Saudi Arabia: Fighting immodesty in a developing retail hotspot

Saudi Arabia has increasing conservative regulations around runway shows, and events and images where models may be seen. Conversely, is one of the most important developing fashion retail markets.


The Economist reports:

But officials are fighting a losing battle: Saudis will continue to strut their stuff on or off the catwalk. The kingdom comes 17th in this year’s Global Retail Development Index, a ranking of the hottest developing markets by AT Kearney, a consultancy. Flashy shoes, sunglasses and handbags are especially popular since these are the bits women can show off in public. Sales of racy lingerie, which is invisible under an abaya, are sizzling.
Men were banned from shows with female models, as were cameras. Much of what women modelled there were designer abayas. With or without the catwalk, this is a growing industry: the Wahhabi-approved garb comes in ever more designs, materials and bright colours to suit every occasion. 

Read the full article here.

How do such laws and customs effect models as workers? Have you worked in Saudia Arabia? Would you?