Saudi Arabia is going to host its first-ever fashion week in Riyadh next month, from March 26 to 31.
Designers from all over the world are expected to join the event at Riyadh's eco-friendly Apex Centre, a white honeycomb-like venue designed by the late celebrated Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid.
Honorary president of Dubai-based Arab Fashion Council Saudi Princess Noura Bint Faisal Al-Saud made the announcement in London on Monday.
“This event is just the beginning,” Princess Noura said.
“It’s a very special time for female empowerment and also for the world to see the beautiful creative talent in our country,” she said.
The Muslim kingdom recently softened its rule that Saudi women need to wear ‘abaya’, a loose-fitting, full-length robes symbolic of religious faith.
Muslim women should dress modestly, but this did not necessitate wearing the abaya, a member of the Council of Senior Scholars in the kingdom said on his television programme on Feb 10.
Saudi women have started wearing more colourful abayas in recent years, the light blues and pinks in stark contrast with the traditional black.
Open abayas over long skirts or jeans are also becoming more common in some parts of the country.
The changes follow the recent pattern of freedoms the kingdom has been witnessing with the ascent of young Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to power.
According to Arab News, the second edition of the fashion week is already scheduled for October.
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