Talking cross-border sisterhood with bloggers Camila Coelho and Karen Wazen Bakhazi

Camila Coelho, Karen Wazen, Bloggers, Sisterhood, Features, Photoshoots
Cibelle Levi Photography
Camila wears: Top, Dhs1,010, Robert Wun. Jacket, Dhs6,338, Maram. Skirt, Dhs1,695, Deborah Lyons. Heels, Dhs1,962, Di Gaia. Tassel earrings, Dhs1,690, Ammanii. Hoop earrings, Dhs1,175, Ammanii. Karen wears: Jacket, Dhs6,669, Nour Hammour. Top, Dhs1,234, Deborah Lyons. Trousers, Dhs2,939, Maram. Tassel earrings, Dhs1,690, Ammanii. Hoop Earrings, Dhs1,175, Ammanii
Camila Coelho, Karen Wazen, Bloggers, Sisterhood, Features, Photoshoots
Cibelle Levi Photography
Camila Coelho, Karen Wazen, Bloggers, Sisterhood, Features, Photoshoots
Cibelle Levi Photography
Camila Coelho, Karen Wazen, Bloggers, Sisterhood, Features, Photoshoots
Cibelle Levi Photography
Karen wears: Top, Dhs1,837, Nafsika Skourti. Trousers, Dhs2,351, Reemami. Bag, Dhs2,388, Okhtein. Tassel earrings, Dhs1,690, Ammanii. Hoop earrings, Dhs1,175, Ammanii. Camila wears: Top, Dhs1,800, Masha Reva. Trousers, Dhs1,965 Reemami. Bag, Dhs2,388, Okhtein. Tassel earrings, Dhs1,690, Ammanii. Hoop earrings, Dhs1,175, Ammanii. Prices approximate.
Camila Coelho, Karen Wazen, Bloggers, Sisterhood, Features, Photoshoots
Cibelle Levi Photography
Camila Coelho, Karen Wazen, Bloggers, Sisterhood, Features, Photoshoots
Cibelle Levi Photography
Camila Coelho wears: Trousers, Dhs1,150, Maram. Shirt, Dhs1,432, Masha Reva. Shoes, Dhs1,961, Di Gaia. Bag, Dhs4,400, Reine. Tassel earrings, Dhs1,690, Ammanii. Hoop earrings, Dhs1,175, Ammanii. Karen Wazen Bakhazi wears: Trousers, Dhs991, Izaak Azanei. Shirt, Dhs2,446, CO/MUN. Tassel earrings, Dhs1,690, Ammanii. Hoop earrings, Dhs1,175, Ammani.
Camila Coelho, Karen Wazen, Bloggers, Sisterhood, Features, Photoshoots
Cibelle Levi Photography
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Celebrating woman-to-woman appreciation

Sisters, mothers, daughters, friends. However your female relationships are rooted, women empowering other women makes the world go round. It is by supporting, cheerleading and lending a voice to fellow females – take model Cameron Russell’s Model Mafia movement, which is helping to expose abuse in the modelling industry, as an example – that we will all advance. Nowhere is this more visible than on social media. Platforms that started as vehicles for individuals to gain as many followers as possible are becoming homes for a new spirit of collaboration and sense of shared accomplishment. We are leaving behind the Mean Girls attitude of yesterday, and embracing a new, more positive notion – lift up, don’t tear down. Successful women are no longer standing alone. They’re making equally powerful allies. After all, a fash pack has a far better chance of survival than a lone wolf, and when the trolls are out, the safety in numbers strategy is a smart one. There is a certain kinship in having a blog (or vlog), too, as Bazaar favourite 30-year-old Karen Wazen Bakhazi, and 29-year-old Camila Coelho prove.

Born thousands of miles apart (in London and Brazil respectively), from completely different cultures (Lebanese versus South American), they share a vision and a personal bond. These girls actually fit together like jeans and a white tee. Oh, and they look like sisters, too. All sleek mid-length hair, pillowy lips, beguiling Princess Jasmine eyes and wardrobes to knock your Off-White socks off.

Karen wears: Top, Dhs1,837, Nafsika Skourti. Trousers, Dhs2,351, Reemami. Bag, Dhs2,388, Okhtein. Tassel earrings, Dhs1,690, Ammanii. Hoop earrings, Dhs1,175, Ammanii. Camila wears: Top, Dhs1,800, Masha Reva. Trousers, Dhs1,965 Reemami. Bag, Dhs2,388, Okhtein. Tassel earrings, Dhs1,690, Ammanii. Hoop earrings, Dhs1,175, Ammanii. Prices approximate.

Yet instead of the expected horizontal competitiveness, they’ve found mutual appreciation. They’ve synced their similarities and married their differences. “Camila has a lot more followers than I do,” admits Karen, “but she never makes me feel inferior, it’s never an issue.

If anything she takes the time to introduce me to people, she’s nurturing like that.” Camila returns the compliment, “Karen is smart, sweet and pretty inside and out.” Their Instagram feeds are awash with sartorial similarities, a fuchsia Oscar de la Renta two-piece for Camila, a hot pink Balenciaga number for Karen – all boosted by heart emoji-filled lines of recognition for one another. The sisterhood is real for these two. This is genuine girl-on-girl mutual appreciation.

Camila wears: Top, Dhs1,010, Robert Wun. Jacket, Dhs6,338, Maram. Skirt, Dhs1,695, Deborah Lyons. Heels, Dhs1,962, Di Gaia. Tassel earrings, Dhs1,690, Ammanii. Hoop earrings, Dhs1,175, Ammanii.
Karen wears: Jacket, Dhs6,669, Nour Hammour. Top, Dhs1,234, Deborah Lyons. Trousers, Dhs2,939, Maram. Tassel earrings, Dhs1,690, Ammanii. Hoop Earrings, Dhs1,175, Ammanii

To celebrate this spirit of sisterhood, Harper’s Bazaar joined forces with the Cairo-based fashion agency  for emerging talent Maison Pyramide to photograph Karen and Camila in  brands whose designers mirror this sense of powerhouse teams of friends and siblings, such as Egypt’s Okhtein, Reine, Nafsika Skourti from Jordan, Izaak Azanei and Paris-based Nour Hammour. Meeting other bloggers can be a bit like dating Karen admits, “It doesn’t always work, but with us, it was all transparent and genuine. We’re both happy in our own skin, we’re content with where we are today, and we’re not hungry for what other people have,” she says. Beyond the currency of likes, this friendship is more like a stalwart wardrobe staple; it’s a union that won’t fade with the season.

Karen wears: Top, Dhs1,837, Nafsika Skourti. Trousers, Dhs2,351, Reemami. Bag, Dhs2,388, Okhtein. Tassel earrings, Dhs1,690, Ammanii. Hoop earrings, Dhs1,175, Ammanii. Camila wears: Top, Dhs1,800, Masha Reva. Trousers, Dhs1,965 Reemami. Bag, Dhs2,388, Okhtein. Tassel earrings, Dhs1,690, Ammanii. Hoop earrings, Dhs1,175, Ammanii. Prices approximate.

“When I truly like someone, I genuinely support that person. I believe that women are stronger together,” Camila Coelho tells Bazaar. Nowhere is this more apparent than in her friendship with Karen Wazen Bakhazi. Aside from the obvious similarities that are fashion and flawless genetics, “We’re both calm, but at the same time hyper,” Camila laughs, “and we appreciate the simple things in life.” Family equals happiness for both girls and they check in with each other from all corners of the globe. “One day, Karen’s son,” she has three children, “was sending me voice messages, it was the cutest thing,” Camila says. “It sounds clichéd but quality time with family and friends is what makes me the happiest. We’ve been talking about having a weekend in Lebanon together, so I can meet Karen’s family and eat lots of Lebanese food.” It sounds like Beirut’s geotag is going stellar.

The rise to social media stardom can be lonely. “Fashion can be so overwhelming,” Karen Wazen Bakhazi sighs. Being an influencer, “Can leave you open to so much judgement, it can be painful and the attacks are personal.” Refuge comes in the form of supportive friendships, such as the one she shares with Camila Coelho. “I have a sense of safety when I’m with Camila,” Karen smiles. Despite the mother-of-three admitting to feeling like she’s “constantly juggling” in life, Camila is quick to reassure her of her “super mum” skills and it is apparent to see how a small passing compliment, heart emoji or ‘like’ can result in the kind of positivity that breeds power, and the energy and enthusiasm is catching. And while influential friends can boost your Insta footprint, when all the glamour is stripped back, all they really hope to do is encourage and boost each other’s self-esteem.



Photography: Cibelle Levi
Stylist: Nausheen Shah.
Make-up: Noha Ezz El Din.
Hair: Ahn Co Tran.
Production: Maison Pyramide

From the November Issue of Harper's Bazaar Arabia

BY

Camila Coelho, Karen Wazen, Bloggers, Sisterhood, Features, Photoshoots
Camila Coelho, Karen Wazen, Bloggers, Sisterhood, Features, Photoshoots
Camila Coelho, Karen Wazen, Bloggers, Sisterhood, Features, Photoshoots
Camila Coelho, Karen Wazen, Bloggers, Sisterhood, Features, Photoshoots
Camila Coelho, Karen Wazen, Bloggers, Sisterhood, Features, Photoshoots
Camila Coelho, Karen Wazen, Bloggers, Sisterhood, Features, Photoshoots
Camila Coelho, Karen Wazen, Bloggers, Sisterhood, Features, Photoshoots
Camila Coelho, Karen Wazen, Bloggers, Sisterhood, Features, Photoshoots
Cibelle Levi Photography
Camila wears: Top, Dhs1,010, Robert Wun. Jacket, Dhs6,338, Maram. Skirt, Dhs1,695, Deborah Lyons. Heels, Dhs1,962, Di Gaia. Tassel earrings, Dhs1,690, Ammanii. Hoop earrings, Dhs1,175, Ammanii. Karen wears: Jacket, Dhs6,669, Nour Hammour. Top, Dhs1,234, Deborah Lyons. Trousers, Dhs2,939, Maram. Tassel earrings, Dhs1,690, Ammanii. Hoop Earrings, Dhs1,175, Ammanii
Camila Coelho, Karen Wazen, Bloggers, Sisterhood, Features, Photoshoots
Cibelle Levi Photography
Camila Coelho, Karen Wazen, Bloggers, Sisterhood, Features, Photoshoots
Cibelle Levi Photography
Camila Coelho, Karen Wazen, Bloggers, Sisterhood, Features, Photoshoots
Cibelle Levi Photography
Karen wears: Top, Dhs1,837, Nafsika Skourti. Trousers, Dhs2,351, Reemami. Bag, Dhs2,388, Okhtein. Tassel earrings, Dhs1,690, Ammanii. Hoop earrings, Dhs1,175, Ammanii. Camila wears: Top, Dhs1,800, Masha Reva. Trousers, Dhs1,965 Reemami. Bag, Dhs2,388, Okhtein. Tassel earrings, Dhs1,690, Ammanii. Hoop earrings, Dhs1,175, Ammanii. Prices approximate.
Camila Coelho, Karen Wazen, Bloggers, Sisterhood, Features, Photoshoots
Cibelle Levi Photography
Camila Coelho, Karen Wazen, Bloggers, Sisterhood, Features, Photoshoots
Cibelle Levi Photography
Camila Coelho wears: Trousers, Dhs1,150, Maram. Shirt, Dhs1,432, Masha Reva. Shoes, Dhs1,961, Di Gaia. Bag, Dhs4,400, Reine. Tassel earrings, Dhs1,690, Ammanii. Hoop earrings, Dhs1,175, Ammanii. Karen Wazen Bakhazi wears: Trousers, Dhs991, Izaak Azanei. Shirt, Dhs2,446, CO/MUN. Tassel earrings, Dhs1,690, Ammanii. Hoop earrings, Dhs1,175, Ammani.
Camila Coelho, Karen Wazen, Bloggers, Sisterhood, Features, Photoshoots
Cibelle Levi Photography