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.


Nora Attal has her day in the sun in Marrakesh

Updated 19 March 2019
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Nora Attal has her day in the sun in Marrakesh

DUBAI: British-Moroccan model Nora Attal posed up a storm in Marrakesh’s golden sunlight for a new campaign by fashion brand Zara.

The in-demand model shared snaps from the campaign, photographed by Christian Macdonald, on her Instagram account.

The collection of photographs show Attal modelling looks from Zara’s laid-back Spring/Summer 2019 collection against a backdrop of rippling sand dunes. Her featured ensembled include kaftans and long-length cardigans with hefty stripes in a clay-and-beige color palette.

Attal is no stranger to fronting campaigns — in January, the model was chosen as one of seven rising stars to feature in British fashion house Alexander McQueen’s latest campaign.

The Spring/Summer 2019 collection photoshoot was shot by British fashion and documentary photographer Jamie Hawkesworth and featured Attal wearing a number of cowboy-inspired looks.

The year has gotten off to a busy start for Attal, who was similarly in demand in 2018, when she took to the catwalk for Elie Saab, Loewe and Dior during Paris Fashion Week in September and starred in Italian fashion label Versace’s summer advert campaign.

In May, luxury e-retailer Farfetch launched in the Middle East with a little help from the young model.

She starred in a photoshoot wearing pieces from collections on sale on the platform. The colorful photographs were accompanied by a snappy, chatty interview with the young model.
Readers got the chance to gain insight into her earliest fashion memories and learn some off-the-cuff facts about the star.

“Recently I’ve been obsessed with noughties trends. Everyone was so cool and effortless back then. Now I go out in a full Juicy Couture tracksuit with no shame,” she told Farfetch at the time.

“If I wasn’t a model, I’d probably be at university, studying to get into something like criminal investigations, profiling or law,” she added.

Attal finished off 2018 by hitting the sand dunes in the UAE — however, this time it wasn’t part of a high-end photoshoot, but rather a day of fun.

The model enjoyed an afternoon of sandboarding in the emirate of Sharjah and even posted a snap on Instagram at the time.

“Apparently sandboarding is a thing,” she captioned the sunset shot.