Know your Arab jewelry designers

Know your Arab jewelry designers
(Shutterstock)
Updated 15 August 2018

Know your Arab jewelry designers

Know your Arab jewelry designers

DUBAI: The Arab world is known for its love of jewelry. Here are some emerging and established home-grown brands.

Alia bin Omair

Born in the UAE, Alia bin Omair’s collection, Leaf, is based on the ever-present palm trees found in the region.

Nuun Jewels

Nuun Jewels was founded by Saudi Arabian Princess Nourah Al Faisal, who opened a boutique on the shopping avenue Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris.

Mukhi Sisters

The Lebanese-Indian sisters Maya, Meena, and Zeenat Mukhi come from a long line of jewelers. Their line incorporates tradition with extravagant settings.

Bil Arabi

Lebanese designer Nadine Kanso launched her brand, Bil Arabi, in Dubai in 2006. It went on to quickly become one of the region’s hottest lines.

Jude Benhalim

Egyptian Jude Benhalim launched her jewelry brand when she was 17 in 2011 and hasn’t looked back since.

Azza Fahmy

The most well-known internationally, Egyptian Azza Fahmy began her trade in the 1960s when she became the first woman to serve an apprenticeship in Egypt’s jewelry district.


Lebanese influencer Karen Wazen lands new fashion campaign

Lebanese influencer Karen Wazen lands new fashion campaign
Updated 25 February 2021

Lebanese influencer Karen Wazen lands new fashion campaign

Lebanese influencer Karen Wazen lands new fashion campaign

DUBAI: Lebanese blogger and entrepreneur Karen Wazen has landed herself a new fashion campaign, this time with Italian luxury label Prada.

The fashion house is unveiling its fall-winter 2021 womenswear collection on Thursday at 4 p.m. (Saudi time).

Wazen, who is an eyewear designer and has a brand bearing her name, shared images with her 5.5 million Instagram followers featuring statement pieces from Prada’s upcoming collection.

The Dubai-based fashion influencer wore a satin top and pants in purple, pairing the outfit with an off-white purse and black pointy-toed heels. Dangly black Prada earrings completed the look. 

Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons will have a conversation to discuss the new launch following the new collection’s release.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Prada (@prada)

Marc Jacobs, US model Hunter Schafer, film director Lee Daniels, DJ Richie Hawtin, and Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas will join the conversation virtually. The talk will be moderated by YouTube’s Derek Blasberg, who is a US journalist and author.

The collaboration between Prada and Simons was first announced last year.

The Italian has been the creative force behind one of the most successful luxury brands for 30 years, while Simons is considered to be one of the fashion world’s biggest talents. 

His future has been the subject of intense speculation since he left Calvin Klein in 2018. He was previously creative director at Jil Sander and Dior. He also has his own label.


Bella Hadid, Dua Lipa inspire Hugo Comte’s first photo book

Bella Hadid photographed by Hugo Comte. Supplied
Bella Hadid photographed by Hugo Comte. Supplied
Updated 24 February 2021

Bella Hadid, Dua Lipa inspire Hugo Comte’s first photo book

Bella Hadid photographed by Hugo Comte. Supplied

DUBAI: French fashion photographer Hugo Comte released his first career photography book this week. The new monograph shines the spotlight on all the women who have inspired him along the way, including part-Palestinian model Bella Hadid, British-Albanian popstar Dua Lipa and Russian supermodel Irina Shayk, among others.

Comte collaborated with art director David McKelvey on the 200-page-book and focused on featuring existing and never-before-seen portraiture of his muses in the new tome.

The book, which is self-published, celebrates the first five years of his photography career. 

In addition to previously published portraits, the book also features never-before-seen works — special pieces made in collaboration with airbrush artists to repaint his imagery, as well as unique computer-generated pieces.

Dua Lipa photographed by Hugo Comte. Supplied

“I really wanted to create an object that is the symbol of my first years of work. I started to really feel that people created a sort of identity around me from that time period,” he said to WWD.

“I feel (portraiture) is the most intimate part of my work and where I express myself the best. Group shots don’t allow such intimacy. When I shoot an image, I always try to give the feeling that the woman is not being photographed but that she is looking through the camera, which gives a direct contact between the viewer and the muse,” he added.

The prolific imagemaker’s newly-released tome is untitled, instead the photographer wants to let his work speak for itself.

After arriving on the scene not long ago, he has quickly ascended to being one of the most-followed photographers on the Internet.

A page from the new book. Supplied

He is known for working with some of the world’s most-photographed women, such as Kendall Jenner, Vittoria Ceretti and Adut Akech. 

Memorably, he lensed Lipa’s “Future Nostalgia” album artwork.

The launch of the book is accompanied by an exhibition at Los Angeles’ Tase Gallery, where Comte will have a one-week show from Feb. 25 – March 3 of seven selected works in the brand new gallery space. 

The Book is also available for sale on HugoComte.com. It is limited to 2,500 copies, the first 50 of which have been signed by Comte.


How Sara Elemary turned personal struggle into a fashion label

How Sara Elemary turned personal struggle into a fashion label
Updated 24 February 2021

How Sara Elemary turned personal struggle into a fashion label

How Sara Elemary turned personal struggle into a fashion label

DUBAI: Personal struggles sometimes make for the most successful businesses, or at least that was the case for Egyptian-Canadian designer Sara Elemary. 

After finding a gap in the modest fashion market 12 years ago, she decided to launch her own eponymous streetwear brand in 2009. 

Sara Elemary is an Egyptian-Canadian designer. (Supplied)

“There was a great shortage in modest wear, and I personally used to struggle,” she said in an interview with Arab News. “It was really hard to find anything. You would always have to layer pieces and you ended up wearing a lot during the summer time.”

The designer said she found it really hard to express her identity through fashion at the time. So, she took it upon herself to make it easier for people who were also finding it challenging to stay stylish, yet modest. 

Over the past few years, Elemary said that there has been a notable shift in the modest fashion industry. “It does not have to be wearing a hijab (a headscarf), but just the idea of modesty. We’ve been seeing it in international fashion shows.”

This shift gave Elemary’s made-in-Egypt label more exposure, she said. “Society and media started to look at modest brands in a different way. It does not have to be tacky or different, on the contrary, the acceptance in society for modest fashion has increased a lot,” she explained.

However, with that, competition has increased. “It puts a lot of pressure (on me), because I have to be more creative,” she said. 

The designer’s main goal is to present “modest wear differently, with a twist of elegance” to target not only conservative women, but all women. “My challenge is that I want to create something that everyone can accept,” she said.

Elemary recently launched her Fall/Winter 2020-21 collection titled “Urban Lines.” Bold colors, statement pieces, striking lines and urban landscapes all fuse together in the designer’s latest line.

The designer also merged different designs and fabrics together when it came to styling the campaign shots — plaid shirts over joggers and camo prints with sequins, highlighting the line’s endless mix-and-match possibilities.

One of the Elemary’s main dreams is to see her creations at high-end UK department store Selfridges. 

“One of the things that also really matters to me is when I am traveling and see someone wearing my designs. I really love that,” she said. 


Celebrity makeup artist Hindash to launch own brand

 Celebrity makeup artist Hindash to launch own brand
Updated 22 February 2021

Celebrity makeup artist Hindash to launch own brand

 Celebrity makeup artist Hindash to launch own brand

DUBAI: Celebrity makeup artist Mohammed Hindash announced on Monday he is launching his first beauty brand, Hindash Cosmetics.

The label is set to launch in March 2021. 

The Dubai-based artist, who has not yet revealed the products, took to Instagram to share the news with his 1.1 million followers. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by hindash (@hindash)

“Years in manifestation, I can now finally share the birth of my brand. Are you ready for an internal beauty intervention?” he wrote. 

Hindash started his journey on YouTube, reaching over 68 million views with over 1.7 million subscribers, and is now the latest in line of notable figures to venture into the makeup business. 

He worked with some of the world’s most renowned celebrities such as British model Naomi Campbell, “Mean Girls” actress Lindsay Lohan, US model Chanel Iman, Egyptian actress Mona Zaki and many more. 


Emirati label Qasimi presents its Fall 2021 collection at London Fashion Week

Qasimi Fall 2021 Ready-to-Wear. Supplied
Qasimi Fall 2021 Ready-to-Wear. Supplied
Updated 21 February 2021

Emirati label Qasimi presents its Fall 2021 collection at London Fashion Week

Qasimi Fall 2021 Ready-to-Wear. Supplied

DUBAI: In these strange and unprecedented times, it certainly feels like the best kind of garments are ones that wrap you up in a warm hug, offering a serene sense of protection and comfort. Qasimi’s Fall 2021 collection belongs in this category.

 “The new collection is centered around the concept of being wrapped and being hugged and protected during such an uncertain time,” explained Hoor Al-Qasimi, the Emirati creative director of the London-based menswear brand, to Arab News.

Qasimi Fall 2021 Ready-to-Wear. Supplied

Seeking inspiration from Islamic architecture — more specifically the “Mashrabiya,” which is an element of traditional Arabic architecture used since the Middle Ages up to the mid-20th century — Al-Qasimi’s  structured and tailored  garments envelope the body inside them, embracing the human form.

Qasimi Fall 2021 Ready-to-Wear. Supplied

Al-Qasimi presented the new offering via a digital presentation during London Fashion Week, which is currently underway until Feb. 23.

Considering Al-Qasimi is a patron of the arts (she is the founder of the Sharjah Art Foundation) it is no surprise that she decided to present the Fall 2021 collection by way of a fashion film.

The video was a collaborative effort between interdisciplinary performance company Bakani Pick-Up, which choreographed the presentation, and Visionist, who composed the soundtrack. “It has been a wonderful experience and I look forward to more similar collaborations in the future,” noted Al-Qasimi.

As for the collection itself, the lineup was punctuated with a diverse and interesting range of fabrics inspired by the interior settings of the meeting rooms used by the Bloomsbury Group, a cohort of writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists. Materials included chenille and mohair in pieces like an oversized parka and trench coat, cargo pants and kilt.

Qasimi Fall 2021 Ready-to-Wear. Supplied

When it came to the color palette, Al-Qasimi looked to Yemen. Softer notes of laurel and muted lime are contrasted with ivy, deep purple, cumin, copper and saffron. Prints take a rebellious stance, riffing on the region’s military camouflage but offset with a softer tulip motifs found in ceramics and tiles across the Islamic world.

The words of late German statesman Konrad Adenauer, “We all live under the same sky,” were printed onto detachable panels and outerwear, while “Dream!” written in Arabic calligraphy was embroidered onto jerseywear. “Free at Last,” a reference to Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 speech, also appeared in the offering.

Qasimi Fall 2021 Ready-to-Wear. Supplied

The new collection is Al-Qasimi’s third for the London-based brand since taking over the reigns after her twin brother Khalid Al-Qasimi’s passing in 2019. Although fashion is a new territory for the creative director, the Sharjah-born designer revealed that she is “slowly getting the hang of things.”

She said: “I think the most important thing is to listen to everyone around you and learn from their experiences.”