Saudi Arabia allows supermodels to do raunchy photoshoot in Madina province

The controversial photoshoot is part of a series of changes that the kingdom has been implementing in recent years.


Saudi Arabia has fueled controversy after it was revealed that it gave permission for Vogue Arabia to perform a raunchy photoshoot of international supermodels inside the historical site of Al-Ula in the province of Al Madina.

Vogue Arabia, the Arab edition of the US-based fashion magazine, has recently released its day long campaign photoshoot for the New York-based label Mônot, which featured models such as Mariacarla Boscono, Candice Swanepoel, Amber Valletta, Xiao Wen, and Alek Wek, Kate Moss, and Jourdan Dunn.

Candice Swanepoel, Mônot Fall 2020 campaign. Photo by Luigi and Iango. Courtesy Mônot

In the photoshoot, named ‘24 hours in AlUla,’ the models were seen wearing tight dresses with thigh-slits. At the same time, they posed and walked around the UNESCO World Heritage site, known as the world’s largest open-air museum consisting of carved rock structures similar to Jordan’s Petra.

The Lebanese designer Eli Mizrahi, who organized and directed the shoot, said: “I persuaded the talent that they would recall this moment as something extra special. Kate Moss not only acted, but she was the first one on set at 5 A.M. and the last to leave.”

Candice Swanepoel, Mônot Fall 2020 campaign. Photo by Luigi and Iango. Courtesy Mônot

The nature of the shoot and the dresses worn in them are classed as immodest by many Muslims, and even though the distance of the site is around 300 kilometers from the holy city of Al Madinah Al Munawwarah, it is within the same province which many see as inappropriate for the Saudi authorities to have allowed.

Jourdan Dunn, Mônot Fall 2020 campaign. Photo by Luigi and Iango. Courtesy Mônot

The controversial photoshoot is part of a series of changes that the kingdom has been implementing in recent years to open up its economy to international tourism and modernization.

Such changes, which include the decrease in the authority of the religious police, the lifting of restrictions in gender mixing, and the abolishing of the requirement for women to wear the abaya or are also part of the Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

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Bringing to life the first ever Mônot campaign was a collaborative creative effort. So I want to give a shout out to all of the amazing, incredibly talented people who brought my vision to life. Kate the Great, you showed me just what a ⭐️ you are. You trusted me and jumped blindly into this project. You gave it your heart and soul and you were the keystone to making this campaign a success. Alek, Amber, Candice, Jourdan, Mariacarla, and Xiao Wen you embody the inclusive cross-cultural swath of empowered women that Mônot wants to dress. Thank you for flying in from all over the world to be part of this passion project. Luigi & Iango the incredible images and film you created for this campaign have a timeless beauty that pulls you in and makes you think. I know how much hard work you put into this project, but when you look at the results they have an effortless grace to them. And Carine I just want to say thank you for everything! Your sleek, chic, and sexy aesthetic dovetail perfectly with that of the Mônot woman. You are not afraid to tell it like it is, even when I don’t want to hear it. You keep me honest and you keep me focused. They say, there is no “I” in team but let me tell you there is an “I” in this!!! So last but not least I want to thank myself for going against the expected. For the drive and passion that I dedicated to this project. What I was able to achieve with my first campaign, as the founder of an emerging independent brand, is pretty fanfreakingtastic. And above all, I want to thank myself for not giving up on my dreams. It’s moments like these, when everyone thinks I’m crazy, that I push even harder. I always welcome a challenge. As my father always said, “Follow your dreams and you will never lose sight of your goals”. Mônot Autumn Winter 2020-21 Campaign Creative director: @elimizrahi Photography: @luigiandiango @2bmanagement Fashion editor: @carineroitfeld Hair: @luigimurenu Makeup: @georgisandev Models: @msalekwek, @ambervalletta , @angelcandices, @jourdandunn @katemossagency, @mariacarlaboscono @jujujuxiaowen

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What are your views on this? Share with us in the comments below.

  • what???? has Saudi Arabia lost its senses???…what the hell is going on???…whole arab is so beautiful what purpose these creature are allowed to do photoshoot in Madina????…this our Holy place…this must be stopped immediately…and all such photos be removed…it will bring nothing but anger among muslims all around the world, for Saudi Arabia…

  • Jo camera ke aankh ne khainch lia ya dikha dia wo bura hai, aur jo bund kamro mein palaces mein hota hai wo kya galat nahi?

    aur ham kon se doodh k dulhe howe hein?

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