Gigi Hadid poses for the cover of the Inaugural issue of Vogue Arabia which hits newsstands March 5.

The inaugural issue of Vogue Arabia hits newsstands March 5 featuring cover model Gigi Hadid paying homage to her Middle Eastern roots.

Hadid, whose father is Palestinian, is styled in a distinctly Arabic way, wearing a beaded head veil and jewelry from Cartier. The dual sided launch cover, shot by Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, features both an English and Arabic side. The English cover features a simple, bold statement: “reorienting perceptions.”

“There’s no better first ‘face’ to lead the charge for Vogue Arabia than Gigi — a model who defines tomorrow’s entrepreneurial and dynamic generation,” said Vogue Arabia editor in chief Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz. “Vogue Arabia is a magazine with the authority and insight needed to capture the creativity of a distinctive, evolving, and often misrepresented part of the world. The collage of countries across the Arab world are long deserving of a place in fashion history.”

The long awaited Middle Eastern edition of Vogue launched digitally in October, a first for the brand which now has 22 editions worldwide. Having a regional edition of the magazine, which spans coverage and distribution across many Arab countries, is a unique challenge. The digital roll out helps reach a wide audience in a region that has one of the world’s highest Internet  penetration rates.

The print magazine will be distributed across the Gulf countries as well as Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt and international markets including London, Paris, Milan, and New York.

“The launch of Vogue Arabia is probably the most important, and exciting, magazine debuts that I’ve ever been involved with,” adds Karina Dobrotvorskaya, president of Condé Nast New Markets and editorial director, brand development. “From the very beginning we knew that we wanted to address not just a local expat community, but all fashion-savvy Arab women. It’s also why we do not just syndicate fashion shoots from different international editions of Vogue, and why we produce the shoots ourselves, specifically for our Arab audience.”

Overall Vogue Arabia creates 90 percent of the content specifically for the region, a unique strategy, noted Shashi Menon, chief executive officer of Nervora and publisher of Vogue Arabia. “This is a bold bet on the future of marquee, high-gloss content in the region,” he said.

Content in the launch issue includes fashion features under the direction of fashion director Paul Cavaco, who worked with well known photographers including Greg Kadel, Terry Tsiolis, Hans Feurer, and Ben Hassett, as well as new talents like Giovanni Squatriti and Fahren Feingold. Feature articles include interviews with Arab it-girls Amina Muaddi and Racil Chalhoub; an exclusive on Aïcha Laghzaoui Benhima’s life; portraits of up-and-coming designers from London to Sydney; the home of Lebanese interior designer Maria Oussemi, and a portfolio of iconic images of Arabia in Vogue. The magazine also features regular sections on news, beauty, travel, and art.

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