Muse: Nour Hage talks self-expression and serial killers

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Updated 26 April 2018
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Muse: Nour Hage talks self-expression and serial killers

  • The UK-based Lebanese fashion designer talks boredom, self-expression and serial killers

 

My parents are definitely the biggest influence on my personality and philosophy. We were always careful with waste, for environmental and financial reasons. One of the things that I’m thankful for is that they never let us spend money on meaningless things. From very young, I was aware of the value of money and the value of everything I use. That’s why my brand always has a sustainable side to it. I always try to inflict less harm on the environment.

I always admire people that go against the stream and stand for what they are doing, whether that is professionally or personally.

I think the most fundamental difference between men and women (I’m generalizing here) is that women tend to be very careful with their decision making and think things through, while men tend to go with their first instincts; much more daring but also much more risky. I think the perfect balance is to have those two facets in a relationship and in a professional situation.

There’s this perception that some people are so fundamentally different that it’s impossible to solve our differences. I think that’s lazy. Everything is solvable.

Some people think this is a bit worrying, but I love reading about serial killers. I have this big obsession. It’s curiosity; I want to know the why, the how, and the why of the how.

What people wear is how they want others to perceive them; they’re trying to put a message out there. Even if it’s just a t-shirt and jeans, you’re still saying you’re someone who likes to keep things simple. So for me the ultimate form of expression is designing clothes. It just feels very rewarding. There’s this indescribable feeling when I look at my completed collection for the first time.

The school I went to was one of the most boring and strict schools in Lebanon. Everybody dressed the same. I wanted to stand out, wanted to look different. I started to wear these strange DIY outfits I’d cobble together. I was so bored on a daily basis, both visually and mentally, that I felt the need to start experimenting. So I guess you could say that boredom was my major inspiration to start designing. More people should allow themselves to get bored these days.


Gigi Hadid visits Rohingya refugee camps

Updated 18 August 2018
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Gigi Hadid visits Rohingya refugee camps

  • American-Palestinian supermodel Gigi Hadid is visiting Bangladesh to meet Rohingya Muslim refugees
  • Hadid visited the Jamtoli Refugee Camp in Cox’s Bazar on Friday

JEDDAH: American-Palestinian supermodel Gigi Hadid is visiting Bangladesh to meet Rohingya Muslim refugees. The 23-year-old model is documenting her work with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Bangladesh on social media.
Hadid visited the Jamtoli Refugee Camp in Cox’s Bazar on Friday, where she met with Rohingya refugee children.
“En route to the Jamtoli Refugee Camp, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh,” she wrote on Instagram. “As well as providing for the Rohingya refugees, UNICEF supports the host communities in need, including an estimated 28,000 people given access to better sanitation and safe water through the WASH Program, and 53,000 locals have been supported in educational activities.”
She shared several images of children at the camp, detailing the conditions they live in and UNICEF’s work in the area. “Across all the camps, 1.3 million people currently require humanitarian assistance; more than half of them are children,” Hadid wrote.
Hadid visited a “women/girl-friendly” zone, where they get a basic education and learn skills such as sewing. “We spoke about their personal stories and hardships, what they enjoy and benefit from currently in the refugee camps, what they still need, and what they hope for their futures. Their strength, bravery and desire to learn and better their lives and the lives of their children is inspiring and encourages us @unicefusa to continue to find new ways to support these amazing human beings during this crisis,” she wrote.
The cause of the refugees is one that is close to Hadid’s heart. Her father, Mohamed Hadid, came to the United States as a refugee before he became a billionaire real estate developer. In January, Hadid and her younger sister, Bella, protested US President Donald Trump’s travel ban targeting some Muslim-majority countries.
On Saturday, Hadid visited UNICEF’s child-friendly space in Camp 9 of the Kutupalong Balukhali Refugee Camp. The purpose of the camp, Hadid said, is to “let kids be kids.”
“As well as psychosocial work to help them get through trauma through activities like art, they also can play sports, learn music, and learn to read and draw (some for the first time in their lives). Separate from educational spaces, the importance of these spaces is huge due to the fact that refugee children can spend a majority of the day working, usually collecting firewood from miles away so their families can cook, taking care of siblings, helping around the house etc., and here they can just focus on having fun,” she wrote.
The model also visited the UNICEF Learning Center in the Shamlapur Refugee Camp in Cox’s Bazar.