which is a key component of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 social and economic reform strategy.

The program, spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, seeks to modernize Saudi Arabia and diversify its economy beyond oil.

Mohammed, who became first in line to the throne in 2017, has since launched a slew of social reforms across the country.

These improvements include reopening cinemas and organizing mixed-gender music festivals.

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