I remember the first time I saw a billboard of Vogue India’s first ever cover. I was in college then and looked at it in awe and devoured the pages from cover to cover. The cover looked glamorous and decidedly apt for the publishing giant synonymous to women empowerment. Three Bolllywood stars and three models (including Gemma Ward) represented India’s love for Bollywood and fashion. Fast forward nine years and I find myself in the same city when another Vogue’s first print cover will be launched next year in 2017. Amidst unsettling news about re-structuring the colossal publishing house, Condé Nast International announced the arrival of it’s 22nd edition to the Vogue family – the much awaited Vogue Arabia.
True to form, Vogue’s knack for choosing the right tastemaker came to play when they appointed Saudi Princess Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz as editor-in-chief. Jet-setting between the Middle East and the west, she blends both worlds seamlessly. Who better than Princess Deena to help navigate the cautious waters of modest fashion! Married into the Saudi Royal family, she is also the owner of members only exclusive boutique D’NA. As a buyer for her boutique, she is a frequent at all Fashion Weeks and according to BOF have an eye for talent. She championed the likes of Prabal Gurung, Roksanda Ilinčić, Jason Wu, Mary Katrantzou and Erdem way before these names are on every fashion-forward celebrities’ lips. She has an impeccable sense of style with the right amount of edge.
A quick look at her Instagram page will let you a peek into her encyclopedic knowledge about fashion history, movie and music. From Audrey Hepburn to Sade (listening to them while I write this :)) to Prince to Cher and of course Solange Knowles. Her D’NA website’s D’NA Muse page is filled with unlimited inspiration where vintage-y mood boards follow a short informative write-up about the muse in question such as Monica Bellucci, Wynona Rider and Jerry Hall.
Princess Deena challenges the misconceptions of the world towards Arab women. “Perhaps 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…” BOF quoted her (can she be more perfect?). This is a constant topic in my household too. The 19th Amendment to the U.S. constitution happened in the 20th century, when 45% of Kuwaiti women are working and according to an article on BBC, the team who secured the Expo2020 was lead by women in key government agencies.
I personally cannot wait to see what she will bring to Vogue Arabia.