Lebanese beauty star Maya Ahmad does Coachella in style

Maya Ahmad is a make-up artist and beauty blogger. (AFP)
Updated 17 April 2018
0

Lebanese beauty star Maya Ahmad does Coachella in style

DUBAI: Lebanese make-up artist and beauty blogger Maya Ahmad is soaking up the sun at US music festival Coachella this week — and giving us serious holiday goals while she’s at it.

The social media star, who has more than one million followers on her Instagram account @themayaahmad, posted a snap of herself at the hugely famous California-based festival wearing distressed denim shorts and a fringed jacket over a cropped black halter neck top.

Ahmad captioned the photograph, “Day 2. Still not over Beyoncé.”

Beyoncé returned spectacularly to the stage Saturday with a joyous, homecoming-themed party at the Coachella festival where she delighted fans with a rare reunion of her former trio, Destiny’s Child, AFP reported.
Before a sea of some 100,000 people in the southern California desert, the pop superstar headlined the second night of the premier global music festival, ending a year-long hiatus from live music as she gave birth to twins.
Beyoncé showed no sign of slowing down after her maternity leave, singing and strutting her stuff for two hours as she led around 100 back-up dancers and musicians.
Her husband, rap mogul Jay-Z, popped up on stage toward the end of her set to join in their song “Deja Vu.” But he turned out to be only a preview of a less routine guest appearance.
With an audio recording of novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s essay “We Should All Be Feminists” allowing Beyoncé a moment to prepare, she re-emerged on stage with the unmistakable silhouette of three figures.
Fellow Destiny’s Child members Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams joined Beyoncé for three of the trio’s songs, including “Say My Name.”
It was their first reunion since Beyoncé’s Super Bowl halftime show in 2013. The group propelled Beyoncé to stardom but was also beset by internal friction.
On Saturday, Beyoncé referred to her bandmates as her “sisters” — and was also joined on stage by her real sister, Solange Knowles.
Beyoncé made clear from the start that Coachella was about reuniting, with an announcer starting the show by welcoming guests to her “homecoming.”
A school’s worth of brass and string players played from stadium-style stands as Beyoncé entered to a New Orleans-style march. She sported an all-American outfit of tight jean shorts and a collegiate sweatshirt — the Greek letters, of course, starting with “B.”
The superstar is set to return to the stage this coming weekend as the Coachella festival returns with an identical line-up.
Cardi B is also set to return to the stage after a triumphant first performance on Saturday. She was one of the most avidly awaited performers at Coachella, not only because she is rising quickly in hip-hop but because the 25-year-old — engaged to fellow rapper Offset of Migos — recently revealed that she is pregnant.
Despite her visible baby bump, Cardi B briefly squatted to twerk to the beat, comfortably getting back up to finish her dance moves.
The Bronx native has quickly found stardom with unsentimental rhymes about her rough life, AFP noted.
After the hard edges of her breakthrough song “Bodak Yellow,” Cardi B has shown greater musical versatility. Her debut album, “Invasion of Privacy,” brought in energetic, street festival-style horns on the track “I Like It,” which she performed live at Coachella.
Cardi B has demonstrated striking candor about the finances of playing Coachella — arguably the most watched festival in the world, especially this year with Glastonbury in Britain on a scheduled break.
She told satellite radio SiriusXM that she spent $300,000 of her own money to develop a worthy set for Coachella, where she will earn only $140,000.


29-year-old Saudi designer breaks down barriers between fashion and art

Updated 21 July 2018
0

29-year-old Saudi designer breaks down barriers between fashion and art

  • Art meets fashion in these thought-provoking sneaker designs, thanks to a Saudi designer with a foot in both worlds
  • The Nou Project is anything but a traditional Saudi sneaker brand — the shoes are unisex.

DUBAI: A university project turned lifelong career is not what Riyadh-born Nour Al-Tamimi had in mind when she first stepped into the world of art.
But the 29-year-old designer has managed to do just that, breaking down the barriers between fashion and art with striking clothing designs. Now Al-Tamimi has created the Kingdom’s first sneaker brand, which “speaks the truth” by featuring striking and often thought-provoking  artwork.

The Nou Project is anything but a traditional Saudi sneaker brand — the shoes are unisex. “That was the biggest thing for me, being Saudi,” Al-Tamimi said. “I was excited to come up with something that was unisex, something that Saudi men and women could wear as equals. People asked about creating flats or cute clutch bags — but I wanted to appeal to both sexes and have them find a common ground.”

Al-Tamimi’s artistic journey began at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts in Boston, where she gained a bachelor of fine arts. Soon after, she was on her way to Milan, where she was awarded a master’s in fashion at the renowned Istituto Marangoni. Later, in Los Angeles, she pursued a master’s in art business at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art. “I was always into art and fashion,” Al-Tamimi said.  “I ended up doing my last semester in New York City, where I got blisters from walking around in flat shoes or stilettos. That’s whenI realized I wanted to invest in a cool pair of sneakers for daily use.”

Riyadh-born Nour Al-Tamimi

As part of the course, Al-Tamimi had to develop a business plan for a project to benefit the art world. That was when her idea came to life. “I thought it would be cool to cater to sneaker-heads and art collectors,” she said. “I wanted to have really cool sneakers with limited art and to have art on a different platform. New York, as a city, was inspirational, and it became about combining my passion for art and fashion.”

Following her graduation, Al-Tamimi spent time at an art market website that collaborated with artists to produce furniture and other household items. “It was a valuable experience,” she said. “I decided to make my business plan a reality and I met my co-creative director Basma Chidiac in New York.”

Featuring pop and street art, Al-Tamimi’s leather shoes became an instant hit. One design features water pistols by artist James Rawson, whose work addresses issues of the past 50 years, including over-consumption and global inequality.

Another favorite and a bestseller for the Nou Project includes work by Eric Yahnker with his “AirObama Cares” — a portrait of former US president Barack Obama “giving the finger”. Yahnker used gouache, a paintbrush, colored pencils and a roll of watercolor paper to create what he calls “a crude gesture that many of us may wish he would use, but are grateful he doesn’t.” Although Al-Tamimi loved the idea, the gesture caused some doubts.
“I showed it to my mother, who asked how I could put that on a shoe and wondered what people would think or say,” she said. “But it became our bestseller, so it’s important to remember that art is all about things that are shocking. It’s about commenting on current affairs and pointing out issues.”

The designer received requests from customers in Miami suggesting an artwork of Trump blow-drying his hair. “Those shoes point to the value of art and art history,” she said.

One of Al-Tamimi’s favorite pieces is by fellow Saudi artist Rexchouk, who works out of a SoHo studio in New York and has been featured in the artist program of the Walton Fine Arts Gallery in London.

“I admired his courage and the way he never studied art but knew this was his passion and what he wanted to do,” she said. “It’s really nice to support each other as Saudis.

He is one of the artists who means a lot to me. But I love them all — I was really excited about our collaboration with the Untitled Art Fair in Miami last December because we did 55 pairs with three artists showcasing there.”

Although the journey has been challenging for Al-Tamimi since she started in 2015, it has been worthwhile. “I had no idea this would become my life today,” she said. “It’s exciting to be the first Saudi sneaker brand — that’s a milestone in itself.” The designer believes the opening of art galleries in both Riyadh and Jeddah will make it easier for aspiring Saudi artists to enter the market. “I’m so proud of all of them,” Al-Tamimi said.

“I would tell young Saudi women looking to start their own business to work with other startups as they encourage each other to grow. We are all in a creative industry, so helping each other out will help you to stay ahead of the game.”

Decoder

What is the Nou Project?

It is an artist-designed sneaker brand featuring illustrated pieces that turn footwear into wearable art. Conceived by Riyadh-born Nour Al-Tamimi and creative director Lebanese Basma Chidiac, the brand supports emerging artists by providing them with a platform to gain recognition. With minimal lines and stitching, the high-top grain leather sneakers are presented as a blank canvas for each artist to creatively showcase their artwork. The limited-edition sneakers are numbered from one to 300, making each pair a collectible. Inspired by asphalt and street art, the soles feature a unique grainy recycled rubber. In future, a portion of the revenue will be donated to a charity selected in collaboration with each artist. Nou Project sneakers can be found on www.thenouproject.co