Startup of the Week: Combining tradition with modernity for women on the go

Updated 11 March 2019
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Startup of the Week: Combining tradition with modernity for women on the go

  • Nedaa Assal started making jewelry as a hobby, but quickly found that there was a demand for her unique and intricate designs

RIYADH: Different kinds of beads have always been an important part of traditional women’s jewelry all across the world. A wide range of materials has been used to make beads for necklaces, bracelets and other jewelry items.

There was a time when different cultures had different styles of jewelry that served as their identity. However, with the emergence of a global culture, style and fashion are no longer confined to geographical boundaries.

The Saudi fashion scene is also very vibrant and dynamic. Talented Saudi men and women are joining the style and fashion industry in large numbers and many have proven their mettle.

One of those talented Saudis is Nedaa Assal who launched handcrafted accessories and jewelry line — Dream in Rose — in 2017. She tries to combine tradition and modernity in designs that are suitable for modern women.

Assal took the name after hearing the phrase in a French movie and thinking it had “a beautiful ring to it.”

She originally started making jewelry as a hobby, but quickly found that there was a demand for her unique and intricate designs, which she created using precious gemstones and her own thermal clay work beads blended with gold. Assal also works with customers to design bespoke pieces.

“Mostly my clientele is young, and I always try to (understand) what they need and want,” Assal said.

For example, some of her most popular pieces are her mobile necklaces crafted from seashells and olive-tree beads. She stresses all her creations are unique and different from the other.

“I try to implement attractive and unique designs so that each piece has a personal touch.”

Although some of Assal’s pieces look quite simple, she said each one takes considerable time and consideration to design and construct. She said she takes great joy from working with “natural stones,” believing they “store positive energy.”

She said blue stones are her favorites, as they give her “a sense of peace and comfort.”

All of Assal’s designs are original and “handmade with love.” She continues to seek out and learn new techniques to make each piece not only fashionable, but also memorable.


‘Walk with a statement:’ The Nou Project announces new sneaker designs

Updated 25 May 2019
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‘Walk with a statement:’ The Nou Project announces new sneaker designs

  • The re-design came in three new colorways: Grey, burgundy and navy
  • The Nou Project was launched with the aim to broaden the way art is consumed and support emerging artists by providing them with a platform to gain recognition

DUBAI: Tucked away in Dubai’s artistic and cultural Alserkal Avenue, Saudi brand The Nou Project announced the latest re-design of its classic sneakers — the all-new ultra-low tops.

In a one-night only pop up in KAVE café, the brand’s founder, Nour Al-Tamimi, and co-designer, Basma Chidiac, announced the re-design that came in three new colorways: Grey, burgundy and navy.

“We want people to be able to walk with a statement,” Al-Tamimi told Arab News as she showed off her previous collections.

The pop up featured a 50 percent discount on all pairs, as well as two artists and a calligrapher available for buyers to customize any of the newly-bought sneakers. Tables topped with board games lined the space, while popcorn and cotton candy was also handed out­ to attendees.

With an environmental and sustainable mindset, the duo has invested heavily in the use of Micro Fiber material, which is also known as “Vegan Leather,” instead of actual leather. They are already known for their recycled rubber soles, a unique calling card for the edgy, homegrown brand.

Reported as the Kingdom’s first major sneaker brand, Al-Tamimi had no idea she would find such success when she started out.

“I had no idea this would become my life today,” Al-Tamimi said in a previous interview. “It’s exciting to be the first Saudi sneaker brand — that’s a milestone in itself.”

The Nou Project was launched with the aim to broaden the way art is consumed and support emerging artists by providing them with a platform to gain recognition — some of their sneakers feature striking and often thought-provoking artwork.

The new designs were created in collaboration with artists Nika Fontaine, Baron Von Fancy and Franz Klainsek who designed each pair with their unique style, ranging from street art to digital image manipulation and pop art.