Yemen’s First Children’s Fashion Show Eat Your Hearts Out, Roma Fashion Houses [Archives:1997/52/Culture]

December 29 1997

As loud speakers blared out the Macarina, cameras clicked, parents and guests clapped, little kids not more than 12 years old and tiny tots as young as 5 confidently moved down the catwalk, exhibiting the latest Benetton fashions. The place is the Taj Sheba Hotel, Sanaa, and the date is Friday, December 26th. The first ever children’s fashion show in Yemen is in full swing. The judge Mr. Shabeel Khambatta, the KLM Station Manager in Sanaa, closely observed and noted down the kids’ performance. Coming from the Azal Al-Wadi School, the Yemen Modern School, and the Indian Embassy School, the kids exhibited quite a lot of self-confidence, worthy of their adult counterparts.
“It took us one month of practice to get the children at such a good level, considering that it was a time of term exams,” said Ms. Maha Al-Kholeidy, a fashion designer and the show’s organizer, while preparing one of the children for her next appearance. “The younger children were more receptive to the instructions,” she said, “while the older ones got bored easily, thinking they got it from the first try.”
On average, each one of the nine children who took part made six appearances, wearing six different outfits. “We had to go through changing 132 different pieces of clothing,” explained an exhausted Maha at the end of the show. In addition to the prizes presented by the Taj, the children got to keep the outfits they wore during the show. Wow! Lucky little devils! To top the afternoon, the famous “Jurassic Park” was shown to the children on a giant screen supplied by Sony’s sole agent in Yemen: Al-Haidary. Thrilled and excited by the pre-historic monsters, the little ones munched away at their popcorn. “It is pure fun for the whole family,” said Mr. Shankar the Taj’s sales manger, after acting as the shows M.C. “We hope this will be the beginning of similar events in the future,” he added.
Adel J. Moqbil, Yemen Times