Just a few days after a lavish celebration of Vogue Arabia at the Museum of Muslim art in Doha, Qatar, news has surfaced that Saudi Princess Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz has been let go from her role as editor-in-chief of Vogue Arabia, which went live with its first cover featuring a veiled Gigi Hadid in March.
Clearly upset by her dismissal, Abdulaziz put in a call to Fashion Network, stating, “I didn’t leave. I was fired! And I shall be releasing a statement about what happened later today.”
Making good on her promise, Aljuhani Abdulaziz issued a statement to Business of Fashion, in which she said she was honored to be a part of establishing the Vogue brand in the Arab world. At the same time, she implied there was conflict over content. “I refused to compromise when I felt the publisher’s approach conflicted with the values which underpin our readers and the role of the editor-in-chief in meeting those values in a truly authentic way,” she wrote.
Oddly, Jonathan Newhouse, the president of Condé Nast International, was in attendance at the museum party where he spoke positively about Aljuhani Abdulaziz and described her as brilliant and glamorous.
Fashion Network described her time at the magazine as “melodramatic,” noting she complained heavily while attending the Paris couture shows about push back from Vogue for choosing to feature Hadid wearing a veil on the cover.
Brought on in July 2016, Aljuhani Abdulaziz also called out Nervora, the Dubai-based media company that publishes the magazine as part of a Vogue licensing agreement. “[Nervora is] in breach of contract and [it] shall be hearing more from my lawyers,” she said.
While Nervora owns the right to publish, as part of the agreement Vogue parent company Condé Nast retains the right to make decisions about key roles. Vogue Arabia is distributed in Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.
When contented by the Associate Press for comment, Conde Nast provided a terse statement, writing, “We will ensure you receive the announcement regarding the new editor as and when the time is right.”
On her Instagram page, Aljuhani Abdulaziz posted am Irving Penn image of cloaked women with a caption that again implied there was conflict over editorial decisions, “There is us, then there is how we are perceived,” she wrote. The comments for the post were filled with sympathetic supporters, praising the Princess not just for her aesthetic, but also her push for a diverse representation of Arab women.
Vogue Arabia’s debut cover featuring a veiled Gigi Hadid