Held from 1 – 10 December, the festival welcomed the global film industry for a celebration of cinema. With over 130 films from 61 countries showed in 41 languages, Saudi designers showcased their talent and unique designs on the world stage.
Supermodel Elle Macpherson wore a pink caped jumpsuit by Amarah, a womenswear label launched in 2019 by Saudi designer Arwa AlKadi, and accessorized with a gold satin ‘Mila’ bag with crystal-embellished buckle by Dania Shinkar, a Saudi designer who makes sustainably crafted handbags with accessible price points.
Brazilian model Alessandra Ambrosio was dressed in a striking embellished deep blue gloved-jumpsuit by designer Yousef Akbar – one of Saudi's most notable rising stars.
“Gossip Girl” star Ed Westwick was dressed in a green workwear style jacket by the Riyadh-based designer Noura Suleiman. His actress partner Amy Jackson wore a black Arwa Al Banawi dress featuring one sleeve and vivid shoulder pads.
Jacqui Ainsley, Actress and wife to Guy Ritchie, wore a white gown with dramatic thigh-high split by Dazluq, a luxury US-based label founded by Saudi designer Salma Zahran.
Saudi actress Mila Al Zahrani donned a sleek black-and-white two-piece by Riyadh-based designer Mashael Al Faris, founder of eveningwear brand Moushi.
Nathalie Fanj, Saudi Arabia-based Lebanese influencer oozed glamour in a black sleeveless floor-length gown with a two-tier puffed mermaid hem and long black opera gloves from Saudi haute couture designer Tima Abid.
While Burak Cakmak, CEO of the Fashion Commission, wore a modern take on a classic tuxedo jacket by Saudi streetwear brand Noble and Fresh.
Burak Cakmak, CEO of Saudi Arabia’s Fashion Commission, said:
“Saudi Arabia has a strong pipeline of home-grown fashion talent as the country emerges as a new creative fashion capital in the Middle East.
“Saudi designers dressing celebrities on the red carpet shows they can not only compete with the biggest international designers but also offer unique selling points.
“Their designs embody Saudi Arabia’s love of luxury, its distinctive heritage, artisanal eye for detail and intricate handmade crafts.”
The Saudi 100 Brands program is already producing fashion stars and has enjoyed global recognition this year with exhibitions in New York and at Milan Fashion Week.
It is a professional development program led by the Saudi Fashion Commission which helps emerging local talent achieve their full potential by accelerating growth and reaching new audiences. The program is for Saudi designers and brands who are looking to take their businesses to the next level.
The Saudi designers are a diverse group, aged from 20 – 70, with some educated in top international design schools while others are self-trained.
Masterclasses, workshops and one-on-one mentorship sessions are delivered by industry leaders and experts, including leading fashion houses such as LVMH, Valentino Groups, Tom Ford, Chanel Limited, and top universities and design schools such as Central Saint Martins, Royal College of Art, Bocconi, Parsons, London School of Economics and Yale.