A Kingdom without catwalks? Saudi Arabia bans fashion shows

Published June 3rd, 2015 - 08:51 GMT
Al Bawaba
Al Bawaba

The Saudi Council of Chambers has banned companies and independent designers from organizing fashion shows to promote their fashion designs or products, Al-Watan reported.

A source said the council issued the new ban after multiple fashion shows were organized without a license from their respective chambers of commerce.

He said: “There has been negligence in the past few months from the chambers of commerce in the Kingdom.

“Multiple fashion shows were organized without licensing and the chambers of commerce did not bother to issue violations against the organizers.”

Nabil Al-Salih, a male model who will be affected by the decision, said a regional fashion design company recently organized an event showcasing its new designs.

He said: “Modeling is a new field to our culture but the audience was very welcoming to our efforts as models in the show.

“Modeling is not just a hobby of mine; I have turned it into a profession. “There are many guys out there like who see they have the right body type, attitude and charisma to make it as models in the fashion industry.”

Mohammad Al-Muhaisin, male model, said modeling is a very profitable profession.

He said: “There are a lot of Gulf companies hiring Saudi male models to showcase their designs and products.

“Saudi models started as a hobby but we turned it into a profession after we saw the high demand in the industry.”

Saeed Al-Shahid said he moonlights as a model as he works full time at a private company.

He said: “I participate as a model in fashion shows organized by Saudi fashion designers in the Kingdom, the Gulf region or other Arab countries. Modeling is my true passion and I do wish for the day when I get to be a model full time.”

Raed, Saudi fashion designer, said modeling may be new for the Saudi society but it is not new to the Saudi models themselves.

He said: “If you browse through some of the international fashion names and catalogs you will see Saudi models showcasing their work.

“Some Saudi models such as Thamer Al-Shammary, Dhahi Al-Ali, Mohammad Al-Mayman and Ahmad Al-Sultan have modeled for European companies.”

Samer Rabie, modeling and fashion enthusiast, said he was not happy with the council’s decision to ban fashion shows in the Kingdom.

He said: “Modeling is a new field to Saudi society. It is too early for Saudi models to take up modeling as a full time profession and it will have to remain as a hobby for now.

“But the demand for male models is very high and their hobby will become their profession sometime in the near future.”

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