Connect with us


Saudi Arabia hosts first-ever swimwear fashion show 



Saudi Arabia hosts first-ever swimwear fashion show

Saudi Arabia marked a significant milestone on Friday by hosting its first-ever fashion show, an event that took place poolside amid the ongoing Red Sea Fashion Week. The showcase featured models clad in an array of swimsuits, reflecting the creative vision of Moroccan designer Yasmin Qanzal. Most models sported stylish one-piece swimsuits, including monokinis and other chic beachwear. 

The event was held at the St. Regis Red Sea Resort, part of the expansive Red Sea Global development, one of the ambitious “giga-projects” under Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 initiative. Overseen by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, this vision aims to transform the country’s social and economic landscape.  

Since ascending to the role of Crown Prince in 2017, Mohammed bin Salman has championed numerous reforms, easing the stringent image of Saudi Arabia shaped by its historical adherence to Wahhabism. Among these changes are the reducing of the once-dominant religious police, the revival of cinemas, and the introduction of mixed-gender music festivals. 

Yasmin Qanzal expressed her pride in being part of this groundbreaking event, highlighting its historical significance. “It’s true that this country is very conservative,” she told media houses, “but we tried to show elegant swimsuits which represent the Arab world. 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 an event.” 

Indeed, this fashion show signifies more than just a display of clothing; it represents the broader cultural shift happening within the Kingdom. Less than a decade ago, Saudi women were required to wear body-covering abaya robes in public. Today, they are partaking in and witnessing events that would have been unthinkable in the past. 

Shouq Mohammed, a Syrian fashion influencer who attended the show, remarked that the event aligns with Saudi Arabia’s ongoing efforts to open up to the world and expand its fashion and tourism sectors. The fashion industry, in particular, has shown impressive growth, contributing $12.5 billion to the national GDP in 2022 and employing 230,000 people, as reported by the Saudi Fashion Commission. 

This inaugural swimsuit fashion show at the Red Sea Fashion Week is more than a showcase of style; it is a testament to Saudi Arabia’s evolving identity and its steps towards embracing a more open and diversified cultural landscape.