Harper's Bazaar

The Legends of The Fall: A Letter From Our Editor

Harper’s Bazaar Arabia September 2021

BY Olivia Phillips / Sep 5 2021

Enter autumn with the power and prowess of a legendary icon – be that a person, a tale, or even something far more elusive. Olivia Phillips introduces our September issue and the formidable legends we can’t help but shout about within the pages...

Arabia has long been interwoven with legendary tales of old – from Scheherazade and One Thousand and One Nights to the Lost City of Atlantis of the Sands; each is shrouded in the fabled mystery and drama of the region itself. And while some have remained storied cultural touchstones for centuries, the Middle East certainly hasn’t wasted any time in birthing countless others along the way; new myths and legends that have found their place in the hearts of many the world over. Such is the power of Arabia’s storytelling, creativity and contribution to the global stage.
There is a certain tendency to mythologise and romanticise when it comes to new chapters, too, and we fashion folk are no strangers to shouting loudest about this when September rolls around. So much so, that the famed ‘September Issue’ has become something of a legend in its own right. Replete with the enchantment of renewal and the exhilaration of a fresh start, it’s thrilling – and it always feels important. Fashion, after all, is about so much more than just the clothes. It tells stories. Quite often, legendary ones.
So allow us to invite you to share such poetic musings with us, marvelling at what could well become legends of the future; from BVLGARI’s aptly named Magnifica collection (Mythical Pieces), Chanel’s No5 high jewellery (Romancing The Stone) and Chaumet’s Torsade creations (Twisted Tales), all leveraging the innate mysticism of precious gems to create heirlooms in-the-making.
Long-standing legends such as Armani and Umm Kulthum rub shoulders with what we predict will be new ones (Ottoman Empire, Bright Future), while elsewhere we celebrate icons of a different form altogether – namely Dubai Opera, turning five this month (Setting the Scene), and the beauty heroes that have transcended to become icons themselves. We’re looking at you again, No5.
Undeniably, though, the most important icons in the issue are the women and organisations striving to make big changes; from UN Women’s campaign for equal pay (The Curious Case of the Gender Pay Gap), to Miley Cyrus, the pop juggernaut using her platform to support vulnerable youth with her Happy Hippie Foundation. Like I said, fashion folk just love to shout about September. But with an issue like this one, can you really blame us?