Vogue Arabia is scheduled to launch this fall, and at the helm of the publication is Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz, a fashion icon who manages a seamless fusion of eastern and western styles. And it sounds like she is ready for this next step, particularly in her region of the world. “The Arab world consists of 350 million people, and they never had a Vogue,” she said in an interview with the Financial Times. “The time has come, and it has been a long time coming.”
In partnership with Dubai-based digital media company Nervora, Condé Nast will initially launch the dual language publication online in Arabic and English, which will be followed by a print version in the spring of 2017. In the meantime, here’s what we have learned about the global icon.
She is the founder of the Saudi based fashion boutique, D’NA
D’NA is a powerful expression of cultures through the arts and fashion, and is recognized as an independent fashion voice in the Middle East and on the international scene. Abdulaziz established the boutique’s flagship store in Riyadh in 2006 and set up its second Doha location in 2013. D’NA is exclusively a members-only store, which helps to set it apart from its competitors. In an interview with Style Arabia, she highlights the importance of this differentiation. “Because we’re a members-only store, the services we offer are quite unique. Many of the designers or collections we carry are exclusive to us. We offer bespoke services such as placing direct orders for clients, as well as having specific customers in mind when placing orders for our store and being alert to certain preferences that they may have. In fact, sometimes we only have one piece of one style by any given designer, with a specific customer in mind. On an appointment basis, we’re also able to close the store for a client free-of-charge so that she may enjoy a private and customized shopping experience.”
She is a royal wife and mother on the move
Her Royal Highness wed Saudi Prince Prince Abdulaziz Bin Nasser Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and is a mother to a girl and twin boys. While she remains a devoted wife and mother, her personality is far removed from the stereotypical association one may have with royalty. Not only is she a fashion entrepreneur, she is also a strong advocate of rising talent and actively supports their ambitions. On the list are Nepalese designer Prabal Gurung and Taiwanese born designer Jason Wu. Others include Roksanda, Mary Katrantzou, Erdem and Osman. In her new role, she will be responsible for raising the profile of Arab talent through an annual endowment for promising fashion and design talent in the Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) region.
She remains a voice for all Arab women
Behind the Abayas and Hijabs are the latest fashion trends waiting to be unveiled through Vogue Arabia, of course with respect to the culture and religious customs. According to the Financial Times, Abdulaziz’s fashion sense was inspired and influenced by her mother, whom she describes as the “chicest woman she knows.” She continues to use platform to challenge negative perceptions and misconceptions of the Arab world and celebrate women in the region. “Outside of our region there’s an underlying assumption that Middle Eastern women aren’t empowered, when we actually have a long history of accomplishments — though those stories don’t surface often enough. One particular aim we have is that Vogue Arabia will play a role in elevating these stories to the global stage through the medium and lens of fashion and culture.”
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