While the latest issue of Vogue Arabia – June 2018, may seem for many just another Vogue edition featuring a glamorous cover, nice fashion photography and pretty dresses, it is definitely much more than that. Actually Vogue Arabia’s DRIVING FORCE issue can be regarded as an history making issue for several reasons.
To begin with, this is the first-ever Vogue edition dedicated to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a country undergoing relevant changes these days. The Vogue issue released this June is somehow symbolic & inspirational, as it celebrates the month when Saudi women start drive as driving ban for women in KSA was recently removed by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (for those who are not aware, women were not allowed to drive in KSA, yet the driving ban will be lifted on June 24).
Then, the cover star of Vogue Arabia is not an ordinary lady but a Saudi princess. Photographed by Boo George in the desert outside Jeddah, Makkah provence, the Vogue cover is featuring HRH Hayfa bint Abdullah Al Saud, daughter of the late King Abdullah.
The significance of the Vogue approach can be understood only considering the context of a very specific culture – Saudia Arabia is a unique country in the world, a place where traditionally women don’t have to work, don’t drive cars or practice sports, don’t take strong roles in society, living very private and secure lives under male guardianship laws.
“It’s easy to comment on other people’s societies and think that your own society is superior, but people must remember that each country is specific and unique,” says HRH princess Hayfa bint Abdullah Al Saud in the Vogue interview. “We have strengths and weaknesses but, invariably, it’s our culture, and it’s better to try to understand it than to judge it.”
The Vogue Arabia June issue is truly a celebration of pioneering Saudi women featuring a series of role models of the region such as Manal al-Sharif, a prominent exponent of women’s rights movement, Saja Kamal, a footballer working towards establishing the Kingdom’s first-ever women’s football team to take to the FIFA World Cup, actress Ahd Kamel, the first Saudi star to appear in a Netflix series, Saudi supermodel Shanina Shaik, and so on.
Vogue Arabia cover June 2018 / Photo: Boo George / Fashion director: Katie Trotter / Hair: Talal Tabbara / Makeup: Petros Petrohilos at Streeters using MAC Cosmetics.