The Saudi Fashion Commission has announced plans to debut its first Fashion Week in Riyadh, the nation’s capital, to be staged from October 20 to 23.
The announcement marks the latest move by the state-run Saudi Fashion Commission, which this past weekend opened a major four-day showroom in Paris entitled Saudi 100 Brands.
Staged inside the central Paris museum, La Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, the event featured five scores of established marques and burgeoning talent to highlight the latest from the current Saudi fashion scene. The showroom featured women’s, men’s and unisex ready-to-wear and accessories collections – ranging from streetwear to evening wear, most of which was sourced and manufactured in Saudi.
“Saudi fashion brands have already participated in Paris and Milan fashion weeks to showcase their talent on the global stage, impressing fashion professionals and enthusiasts around the world. For the first time ever, we now invite the fashion community to our home during this historic event. Saudi is on its way to becoming the next international fashion destination,” said Burak Çakmak, CEO of the Saudi Fashion Commission, in a release.
Saudi Arabia did host a fashion season back in April 2018, but this was a private initiative, with shows restricted to women only audiences. However, the upcoming October season is expected to be a much more lavish affair, given that it is backed by the official Saudi Fashion Commission.
Established two years ago, the Saudi Fashion Commission is part of a state-wide effort to ramp up artistic and cultural production in Saudi Arabia, and includes departments for fine arts, design, film, music and theatre. All of which is part of a massive long-term project named Saudi Vision 2030 to grow and diversify the economy of a country with an extremely young population.
According to the commission, Saudi Arabia’s fashion industry holds the largest projected growth rates of any other large, high–income market, citing a “State of Fashion in the Kingdom 2023” report.
From 2021 to 2025, retail fashion sales in Saudi are expected to surge 48% to $32 billion, representing an annual growth rate of 13%. This growth is expected to be fueled by the Kingdom’s economic expansion and growing population with apparel, accessories, footwear and luxury goods poised for significant gains. The value of luxury fashion purchases in the GCC hit $9.6 billion in 2021, with Saudi Arabia posting a 19% growth, the commission also noted.
Next week in France, the commission will be busy again during the Paris haute couture season when it will stage a salon featuring Saudi designers such as Mona Alshebil , Hindamme, Charmaleena, Chador, Atelier Hekayat and Abadia, inside the Hotel Marcel Dassault from October 3 to 5.
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