The luxury landscape has witnessed a discernible shift as fashion powerhouses scan the globe for growth opportunities. In the quest for fresh demographics, key players like Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci, among others, have flocked to previously uncharted markets, strengthening their presence with strategic fashion shows and targeted collections.
This rings especially true in the Middle East, where consumers have demonstrated an insatiable appetite for luxury, fuelled by unmatched spending power. The notoriously hesitant European Maisons are finally shining the spotlight on the region with spectacular fashion shows set amidst desert dunes, exclusive collections tailored to Middle Eastern shoppers, and famous Arab faces fronting their multi-million dollar campaigns. To forge deeper, meaningful connections with Middle Eastern consumers, luxury brands are tapping the most impactful Arab names in showbiz to champion their cause.
Only a decade ago, in 2012, Tunisian model Hanaa Ben Abdesslem sent shockwaves through the industry when she was appointed as the face of Lancôme—a groundbreaking first for an Arab woman. Since then, numerous Arab women have followed suit, bagging the rights to represent esteemed international labels. Once devoid of Middle Eastern presence, the luxury realm now boasts a swiftly-expanding roster of Arab brand ambassadors.
In 2023, Dior cemented its relationship with the Middle East with the addition of Ahmed Malek as its first Middle East ambassador for men’s fashion and fragrances. The Egyptian actor will be the face of Kim Jones’ vision in the region.
In 2023, Bassel Khaiat made history as the first Middle Eastern man to represent Bulgari. The prestigious Roman jewelry tapped the Syrian actor to be its face in the region.
CYNTHIA SAMUEL BAKRI
Earlier this year, Canadian-born Lebanese actress Cynthia Samuel Bakri was appointed as the inaugural Dior Skincare Ambassador for the Middle East. Admired for her effortless grace and advocacy of a holistic approach to beauty, she embodies Dior Skincare’s central ideologies of simplicity and sustainability, making her the perfect choice to represent the brand.
HUDA EL MUFTI
One of the latest to join the Arab brand ambassadors’ squad, Egyptian actress Huda El Mufti, was announced as the face of Bulgari in the Middle East in 2023.
With eight million Instagram followers and counting, Dubai-based entrepreneur and content creator Karen Wazen is one of the most influential names in fashion worldwide. In 2022, Wazen made a strong case for Middle Eastern representation with her appointment as the face of Roberto Cavalli’s global campaign and Guerlain’s ambassador, all in the same year.
MILA AL ZAHRANI
In 2022, Boucheron approached young Saudi actress Mila Al Zahrani to be its ambassador in the Middle East – a role she has ardently embraced ever since. Starring in the French Maison’s campaigns and representing the brand at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, Zahrani and Boucheron are a match made in jewelry heaven.
Earlier this year, the legendary Lebanese singer Nancy Arjam became the face of the iconic American jeweler Tiffany & Co. Following the footsteps of global stars like Anya Tayler-Joy, Gal Gadot, and Beyoncé, Arjam will go down in history as the first Arab woman to hold the coveted post.
British-Lebanese actress Razane Jammal has shared a special relationship with Dior, which was converted into an official partnership in 2022, commemorating her as the French Maison’s Womenswear Ambassador in the Middle East.
SALMA ABU DEIF
Egyptian actress Salma Abu Deif is a Valentino girly. Crowned as the Italian house’s ambassador two years in a row, Abu Deif frequently dazzles in Pierpaolo Piccioli’s stunning designs and is often spotted in the front row at Valentino shows.
Egyptian model and actress Tara Emad is the luxury world’s favorite girl. After holding a role as an ambassador for Cartier for over a year, Emad recently embarked on a new venture with Chanel as its first Middle East ambassador for fragrances and beauty.
One of the longest standing Arab brand ambassadors, Yasmine Sabri–who first appeared in a ‘Panthère de Cartier’ campaign in 2020–has maintained her role as Cartier’s ambassador for over three years. With her timeless beauty and magnetic presence, Sabri effortlessly embodies the spirit of Cartier, further solidifying her status as one of the region’s most esteemed celebrities.