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Inside Our May 2024 Issue Starring Salma Hayek Pinault, with Interview By Penélope Cruz

salma hayek vogue arabia

Photo: Cuneyt Akeroglu

Actor, muse, mother, Arab icon. Salma Hayek Pinault is Vogue Arabia’s May 2024 cover star. Interviewed by her decades-long friend, fellow Academy award winner Penélope Cruz, Hayek Pinault offers her most personal interview yet. “We are so proud of having Salma on our cover as we need global icons who stand for this part of the world, and who speak loud about what it means to be Arab today,” shares s Vogue editor-in-chief, Manuel Arnaut.

While she was born in Mexico, Hayek Pinault’s father is of Lebanese descent, from the town of Baabdat, and the actor was proudly raised in the heart of a Lebanese community. Donning glamorous dresses by brands such as Gucci and Balenciaga, but also Levantine designers Rami Kadi and Nicolas Jebran, in the exclusive cover story the actor shares how her Arab upbringing shaped her to become the woman she is today. “Arabs have an almost unmatchable passion for life that is constantly tested. It’s almost because you are confronted with death consistently, you value every little moment of life,” she says in this must-read interview with Cruz. “For us Arabs, to cook and eat together as a family is a blessing. I try to teach my kids simple things like that, about the blessings of small, precious moments.” Documenting their 20-year long friendship, this cover story also reveals less known intimate moments between the two cinema icons, from surviving a near plane crash together, to that Hollywood evening when Cruz helped Hayek Pinault get ready for the red carpet by candlelight, with no electricity.

Salma Hayek Pinault’s 1999 Cannes Film Festival look reimagined by Nicolas Jebran for Vogue Arabia

Salma Hayek Pinault’s 1998 MTV Video Music Awards black dress with butterfly body jewelry reimagined by Rami Kadi

In the May issue, the biggest trends are explored, highlighting the latest injection of fur, both real and faux. Throughout history, fur has served as the embodiment of status; an object that humanity has aspired towards, throughout the centuries. Vogue Arabia explores the brands that are putting fur on the runway while analyzing the symbolism of fur. Although the fabric is no longer reserved for the elite — given the very nature of its accessibility in contemporary times — it continues to suggest the notion of a seemingly better life. 

Photo: Bartek Szmigulski

Also toeing the line of real and fake is model Denisa Ohnona, the doppelgänger of Kate Moss. Ohnona had the entire fashion industry do a double take when she walked for Marine Serre at the last Paris fashion week making headlines for her similarity to Moss. Modeling some very real high jewelry, the model, whose father is Moroccan, reflects on her full circle moment: “I don’t want to take anything away from Kate Moss herself. I think she is amazing. I would love to be able to meet her one day.”

Photo: Aly Saab

From the art world, Vogue Arabia meets the Basbous family who have shaped Lebanon’s art scene for generations. The father-daughter duo Anachar and Shana Basbous are determined to preserve the family legacy. After years of admiring each other’s artistic endeavors, the pair are currently in the process of aligning forces to work on a new joint project. “My dad’s art is cosmic, energetic. It is the sun, the sky, the cosmos. For me, it is a dream,” says Shana, while her father adds, “Shana is a piece of art; she is the art, even before making art. Everything about her is art, from her creations to her ideas to her reactions.”

Photo: Amir Mohammad

In this issue, Vogue Arabia spotlights another Arab rising start. From her breakout roles in television series like Between the Lines to her compelling portrayal in A3la Nesbet Moshahda, Salma Abu Deif’s talent has not only illuminated screens but also stirred hearts with its authenticity and depth – specially this Ramadan. However, her journey transcends the boundaries of the limelight, venturing into realms of introspection and adventure. “We started preparing for Shaimaa’s character weeks before the shooting,” Salma discloses.”The director took us to the same area where Shaimaa lives, and I had the opportunity to meet a girl from the neighborhood. She helped me understand the body language and dialects specific to the area, which truly enriched my portrayal.” Salma’s commitment extends beyond conventional methods, as she delves into the dark web and TikTok, immersing herself fully in her character’s world.

Meanwhile, interior designer Lara Ben Jaber opens the doors to her 1930s abode for Vogue Arabia. Explaining how she approaches design today, she says, “We don’t do anything hastily, including the furnishing which is done gradually. For example, we brought a lot of furniture from our old house to the new house. Only after we had lived here for a while did we buy new things. I notice that the older I get, the better I become at making sustainable decisions.”

Photo: Sam Rawadi

One of the most sustainable brands in the world is Hermès. Its pieces are timeless and passed on from one generation to another. Women’s ready-to-wear designer Nadège Vanhée offers an insightful interview to Vogue Arabia amidst a stunning equestrian-style shoot. She speaks of the culture of intelligence at Hermès, explaining, “There’s different women [at Hermès] with different types of objectives, priorities, and interests, but what I can really see is that they have a lot of fun and pleasure.”

A fashion icon who took endless amusement in design is the late Karl Lagerfeld. A new book Karl Lagerfeld: A Life in Houses, goes behind the curtains of his many homes. “Each house had its own precise inspiration and it told him a story,” co-author Marie Kalt explains. “He would then delve completely into [the story], everything to do with that particular period, then reinvent that story in his own manner.” She continues, “He was obsessive about the details, but I don’t think he was ever a true collector. There were not many objects that he really loved. He bought them because they were part of a bigger project: to create a house to live in, to entertain in, and to use as a stage or set for his pictures.”

All this and more in the May issue of Vogue Arabia, which comes out with the Spring/Summer 2024 issue of Vogue Living Arabia

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