Move over, Milan. Not today, New York. It’s Riyadh’s turn to shine on the global catwalk as social reforms and economic diversification across the gamut of sectors propel Saudi Arabia toward the ranks of international capitals of the fashion industry.
In July, Mohammed Ashi became the first Saudi designer to show at Paris Haute Couture Week — a leading event in the global fashion calendar — by invitation of the Federation de la Haute Couture et de la Mode.
This September, a hundred Saudi brands will head to Italy’s style capital Milan to present their designs in WHITE Milano, one of the most anticipated events during Milan Fashion Week.
The rise of Saudi fashion designers is a relatively recent development, owing in part to a host of government-sponsored initiatives, including the Ministry of Culture’s Fashion Commission, established in 2020 to lead the sector’s expansion.
Saudi fashion emerged as an important catalyst for economic growth and diversification in line with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 reform agenda, launched in 2016 to help the Kingdom branch out beyond hydrocarbons.