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Red Sea Swimwear Fashion Show Makes Waves in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia presented its first swimsuit fashion show on Friday, a bold move in a country where women were previously expected to wear abayas.

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – The Red Sea Swimwear Fashion Show, held at the luxurious Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Jeddah, made a splash in the fashion world last weekend. The highly anticipated event showcased the latest swimwear trends from top designers around the globe.
The fashion show featured stunning collections from top brands each presenting their unique take on beachwear and swimwear. The runway was abuzz with vibrant colors, bold prints, and sleek designs that wowed the audience.

The poolside presentation, which featured the work of Moroccan designer Yasmina Qanzal, consisted largely of one-piece suits in red, beige, and blue. Most models had bare shoulders, and some had their midriffs partially exposed.

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“It’s true that this country is very conservative but we tried to show elegant swimsuits which represent the Arab world,” Qanzal told the AFP news agency.

“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 event,” she stated, adding that it was “an honour” to have participated.

The event took place on the second day of the inaugural Red Sea Fashion Week at the St Regis Red Sea Resort, which is located off Saudi Arabia’s western coast.

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The resort is part of Red Sea Global, one of the so-called gigaprojects at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 social and economic transformation initiative, which is led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS).

MBS, who became first in line to the monarchy in 2017, has launched a number of social reforms in an effort to soften Saudi Arabia’s austerity image. These improvements have included removing religious police, reintroducing cinemas, and organizing mixed-gender music festivals.

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Shouq Mohammed, a Syrian fashion influencer who attended Friday’s presentation, said it was unsurprising considering Saudi Arabia’s efforts to open up to the globe and boost its fashion and tourism sectors.

According to a research published last year by the official Saudi Fashion Commission, the fashion industry will be worth $12.5 billion, or 1.4% of national GDP, in 2022, employing 230,000 individuals.

“This is Saudi Arabia’s first swimsuit fashion show, but why not? “Why not?” Shouq explained. “It’s possible and we have it here.”

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Raphael Simacourbe, a French influencer who also attended on Friday, stated that there was nothing risky in his opinion, but it was a significant accomplishment in the Saudi setting. “That’s very brave from them to do that today, so I am very happy to be part of it,” he added.

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