Ironically the growing fashion industry in the Middle East is poised to drive women through the proverbial glass ceiling. According to After White, key in the effort toward re-empowering the female population is the Arab Fashion Council. The ambitious goals of this non-profit organization include positioning the region as an important leader in the international fashion scene by the year 2030. It is anticipated that 20 million jobs for women will be secured as a result of building a sustainable fashion infrastructure in the Arab world.

Recently hired by NOWFASHION on behalf of the Arab Fashion Council, American born, Paris-based fashion photographer, Kristy Sparow, was the solo photographer at the end of Saudi Arabia’s first-ever runway event in Riyadh. This allowed her special access to a large sold-out, women-only event.

As Sparow told us, “Over the course of four days, I became as excited about the impact of a growing fashion industry in the Middle East, as the women attending the event.” She continued, “What I very much like about the AFC is their long-term vision to have the fashion industry become a pillar for a regional creative economy, and their humanitarian interest to promote peace through fashion.”

By way of the Arab Fashion Council, Saudi’s Crown Prince intends to also have the fashion industry expand jobs in the private sector, expand tourism to become a more metropolitan country, and help reform the region’s dependence on oil. It is worth noting that the AFC is the largest non-profit organization in the world representing the fashion sector of 22 Arab countries.

The U.S. based online fine art photography business,, also owned by Sparow, provides a web presence for creative professional photographers worldwide to present work considered relevant to today’s collectors. Sparow concluded, “After this important first-step experience, I now want to use After White in a way that supports the AFC and the development of woman’s businesses in Saudi Arabia.”

We can only hope that this new glow of respect for women now happening around the world, will be quickly followed by a tsunami of global sentiment to also heal racial divides and religious persecutions, to find global standards of care for those less fortunate, and to address the planet’s climate concerns. Tic-toc.


Published by After White Gallery