Meet the GCC creatives who star in the new Calvin Klein campaign

Five people are featured, each of whom was picked for their creativity and individuality

Lana Al Beik for Calvin Klein. Photo: Sarah Blais for Calvin Klein
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In case we needed further proof of the creative draw of the region, the American brand Calvin Klein has just enlisted five innovators from the GCC to front its first regional advertising campaign.

Photographed in Dubai by British photographer Sarah Blais, the photos are not your standard advertising shots, abandoning traditional fashion photography to focus more on the individuality of each of the campaign's stars.

The campaign will run across the GCC region and feature five people — three women and two men — each of whom was picked for their creativity and individuality.

Here is what you need to know about them:

Sonia

Singer Sonia, captured by Sarah Blais for Calvin Klein. Photo Sarah Blais for Calvin Klein

The Bahraini-Saudi singer Sonia, who lives in Dubai, creates music that takes listeners through her own experiences and how she overcame each situation.

Speaking of how her work reflects her life, she explained: “My attitude towards shapes, colours and textures reflects best through my art; I feel like my true authentic self when I’m able to express whatever I’m feeling through it.”

In 2021, she was part of the Puma-sponsored FemFest21, and in June of the same year, was chosen for the Tommy Hilfiger X Mille New Faces in Music event.

Now Calvin Klein has secured the self-confessed “spontaneous” musician for its campaign.

Lana Al Beik

Lana Al Beik in images for the French/Moroccan brand Casablanca. Photo: Cheb Moha for Casablanca

Lana Al Beik is a Palestinian-Syrian model and filmmaker living in Dubai.

Having grown up in a environment of shared storytelling and filmmaking, now Al Beik is mixing this heritage with her studies in Middle Eastern history to help narrate the region as it is today.

“I love parallels in the shapes of my surroundings, like overlapping shapes and silhouettes that feel like two different bodies intertwining and meeting in the middle to create a new story,” she explained.

With her dark curls and huge eyes, Al Beik has modelled extensively within the UAE, including for Bloomingdales, Kenzo and Hindash make-up, but is also known as an influencer. In interviews, she has admitted to not liking the term, and instead prefers to indulge in her short filmmaking creativity.

Shahad Salman

Saudi model Shahad Salman, for Calvin Klein. Photo: Sarah Blais for Calvin Klein

This Saudi model began her career at the age of 24 and has enjoyed a rapid rise since then.

Like Winnie Harlow, the Canadian model, Salman has the skin condition vitiligo and does not shy away from the disease, choosing instead to showcase her patches of lighter skin pigmentation with pride.

Now an advocate of self-love and acceptance, Salman works to inspire young men and women in her home county and beyond to honour their authentic selves.

“Seeing the changes in the region, I feel I can finally express myself through fashion, and show my true sense of style.”

Lughass

The 2017 aerial image by Lughass of Sole DXB that went viral. Photo Lughass

This Saudi photographer, who now calls Dubai home, shot to fame when his 2017 drone shot of a basketball court at Sole DXB went viral and was then picked up by Nike.

Since then, he has put his love of streetwear and skateboarding to good use, capturing everything from the latest trainer must-haves, to the rapper ASAP Rocky on stage.

Having studied law and economics in London, now Lughass now prefers spending his time shooting the UAE from the sky, where his love of finding order in the environment gives his work a unique element.

“My love for my craft lies in finding patterns, connections, and discovering the beauty in what most consider to be nothing at all. There is so much to uncover in simplicity, and capitalising on the emptiness of spaces is what draws me to minimalism.”

Creations Of LA

A self portrait by multi-disciplinary artist Creations of LA. Photo: Creations of LA

Despite his name linking him with Los Angeles, this multi-disciplinary photographer, designer, videographer, visual director and artist was actually born in Canada to North African parents.

Now living in Dubai, his real name is a closely guarded secret, which only adds to the surreal twist he puts on much of his work. His past projects include an image with the Dior logo floating mysteriously in the UAE landscape and a self-portrait with light streaming out from where his face should be.

"I’ve always leaned towards earth tones, the calmness, the connection to nature. I enjoy symmetry, lines, lights and shades," he says. "It creates a perfect frame for my work, and I end up finding that within the most abstract setting, finding the symmetry or lines somehow keeps the balance around me."

Updated: April 27, 2022, 3:33 PM
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