Deep in the heart of Beverly Hills, fashion history is being made. The Chanel store has recently featured a display of high-fashion mannequins wearing pink hijabs. The boutique is targeting a new audience — the wealthy Saudi shopper.
“It is about time that these brands are finally paying attention to their customer,” says Nicole Pollard Bayme, a personal shopper whose clientele includes Middle Eastern wives of businessmen, celebrities and royalty. “Now that these fashion houses are a part of big conglomerates, the money is speaking and they are becoming more savvy; these customers are their bread and butter.”
According to the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, Saudi visitors have “the highest per-trip spend of any international market in Los Angeles, with an average trip expenditure of $4,550 per person and a collective spend of $259.3 million.” Airlines are making travel even easier between Saudi Arabia and Los Angeles, offering four weekly nonstop flights, which is up 22.1% this year.