The Arab world is one that has always placed great value on art, and with that came the value proposition of beauty. In the Arab world, beauty icons and models included Egyptian film stars Shadia, Hind Rustom, Soaad Hosny, Sabah, Yousra and Lebanese Fayrouz all considered the Arab world’s beauty pioneers.
Said women often flaunted western features, with blonde hair, and white characteristics, the beauty standards were long gone set. Moreso, men were not even included in the narrative of beauty, for men were not allowed to consider themselves in such a manner out of fear of looking vain; did men have a place on the runway or the big stage?
Nearly four decades and hundreds of discussions later, the aspirational beauty discourse now included Arab features. The formula to physical acceptance now included curly hair, dark skin and bushy brows -features common to the everyday Arab.
So, who are the Arab Models that are redefining their own beauty standards this year?
Osama Al Nasser
Born in Amman, Jordan of Palestinian descent and danish-upbringing, Osama is slowly but surely making his way in the modelling industry.
The 23-year-old made a banging entrance in this year’s Copenhagen fashion week, walking most notoriously for Baum & Holzweiler.
Since then, Osama has been noticed by Elle Denmark, who alongside Vogue Scandinavia commented on Al Nasser’s fierce runway presence.
We’re particularly enraptured by Osama; however, as he uses his background for the good of others, a model by day and politician by night, Osama continues advocating for minority ethnic groups in Denmark and has previously held such a discussion at the Danish Parliament.
The Tunisian model, currently 25 years old, first took the modelling world by storm back in 2020 after having walked for Chanel. Now Azza is slowly dominating a modelling field outside of the runway, partnering up with AloYoga and Samsung, just a couple of Silmene’s many recent editorial campaigns.
And while Silmene’s beauty and captivating presence might have initially offered her platform, Silmene utilizes said platform greatly; routinely holding important discussions on her Instagram about sexism, misogyny, mental health and more.
Of Morrocan-British heritage, Nora walked in Milan fashion week, just last week. This is a big milestone for any model trying to make a name for themselves.
Although Attal’s presence in the industry has not been long, the 23-year-old has quickly risen to be one of the industry’s most promising up-and-coming faces.
Our favourite aspect of Attal’s work, is her incorporation of both of her heritage lineages, having braved the cover of both British Vogue and Vogue Arabia, Attal’s work continues to be a reflective surface of her cultural melting pot, most noticeable in her social media activity, in which she often showcases both western and eastern cultural aspects.
Farid, of Egyptian-Lebanese-Greek Heritage, has over the past couple of years quickly become one of the most widely known Egyptian models abroad, having modelled for Vogue Arabia and Flair Magazine, Farid continues to expand her modelling portfolio by the day.
Now, Farid uses her experience in the field to help other young Egyptian girls starting out. Moreover, Farid has a unique lense experience, her photography translates stories and narratives, faces and visions.
We don’t have a doubt in our minds about the great work Farid has to offer this year.
Sharaf’s most noticeable work thus far is arguably walking the Dior Pyramids show, in early December of 2022. Of Egyptian-South African heritage, Youssef’s work continues to exude his cultural mocktails; with some of his work portraying the Egyptian countryside as well as the city and alternatively for the south African scene.
Having braved the ICONIC Magazine cover, for ‘Embrace Your Manhood’, Youssef’s face offers something new to the field, it offers a fresher aspect into the idea of Arab masculinity and a space for creativity that might not come as easily to other male models.
Alternating between Cairo and Dubai, Yackout’s work continues to real us time and time again. Although being veiled certainly offers up its own set of struggles, Yackout in spite of that fact has managed to shine above said struggles and work an impressive career on an international level.
Dior, Elle, Gucci and Hindash are just a few of the brands that Yackout has worked with in the past years, so it’s no surprise that the young talent is quickly making a name for herself, with her unique stage presence and reeling personality.