Making Fashion History: the Debut of Vogue Arabia
Vogue Arabia released its debut issue across digital platforms earlier this March, much to the surprise and excitement of the fashion world. Featuring model Gigi Hadid (who is half-Palestinian) as the issues's first-ever covergirl, Editor-in-Chief Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz explains “in one poised photograph, she communicates a thousand words to a region that’s been waiting far too long for its [own] Vogue voice to speak" (Vogue Arabia).
According to an article published by Vogue UK, the late architect Zaha Hadid was initially intended to share the cover with Gigi, with the ultimate intention of featuring "two women aware and proud of their Arabic identity coming together to celebrate the diversity of Arab women."
The arrival of Vogue Arabia holds precedence on multiple fronts. According to the publication's official site: "it is the first Vogue to break onto the market in digital prior to print, it is the Middle East’s first premium fashion publication in two languages, and the first Vogue to represent an entire region. The March issue, entitled 'Reorienting Perceptions,' features established and up-and-coming designers, high fashion styled with modest flair, and luxury lifestyle insights from across the Middle East with a unique Arabic twist on global high-fashion reportage" (Vogue Arabia).
Vogue Arabia will function as a much needed mouthpiece for the creative insight and contributions of a region and people that have long been overlooked in the world of fashion, culture and the arts. The issue will seek to represent an aesthetic vision that encompasses an array of countries and nationalities in the Middle East, while remaining conscious of the cultural expectations and traditions of the region.
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