Saudi Arabia’s Controversial First-Ever Swimwear Fashion Walk Angers Muslims

This is the first time Saudi Arabia has allowed such Fashion walk.
swimwear fashion walk in saudi arabia
Image: Fayez Nureldine / AFP

For the first time in history, Saudi Arabia has allowed the first-ever swimwear fashion walk has irked many Muslims, many of whom believe that such events are inappropriate and go against the teachings of Islam, especially being the home to two holy cities, Mecca and Madinah.

The event, which marks a significant cultural shift, took place at the St. Regis Red Sea Resort during the Red Sea Fashion Week.

The fashion show featured clothes designed by Moroccan designer Yasmina Qanzal, who created one-piece swimsuits, many models were seen with exposing shoulders and partially visible midriffs, this is to be noted that Saudi Arabia once didn’t allow women to go outside of their houses without Abaya.

However, the designer called it “Her Honor” but many Muslims are finding it difficult to see such things happening.

However, for many Muslims, this development is very alarming. Saudi Arabia is home to Mecca and Medina and has a special place in the hearts of millions of Muslims around the world who visit annually for Hajj and Umrah. The display of swimwear is seen by many as a violation of Islamic teachings on modesty and decorum.

Critics argue that the reforms, Vision 2030 initiative are steering the country away from its Islamic values.

Syrian fashion influencer present at the show, Shouq Mohammed said that the broader context of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to open up to the world and expand its fashion and tourism sectors.

The show took place at the Red Sea Resort, part of Red Sea Global, a mega-project central to Vision 2030 aimed at diversifying the economy and boosting tourism. According to the Saudi Fashion Commission, the fashion industry contributed $12.5 billion to the national GDP in 2022, accounting for 1.4 percent, and employed 230,000 people.

For many devout Muslims, however, these economic gains do not justify actions they perceive as compromising the country’s Islamic principles.

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