Saudi Arabia's first fashion week kicks off for women only

Signs prepared ahead of the opening ceremony of the Arab Fashion Week at Ritz Carlton hotel in the Saudi capital Riyadh. (Fayez Nureldine, AFP)
Signs prepared ahead of the opening ceremony of the Arab Fashion Week at Ritz Carlton hotel in the Saudi capital Riyadh. (Fayez Nureldine, AFP)

Saudi Arabia has kicked off its first-ever fashion week with designs by Middle Eastern, Brazilian, US and Russian designers, as well as shows by internationally renowned labels Roberto Cavalli and Jean Paul Gaultier.

In line with Saudi cultural norms and rules on gender segregation, the catwalks are open to women-only and no outside cameras are allowed to film inside.

Still, the event marks the latest turnaround for a country that for decades has been ruled by ultraconservative dogma.

While the kingdom has held fashion shows in the past, they have mostly been tied to charitable causes and did not include big names in the industry.

The catwalks kicked off on Thursday and run until Saturday, when – in another first – the fashion week will conclude with a Russian ballet performance for a women's-only audience.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When a Covid-19 vaccine for under 16's becomes available, will you be taking your children to get it?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, immediately!
38% - 3226 votes
I'll wait to see how others respond
26% - 2219 votes
No, I don't think they need it
36% - 3113 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
14.92
(+0.18)
ZAR/GBP
20.85
(+0.10)
ZAR/EUR
18.05
(+0.04)
ZAR/AUD
11.69
(-0.36)
ZAR/JPY
0.14
(+0.28)
Gold
1734.53
(+0.62)
Silver
26.72
(+0.88)
Platinum
1208.00
(+1.85)
Brent Crude
63.29
(-1.13)
Palladium
2374.50
(+1.28)
All Share
68510.75
(+1.44)
Top 40
63104.70
(+1.61)
Financial 15
12568.48
(+0.90)
Industrial 25
89150.72
(+1.21)
Resource 10
70539.82
(+2.28)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo