Karen Walker‘s second men’s eyewear collection, Monumental, is being fronted by Israel Adesanya, a Nigerian-born, New Zealand-trained fighter to appear in the campaign.
Adesanya has been fighting since 2008 but made his UFC debut earlier this year. In the campaign, the 28-year-old is featured with a bloom behind his ear and a big smile. Walker said she wanted to depict a more multifaceted take on masculinity. “Our work always carries a gender message”, explains Walker. “With this campaign, and with everything we’ve done with Monumental and beyond, it’s all about the contrast and what ‘masculinity’ looks like. With the images of Israel, the styling perfectly expresses the duality of his personality and also our work. He’s an interesting man. An MMA fighter who started as a dancer is a very modern take on masculinity. His nickname, the Last Stylebender, captures his subversion and reinvention of his craft, and that’s a place where we love to work as well — reinventing classics and throwing together opposites.”
Adesanya follows on from musician, Connan Mockasin, who was the face of the first collection.