BoF op-ed: Middle East brand ambassadors wanted
The Business of Fashion spotlights the Middle East...
'Wanted: Arab brand ambassadors' the Business of Fashion's (BoF) latest op-ed title reads...
The new BoF piece explores the idea that the luxury industry is currently facing a catch-22 in the Middle East. Arguing that brands are encountering major obstacles casting Arab celebrities for ad campaigns and magazines.
Penned by Harper's Bazaar Arabia editor-in-chief Louise Nichol, the piece features quotes and opinions from Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz, the Saudi owner of luxury boutique D'NA and Emirati lawyer Diana Hamade.
“In the Gulf, people are extremely conservative. This is a culture that does not look highly upon people that are visible.” – Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz
"If our magazine had existed from the mid-20th century, it is likely that we would have proudly featured the many icons of Arab cinema and music between then and now. Egyptian actress Madiha Yousri, Lebanese star Amal al-Atrash (better known as Asmahan) and certainly the Cairo-based 1980s television and film star Sherihan..." Nichol begins the op-ed piece, adding: "Such women would have been a natural fit for a luxury magazine like ours but, alas, Harper's Bazaar Arabia has only been around for eight years and stars like these are not so easy to find today."
Later Nichol references the inconsistent strategies and taste, which are – in her opinion – adding to the problem. Explaining: "Lebanese superstars such as Nancy Ajram, Elissa and Haifa Wehbe have undeniable appeal, with 8.1 million Instagram followers between them. Yet the dramatic make-up, glitzy evening wear and lavish hair extensions, along with a propensity for cosmetic intervention, that remains the defining aesthetic amongst this group is an anathema to the natural elegance favoured by Western luxury brands."
Tell us what you think and read the full piece on the BoF website here.