BEIRUT: Young Lebanese designer Charbel Zoe got the career boost of a lifetime Thursday when Jennifer Lopez performed at the World Cup wearing one of his sparkly playsuits during what was likely the world’s most-watched live TV performance of the year.
Lopez jumped around on stage in a reptilian emerald playsuit with a collar and beaded fringe that had her looking the part of a Brazilian Carnival performer. She sang World Cup theme-song “We Are One” as part of the football tournament’s opening night alongside Pitbull, pop-star Claudia Leitte and Brazilian band Olodum.
The dress was a classic look for both the 44-year-old diva and newbie designer Zoe, whose showgirl-inspired collections tend to skirt the line of costume. With news services and World Cup fans the world over posting photos of Lopez in Sao Paulo’s Itaquerao Stadium, Zoe gets to relish the attention for what will likely become a career-defining moment.
Zoe, 27, was born and raised in Lebanon and traveled to France to study at ESMOD Paris. He started his career working in the design houses of Givenchy and Elie Saab and in 2013, got a flood of media attention after hosting runway shows, the first at Miami Fashion Week and the second as part of Dubai’s Fashion Forward.
Zoe’s collections of Swarovski-covered bodysuits and skin-tight mini-dresses place him in a very niche category of fashion design. His very specific clientele include regional divas like Haifa Wehbe. Lopez, who is known for wearing glitzy performance ensembles and having a close relationship with another Lebanese design house Zuhair Murad, makes a perfect ambassador for Zoe’s growing design brand. In fact, the World Cup performance came just as Zoe was feeling the high of Lopez wearing one of his bodysuits for a performance in mid-May on American Idol.
Pick up the Saturday, June 14, print edition of The Daily Star for Zoe's reaction in an exclusive interview with the designer.