Celebrity-approved piercer Maria Tash to open boutique in Kuwait

US actress Zoe Kravitz sporting Maria Tash jewelry. (AFP)
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Updated 05 February 2020

Celebrity-approved piercer Maria Tash to open boutique in Kuwait

  • The jeweler has announced that it will be cutting the ribbon on a brand new store in Kuwait

DUBAI: Shortly after celebrity favorite jeweler and piercer Maria Tash opened a luxury boutique in The Dubai Mall in 2018, which became the brand’s second-ever freestanding location outside of its flagship store in New York City, the jeweler has announced that it will be cutting the ribbon on a brand new store in the Middle East.  

“We did two pop-ups in Kuwait in 2016 that were very successful,” recalled Tash of her first foray into the Middle East with Arab News. “I was thrilled to find that there is a deep appreciation of luxury and very high taste levels in Kuwait,” she adds. And following a few pop-ups here and there, the jeweler has decided to officially launch a permanent space in the Gulf country.

The reason for choosing to open the brand’s second location in the GCC in just a span of two years is down to consumer demands. “The success of our Dubai store coupled with the demand from Middle Eastern clients made Kuwait the natural choice for expansion in the region,” explains the celebrity-loved piercer whose jewelry has adorned the lobes of Rihanna, Zoe Kravitz and Blake Lively to name a few.

The Maria Tash Kuwait flagship will open its doors in mid-April 2020. Supplied

The Maria Tash Kuwait flagship will open its doors in mid-April 2020. Supplied

The 2,000 sq ft space will be situated on the ground floor in Prestige at The Avenues Kuwait, and will feature one women’s-only lounge for clients who value privacy. Additionally, there will be a wide selection of the designer’s dainty fine jewelry, which comprises ear, nose and navel piercings in 14k and 18k yellow, white and rose gold. Meanwhile, an expert team of stylists will be in-store to advise clients on the most flattering look based on their unique ear anatomy.

The new flagship will begin welcoming jewelry lovers in mid-April, when it’s slated to open.

 “I always envisioned to launch in Kuwait which makes this store opening very exciting for me,” shares Tash. “This opening is an important step to building our presence in the Middle East.”

Tash first founded her label and piercing studio in New York City in 1993 and has gone to be stocked in noted department stores, such as London’s Harrods and Liberty.

Saudi designer and musician: ‘You don’t need an excuse to fail’

Updated 47 min 37 sec ago

Saudi designer and musician: ‘You don’t need an excuse to fail’

  • An accomplished pianist, composer and artist Labeed Assidmi is known for his passion and hard work

DAMMAM: Saudi graphic designer, artist, musician and entrepreneur Labeed Assidmi is known for his passion and hard work.

Assidmi is a designer and art director for corporate events at Saudi Aramco. However, it’s not all he’s known for. An accomplished pianist and composer, he has been playing piano since he was a child and is often asked to perform at events. He also owns and operates the company Pinnizer, where he sells retro and Saudi-centric lapel pins.

He wants people to know that there are different levels to what he does and how he wants to be perceived. “I want to be known as a designer first, a musician second and a pin maker last,” he said.

His passion for design began with a trip to Disneyland, where he saw how effectively a logo could be used with the iconic image of Mickey Mouse. “They were so creative with it. It was everywhere; the hats, the shirts, the buses, the tickets and the food. It was never boring. I started to think about what kind of job a person could have that would allow them to create these things. I knew that that was what I wanted to do.”

After studying graphic design in the US, he returned to Saudi Arabia to pursue a career as a designer. He said that becoming a designer can unlock plenty of paths for aspiring creatives: “Design is like an airport, there are so many directions you can go in as long as you know the principles.”

His journey in music started in the fourth grade “on the half-functional keyboard that everyone had somewhere in their house during that era.” He tinkered around with it until he managed to teach himself a few simple tunes.

He started taking the piano more seriously in college, eventually composing songs.

“I always play my own songs, I don’t really like doing covers,” he said.

He finds composing and playing music cathartic, and an effective way of stretching his creative muscles without overexerting himself. “When I’m not making art, I’m making music, and vice versa. I love the piano, it’s my escape from everything,” he said.

He also supports local musicians and wants to see more people enter the field. “I do perform sometimes at my own events, but lately I’ve been trying to give local talent a chance. I know how many of them are out there that just need someone to take a chance on them and give them their big break.”

As for Pinnizer, he said that pin collecting had started growing in popularity as a pastime in the Kingdom, but he knew that there were few places to get pins with imagery familiar to his generation. “I found a gap in the market and decided to capitalize on it by creating designs with characters and symbols that were familiar to us,” he said.

Assidmi designs all the pins himself, and works with a company in China to produce molds for them, which he then sells on his website. He has created pins with iconic images of the past such as the old logos of Saudi TV and Saudi Airlines, as well as anime characters like Grendizer and Maroko.

“When people see my pins, and their voice goes up an octave when they give that nostalgic little ‘oh my God!’, I know I’ve succeeded,” he said.

He admits that balancing the triple workload and still managing to make time for himself and family is tough, but he has ways of getting around it.

He believes that compartmentalizing different aspects of your life into “pillars” can help people see the bigger picture and avoid getting too caught up in one thing.

Assidmi hopes that he can be an inspiration to future generations of Saudis, especially people who want to enter a creative field but don’t believe in themselves.

“My purpose is to leave a legacy that inspires people, to have people see what I’ve done and realize that this is something that they can do to. That’s how I want to be remembered.”

Shop Pinnizer at https://salla.sa/pinnizer/ or follow Assidmi on Instagram @labeed and his work at @labeed.design and @pinnizer