You might not yet know the face of Taleedah Tamer, but you soon will. Having landed her first international magazine cover for Harper’s Bazaar Arabia’s July/August issue, Taleedah is also the first Saudi couture model, making her catwalk debut during Paris Haute Couture Week this summer. Her beauty, whilst not unique in the Middle East, is something rarely seen in the world of fashion, under-represented on both catwalks and magazine covers.
Recognising and celebrating the individual is at the heart of Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, and over the last 11 years we’ve taken great pride in elevating the profiles of women throughout Arabia, serving as a launch pad for their voices and visions. For 18-year-old Saudi model Taleedah Tamer, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia serves as the starting point of her embryonic career, as we harness the strength and individuality of her beauty. A potent mix of her mother Cristina’s Italian DNA combined with that of her Saudi father, defines Taleedah’s allure, where distinct Arab features marry with Italian exoticism. “I have quite strong features, which I really love,” Taleedah says, “In the beginning I thought that was a flaw, but once I learned how to understand my face and what works in pictures, I realised that my strong features are what I love the most.”
Dress, Antonio Grimaldi Couture A/W18-19. Amazonia earrings, Dhs228,100; Amazonia ring, Dhs170,900, both Nadine Jewellery. Sunglasses, Dhs3,670, Pomellato
Growing up in Jeddah, the western province of the Kingdom and a beautiful melting pot of various ethnicities, Taleedah wasn’t alone in her feelings of being under-represented throughout culture, but in particular fashion. “When I was younger, it didn’t cross my mind not to see Saudi women on magazine covers or in fashion shoots, but as I got older, I thought ‘why do these women not look like me?’ And why can modelling not be done in a way that’s respectful of our culture? Obviously it hasn’t been that prevalent to see Saudi women in this way, so being one of the first makes you representative of a larger community, and there’s a lot of pressure that comes with that,” Taleedah tells Bazaar.
Talledah Tamer wears: Dress, Antonio Grimaldi Couture A/W18-19. Scarf, stylist’s own. Sunglasses, Dhs525, Vogue Eyewear. HH Prince Faisal Bin Bandar Al Saud wears: Suit, Dhs8,675; shirt, Dhs2,460, both Dolce & Gabbana
“When I first started modelling I never thought that I’d be the ‘first Saudi model’, but it seems like the perfect time for the industry to open up. I want to represent Saudi women who are strong and beautiful.”
Taleedah Tamer wears: Dress, Antonio Grimaldi Couture A/W18-19. Rouh earrings (top), Dhs8,620; Aurora earrings (bottom), Dhs14,500; Vetrate ring, Dhs93,722, all Nadine Jewellery. Gloves, Dhs2,164, Elisabetta Franchi
Saudi people cannot be defined by stereotype, topography or look and they are ready to show the world the different faces of the Kingdom and to embrace them all. As a model, Taleedah combines her Saudi heritage with an international perspective that represents the true globalisation of fashion. She also showcases a more authentic and multi-dimensional portrait of Saudi style, and the elusive fashion scene within the Kingdom; the one only known to Saudi women. The one under the abaya.
After all, beauty should transcend culture, race and convention and we hope that by debuting Taleedah Tamer, the first Saudi couture model, we break new ground and bring the world one step closer to acceptance and unity.
Taleedah wears: Dress and gloves, Antonio Grimaldi Couture A/W18-19. Hat, Dhs1,820, Antica Manifattura Cappelli by Patrizia Fabri. Pearl necklace, made-to-order, Nadine Jewellery
Photographer: Stefania Paparelli at Martin Weston Management
Stylist: Gemma Deeks
Hair: Giovanni Iovino
Make-up: Arianna Campa at Close Up Milano
Producer: Claudia Di Mascolo
Casting Director: Marriam Mossalli of Niche Arabia
Digi tech: Paolo Gerina
Photography assistants: Luca Filoni and Tommaso De Dona
Videographer: Riccardo Riande
Music: Constellate by Fleurie
With thanks to Hotel de Russie and Teatro Salone Margherita