Saudi Arabia has hosted its first-ever fashion show where women model for swimsuits without covering their heads.


The poolside show was held on Friday during the inaugural Red Sea Fashion Week at the St. Regis Red Sea Resort.

Influenced heavily by its adherence to Islamic law, Saudi Arabia is one of the most conservative countries in terms of women’s fashion.

In public, women are traditionally expected to wear the abaya, a loose-fitting black cloak, with a headscarf to cover their hair.


Although Saudi Arabia has gradually seen reforms allowing freedom in dressing and reducing the enforcement of strict dress codes, social expectations and cultural norms still maintain a conservative approach to women’s fashion, particularly in public and formal settings.

The Red Sea Fashion Week swimwear show featured the summer beachwear collection by Moroccan designer Yasmina Qanzal.

The collection included mostly one-piece swimsuits in shades of red, beige and blue.


The Arabian models had exposed shoulders while some had their midriffs partially visible.

Qanzal, a media report state, said it was “an honour” to be a part of such a historic fashion moment in the country.

“This country is very conservative but we tried to show elegant swimsuits which represent the Arab world,” the designer said.

“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.”


The Red Sea Fashion Week is part of the Red Sea Global project, a cornerstone of Saudi’s Vision 2030 social and economic reform plan.

The programme, championed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, aims to modernise Saudi Arabia and diversify its economy beyond oil.

Mohammed, who became first in line to the throne in 2017, has since initiated a series of social reforms in the country.

Those changes include re-introducing cinemas and organising mixed-gender music festivals.


Copyright 2024 TheCable. All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from TheCable.

Follow us on twitter @Thecablestyle