There was nothing more exciting, and seriously rewarding, than witnessing the joy of actor Rami Malek when he arrived at our set and realized that the entire production team for his Vogue Man Arabia cover shoot was composed of young Egyptian creatives. Born in the US, but son of Egyptian parents, Malek is extremely proud of his origins. In return, the region could not be more in love with the Oscar-winning star, celebrated for his chameleonic, high-intensity performances. If you ask me, he is the best James Bond villain to date. But Malek is eager to share the spotlight with his fellow Arab contemporaries. In his interview on page 58, Malek comments, “Sam Esmail is also a visionary that remains at the top of the list for me, Arab or otherwise. His storytelling prowess and ingenuity, as well as his ability to write and direct with a singular, revolutionary vision, really sets him apart. His influence continues to inform and impact the way I work. I also have a longtime affection for the intimate, emotional, and very powerful storytelling of Nadine Labaki, Hany Abu-Assad, and Elia Suleiman. Their films resonate and linger with me long after I’ve watched them.”
If you are a man that loves fashion – not just clothes, but fearless fashion – this month we have good news. In the latest couture presentations, we observed the rise of fashion’s highest expression, but now offered to men. Established houses – both women’s and men’s – increased their offerings; the Dolce & Gabbana Alta Sartoria show in Sicily counted 150 no-holds-barred menswear looks, while in Paris, Elie Saab debuted its first-ever couture for men. The collection featured tailored suits paired with majestic capes. On page 78 we take a closer look at this exciting new chapter in fashion. One of the most powerful stories of this issue is a long read on page 88, analyzing how some countries deprive their people of internet access during moments of social uprising. The recent turmoil in Iran saw loss of connectivity following the killing of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested and reportedly beaten in Tehran by the “morality police” for not wearing her hijab properly. This is one of the latest examples of what the UN Human Rights Office defines as a violation of human rights. It is not an isolated case, as reports state that governments intentionally shut down the internet 182 times across 34 countries in 2021. These are the stories that really make me refl ect on how inhumane our world can be. While I’m still searching for what I can individually do to change this, there is one thing I’m sure of: a big social revolution should happen very soon.