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A non-profit trade association to help “connect and protect” Saudi Arabia’s fashion industry launched this month. The Saudi Style Council will focus on celebrating and boosting the kingdom’s growing creative sector, says founder Marriam Mossalli.

The fashion consultant and author of Under the Abaya: Street Style from Saudi Arabia says: “We have always had a creative industry, but we have not been able to go over the water because we have been closed off for many years. With the Saudi Style Council, we wanted to build something that would become a connector and a resource platform for creatives.”

The council will be a one-stop shop for the fashion industry, and will have the access and contacts to help creatives in the style sphere.

“If you are a company, agency or brand that wants to work with creatives, we’ll send you a bunch of photographers, creative directors or models, and you can connect with them directly. If you have zero to three years as a stylist, [we’ll tell you] the amount you should charge. Or if as a creative director, you don’t know how much to charge, this is when you go to the council.

“We want to provide a reference point,” Mossalli says. “One of the things that Saudi lacks is that reference point because it’s such a green industry.”

The council will also serve to protect Saudi talent. “They are young and enthusiastic, but need guidance. So it’s the responsibility of the older generation of Saudis, like myself, who have worked abroad and who have the experience, to guide them,” she says. “The other day we did a shoot with Saudi creatives for a magazine and the editor decided not to credit the make-up artist. The artist told us, we called the editor immediately and they eventually changed their decision. The new talents need that voice, they need that support, and that is what the Saudi Style Council is all about.”