Saudi Arabia embraces fashion diversity with first-ever swimsuit show

Fashion show featured swimwear designs by Moroccan designer Yasmina Qanzal

Web Desk
Swimwear takes centre stage at Saudi Arabia's first ever fashion show. — AFP/File

Saudi Arabia held its first-ever fashion show featuring swimsuit models on Friday, in a poolside event featuring the design of Moroccan designer Yasmina Qanzal.

The show included mostly one-piece suits in shades of red, beige and blue.

Qanzal told AFP: "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.”

Swimwear fashion show expected to expand Saudi Arabia's fashion industries. — AFP/File

The inaugural Red Sea Fashion Week showcased at the St Regis Red Sea Resort, which is part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 social and economic reform program.

The resort is part of Red Sea Global, one of the giga-projects overseen by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

While attending Friday’s historic fashion event, Syrian fashion influencer Shouq Mohammed said it was not surprising considering Saudi Arabia’s efforts to become more globalised and expand its tourism and fashion industries.

According to a report released last year by the official Saudi Fashion Commission, the fashion industry in 2022 employed 230,000 people and brought in $12.5 billion, or 1.4% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Saudi Arabia's fashion industry brought 1.4% of country’s GDP in 2022. — AFP/File

Raphael Simacourbe, a French influencer who also attended the fashion event on Friday, said there was nothing risque to his eyes but in the Saudi context it was a major achievement.