Managing a luxury boutique in the Middle East
Last destination: the Middle East.
AN EVENT AGENCY OFFERED ME TO GO TO RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA FOR A FEW DAYS.
The proposal was surprising but I must admit that it piqued my curiosity! Go to alone, in a Middle Eastern country, Saudi Arabia, to draw during an animation for a luxury brand and make live portraits raised several questions.
- How should I behave as a Western woman traveling alone in Saudi Arabia?
- What dress code to adopt?
- Can I take public transport? How do I behave in public areas?
- And above all, how to draw a live portrait of clients who are mostly veiled, sometimes hiding their faces completely?
- I had several times the opportunity to draw Saudi women in Switzerland, at the Samaritaine or at the Bon Marché in Paris. Here, they felt free to remove their veils, but what would happen at home in the Middle East? ?
DESIGNING LIVE IN THE MIDDLE EAST, A NEW EXPERIENCE IN LUXURY BOUTIQUE ANIMATION
You just have to adapt and that’s what luxury events are all about.
Some clients were very comfortable and used to the fashion world because they were often invited to events. These women let their portraits be drawn in the store spontaneously.
For others, I accompanied them to a back room, to take their picture discreetly, before drawing their portraits live.
Finally, as everywhere else, the clients had only one desire to leave with their portrait in hand and sometimes share it on social networks.
It was an extraordinary success. Three days of intense drawing with about fifty portraits made. I really enjoyed this experience. It was hard but I learned a lot. I worked 3 days in a row until the middle of the night. Saudis often go out until 3am.
Beyond my fears, I was amazed by the safety in the streets, the energy of the youth and their openness.Luxury animation and live portraiture in Middle Eastern countries is truly an exploding market.
It was a first experience and I hope to return very soon.