DUBAI —The new Roberto Cavalli campaign featuring Lebanese digital entrepreneur Karen Wazen will be unveiled in February. Wazen, who is Lebanese but based in Dubai, has an audience of more than 12 million across her social media platforms. She is also an entrepreneur, having launched her eyewear brand in 2018 and a gaming app last year.
Clad in the brand’s signature animal print, the campaign shot in Paris earlier this year portrays Wazen embodying the new brand codes of empowered confidence and modern glamour. “We are extremely excited to welcome Karen to the Cavalli family. Her liberated spirit and glamorous style embodies the iconic Cavalli universe. We are proud to kickstart our collaboration together with a campaign that celebrates the core Cavalli fragrance pillars, which are the epitome of femininity and bring together a melody of notes inspired by our Italian heritage,” said Roberto Cavalli creative director Fausto Puglisi.
This is the first time Cavalli has partnered with an ambassador from the Middle East. “Living in this region and being Arab, sometimes we feel these opportunities aren’t available to us,” Wazen told WWD. “I was really happy and had to read the email twice when they contacted me for this global campaign. It’s a win for a lot of people. When I see an Arab woman doing something on a global level, it’s always a moment of pride for me. I hope other people see this as a source of inspiration.”
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Wazen is known for both her style and her family life. Her husband and three young children feature prominently on her Instagram account, where she shares glimpses into life as a working mom, wife, sister and entrepreneur. She says while fans are attracted to her sunny disposition and authenticity, this campaign in particular shows a slightly different side of her. “Cavalli is a heritage brand that I grew up knowing and admiring. When I think of the Cavalli woman, it’s how I perceive myself on the inside. It’s my fierce alter ego. She’s the woman that exists in me but I want to bring out more.”
Choosing Wazen as the global face of the brand, whose core audience is based in the Middle East, particularly Egypt and Saudi Arabia, is a nod to the importance of the Arab consumer. Beatrice Puglisi, global marketing director for Roberto Cavalli Fragrances at Coty, (who is no relation to the designer) said, “Middle East and Africa represents more than 10 percent of the global fragrance market for the industry. That’s $5.5 billion and it’s growing. People in the Middle East are true fragrance experts and the demand for premium fragrance is really high.”
Wazen, whose core audience are women between the ages of 18 to 34, also attracts a youthful audience for the brand. “The objective of this campaign is to build a stronger relationship with our consumers, to communicate and develop a more emotional link between the brand and our consumers,” said Beatrice Puglisi. “It is so important for us to work with someone who can really embody that sense of community. She is more than a beautiful face. She is a very real person like you and me who has something to share and something to say. We weren’t looking for a specific nationality but a strong personality who can embody all the values of the brand. Working with an influencer like Karen brings us closer to our consumers.”