American Marketer


Parmigiani appeals to Middle Eastern clients with first ambassador in the region

October 5, 2015

Izu Ani Izu Ani


Swiss watchmaker Parmigiani Fleurier has named its first Middle Eastern brand ambassador, chef Izu Ani of Dubai’s La Serre.

The Nigerian-born culinary talent joins an existing network of Michelin-starred chefs who collaborate with the brand. The latest chef will help the brand elevate its gastronomy-themed events and its cooking masterclasses in the Middle Eastern city.

Talent search
Mr. Ani opened La Serre in 2013, after spending 20 years working in kitchens in Europe. The Dubai eatery is meant to be a place for uncomplicated yet experimental food.

The chef is also looking into opening a research and development kitchen in downtown Dubai so that cooks can explore new ingredients and techniques.

The watchmaker became a regular client of La Serre, putting the chef through a series of challenges, including inventing the right dish to complement the wine served during tasting dinners.

“Chef Izu’s passion and hard work, his commitment to continuous training and his dedication to sourcing the best ingredients and to creating traditional, ‘real’ dishes that are packed with flavor, draws strong parallels to our own skills at Parmigiani Fleurier,” said Marc Gaudreault, chief operations officer of Parmigiani Fleurier, in a statement.

A video shared by Parmigiani through its digital channels shows Mr. Ani at work, with a Tonda Metrographe with a grained white dial and Hermès gold calfskin strap that he chose fastened on his wrist.

Parmigiani - Chef Izu from Parmigiani Fleurier

Other watchmakers have recognized the necessity of building relationships in the Middle East.

For instance, earlier this year Hublot expanded its presence in the Middle East with a new brand representative that will appeal to Arab consumers.

At a special event in Beirut on June 5, Hublot announced that Lebanese singer Ragheb Alama will be its latest brand ambassador, continuing the brand’s efforts in the Middle East. Selecting representatives from different regions around the world ensures that Hublot will appeal to a wide range of consumers and maintain its status as an international luxury brand (see story).