Surfing Girl And She Lived Happily Ever After poster, canvas
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A committee of creatives, from models and make-up artists to brand consultants, are the backbone of the council. “Everyone from a novice to someone with 20 years of experience is in it,” Mossalli says. “It’s very collaborative. I would like to say it’s made by the creatives for the creatives.”
Mossalli is also in the final stages of securing an endorsement from the Ministry of Culture, which she hopes will come through before the end of the year. “We need to make it a real grassroots organisation, like the British Fashion Council or the CFDA [Council of Fashion Designers of America]. It has to be something organic,” she says.
Under the abaya
An entrepreneur, Mossalli was educated in the US and moved back to Jeddah in 2007 to begin her career as a journalist. In 2010, she founded Niche Arabia, a communications company to cater to Saudi fashion, then an insular and scattered industry with little interest from the rest of the world. Today, along with fashion, her company works with some of the biggest government organisations to promote entertainment in Saudi Arabia. Last year, she helped organised MDL Beast, the first music festival of its kind in Riyadh, featuring performances by prominent regional and international DJs.
But it is her 2018 coffee-table book, Under the Abaya: Street Style from Saudi Arabia, that Mossalli is most proud of, a second edition of which was launched on September 23, on Saudi Arabia’s National Day, after a successful digital pre-launch in June. “For too long Saudi Arabia has taken the passenger seat, especially with the media dictating how we are portrayed. And I wanted to give women the opportunity to be the narrators,” she says.