Sonia Ben Ammar rules catwalk at D&G’s NY show

Sonia Ben Ammar (far right) attends the “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between” Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2017 in New York City. (AFP)
Updated 10 April 2018

Sonia Ben Ammar rules catwalk at D&G’s NY show

DUBAI: Tunisian model Sonia Ben Ammar — a rising star in the fashion world — walked for Dolce & Gabbana in New York on Sunday. The 19-year-old was part of a dazzling catwalk lineup for the Italian label’s extravagant Spring 2018 Alta Moda Fashion Show at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center, alongside superstar models including Karlie Kloss, Ashley Graham, Taylor Hill, Romee Strijd, Karen Nelson, Joan Smalls, and Naomi Campbell.
The audience was equally celeb-replete, with a front row including actors Dakota Fanning, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jamie Foxx and Diane Kruger, alongside Lady Kitty Spencer (D&G’s editorial model and the late Princess Diana’s niece), while Italian actress Isabella Rossellini introduced the show. Rossellini reportedly quoted the famous lines from Emma Lazarus’ “The New Colossus” — “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses”. Presumably ironically.
As “Vogue” said in its coverage of the event: “People watching has always been part of the fun of fashion shows, but nothing comes close to D&G Alta events.”
Sunday was the third night of a D&G extravaganza at the Met. On Saturday, the label showed its latest menswear collection, while Friday was jewelry night — with “Sex & The City” star Sarah Jessica Parker modelling.
Paris-born Ammar wore a sparkling metallic silver-grey/black suit and crown tiara for her catwalk appearance (one of the more understated headdresses on display Sunday). She was also joined on the catwalk on Sunday by Somali-American hijabi model Halima Aden, wearing a D&G printed suit. Aden is one of the biggest names in the burgeoning modest-fashion industry, and said on Instagram, “Walking for Dolce & Gabbana was a dream come true.”
Ammar, meanwhile, used her Instagram feed to thank “the geniuses Stefano Gabbana and Domenico, who amaze me every single time!”
Ammar, who splits her off-runway time between Paris and Los Angeles, made her runway debut in 2017 for Miu Miu and quickly found herself in demand from some of the biggest labels around. Aside from her modelling career, she has also appeared in a couple of French movies (no surprise, as her parents are Tunisian director Tarek Ben Ammar and actress Beata), and is keen to launch a music career too. In May 2017, she told “Vogue Arabia” that she had been recording music for “over a year” and that she would release something “soon,” citing Michael Jackson as her musical inspiration. She has previously posted YouTube cover versions of Justin Bieber (she’s apparently good friends with Bieber’s ex, Selena Gomez) and Calvin Harris songs, among others.
In that same interview, she described her style as “eclectic and unfussy,” adding “I like to mix boyish clothes with sexy and elegant pieces, without trying too hard.”
Ammar has even had her own shot at a celeb couple partnership with a twist, having reportedly spent a few months dating Brooklyn Beckham — himself a product of a major-league celeb partnership between football star David and former Spice Girl Victoria. Alas, a second-generation all-star marriage failed to materialize from that romance.

Arab style stars front new Michael Kors campaign

Updated 13 November 2018

Arab style stars front new Michael Kors campaign

  • Lebanese beauty queen and model Jessica Kahawaty takes the lead in the Michael Kors campaign
  • The special-edition Whitney bag will be unveiled on Nov. 14

DUBAI: Fashion powerhouse Michael Kors (MK) has enlisted the region’s style icons to unveil an exclusive Middle East design of a limited-edition shoulder bag.

Lebanese beauty queen and model Jessica Kahawaty takes the lead in the elite portrait series showcasing a special-edition of the Whitney bag, set to be unveiled at an exclusive event in Dubai on Nov. 14.

The beauty queen took to Instagram to announce the stint, where she posted a picture of herself along with other Arab fashion icons strutting the newly redesigned Whitney bag, including Dubai-based influencer Leena Al Ghouti, fashion blogger Ola Faharat, and filmmaker Lana Al Beik..

“So honored to be fronting this @michaelkors campaign for their new Whitney bag. My MK family is here in Dubai all the way from New York for the celebration this week and I couldn’t think of more powerful ladies to share this photograph with,” Kahawaty wrote.

Dubbed as the Whitney, the compact bag is one of the newest additions to the fashion label’s exclusive accessory collection. The bag is crafted in panel-quilted lambskin, accompanied by a sleek chain strap.

“We were able to incorporate a very subtle M-shaped outline, something I’ve been sketching since I was in middle school,” American designer Michael Kors himself said.

The Middle East edition will be released in a rich blue, which Kors described as “the perfect blend of sophistication and luxury for our customers” in the region.

Kors has expressed how the Middle East is an important region for his fashion label, saying “our customers in the Middle East truly love fashion and glamour, which makes it a fun and exciting place to be as a designer.”

MK, widely known for its premium leather handbags, recently bought luxury designer Versace for $2.05 billion, bolstering its position against its larger European rivals.

“With the acquisition of Versace we have created one of the world’s leading fashion and luxury groups,” said John Idol, chairman and CEO of Michael Kors Holdings.

This came a year after it also acquired British stiletto-heel maker Jimmy Choo for $1.2 billion.