BENETTON’S HABIBI: For the first time, United Colors of Benetton has tapped an artist as brand ambassador, picking leading Italian rapper and record producer Ghali for the role.
Born in Milan’s suburbs of Tunisian parents, Ghali spearheaded a new wave of local singers engaging with younger generations and promoting a fresher and inclusive image of the country. Scaling music charts one catchy tune at a time, Ghali is among a pool of talents who have become symbols of a different masculinity and cultural integration, expressed both in his personal image and song lyrics. Hits including “Ninna Nanna,””Habibi” and “Cara Italia” are filled with references to the difficulties and prejudices he put up with while growing up as well as his love of Italy.
“We admire his style, his ideas and his attitude. We are enthusiastic of collaborating with a great artist but most of all with a man that shares our values,” said Benetton Group’s chief executive officer Massimo Renon.
Ghali will be not only to be the face of the brand but also will create a capsule collection, which is slated to be released in the upcoming months.
“Every opportunity to experiment and expand my art thrills me,” said the rapper, who’s working on a new album. “I’m very proud and happy to create a capsule collection for a brand like this: for me it’s a big challenge and I’m looking forward to working on this.”
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In an Instagram post shared on Wednesday with his 2.3 million followers, Ghali reiterated his enthusiasm, revealing the personal connection he has with apparel.
“At school, in the hallways, I used to stare at other people’s clothes even though mom bent over backward to buy me what I was wearing. In that moment I realized that it wasn’t about ungratefulness toward life and my mother but it was me starting to have a crush on the shapes and colors that people were wearing,” he recalled in the caption.
“At one point we were able to convey concepts through music and clothing. Merchandising stopped with tours and any question you asked me about it, I always answered ambiguously because I knew sooner or later the chance to release something bigger would have come. We make art to accompany and entertain our existence in this world. It is true that music didn’t stop, but we can’t come together to practice it. So we will make colorful clothes that will keep us together even if we’re distant,” he wrote.
The rapper curated a playlist to mark the brand’s debut on Spotify and further telegraph the two parties’ shared values. Dubbed “United Sounds of Benetton by Ghali,” the selection features different music genres and international artists.
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