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Historic Swimsuit Fashion Show Marks Shift in Saudi Arabia’s Cultural Norms

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A historic swimsuit fashion show took place in Saudi Arabia, marking a significant cultural shift in the country’s norms. The event was hosted as part of the inaugural Red Sea Fashion Week at the luxurious St. Regis Red Sea Resort.

The fashion show showcased a range of swimsuit designs that were previously unthinkable in the conservative country. Models flaunted styles with exposed shoulders, partially revealing midriffs, and plunging necklines, defying traditional restrictions.

The main highlight of the event was the collection by Moroccan designer Yasmina Qanzal, featuring elegant swimwear that included one-pieces with deep V-cuts, off-shoulder designs, bandeau tops, and various sarongs.

Yasmina Qanzal expressed the significance of the event, noting that it represented a historic moment in Saudi Arabia’s fashion landscape. The showcase aimed to embody the essence of the Arab world while introducing modern and sophisticated swimwear.

The fashion industry in Saudi Arabia has been rapidly expanding, contributing significantly to the national GDP and providing employment opportunities. The growth of the industry aligns with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 reform program.

Vision 2030 aims to position Saudi Arabia as a global hub for fashion and culture, diversifying the economy and promoting various sectors. Bin Salman has spearheaded numerous initiatives to modernize Saudi society, including reforms in entertainment, sports, and fashion.

Despite the progress, bin Salman’s leadership continues to face scrutiny, particularly over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. The incident strained the relationship between the U.S. and Riyadh, highlighting the complexities of the kingdom’s transformation under bin Salman’s rule.

Rachel Adams

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