History Is Made at Saudi Arabia’s First Swimsuit Fashion Event

A landmark event occurred in the Muslim nation of Saudi Arabia on Friday when a swimsuit fashion display with models appeared. Prior to this, ladies were expected to cover their bodies with abaya robes.

The St. Regis Red Sea Resort, which is located off the western coast of Saudi Arabia, hosted the event on the second day of the first Red Sea Fashion Week. The resort is a component of Red Sea Global, one of the massive undertakings at the center of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 social and economic reform initiative in Saudi Arabia.

The majority of the one-piece suits in blue, beige, and red hues were on display beside the pool. The majority of models had bare shoulders, while a few had some skin showing around their midriffs. Moroccan designer Yasmina Qanzal told news agency AFP, “It’s true that this country is very conservative, but we tried to show elegant swimsuits that represent the Arab world.” “Coming here, we realized that this is the first swimsuit fashion show in Saudi Arabia, as it is a historic occasion,” she said, calling her participation “an honor.”

A number of significant social changes have been launched by Prince Mohammed, who took the throne in 2017, in an effort to temper the harsh perception of Saudi Arabia that has resulted from its long support of Wahhabism, a strict interpretation of Islam. These have included bringing back theaters and arranging festivals with mixed-gender music, as well as eliminating the stick-wielding religious police who used to drive males out of shopping centers so they could pray. They have occurred in tandem with increased repression aimed at opposing voices, especially those of conservative priests who may object to these actions.

Attending Friday’s event was Syrian fashion influencer Shouq Mohammed, who said it was not unexpected considering Saudi Arabia’s efforts to become more globalized and expand its tourism and fashion industries. Based on a study released by the official Saudi Fashion Commission last year, the fashion sector in 2022 employed 230,000 people and brought in $12.5 billion, or 1.4 percent of the country’s GDP. “This bikini fashion exhibition is a first for Saudi Arabia, but why not? Really, however, why not? stated Mohammed. “We have proof that it is possible here.”

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