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Interview Jewelry

Jewelry pieces that are steeped in marvels of nature!

By Nagmani

The art of jewelry making is always believed to be a highly individualistic journey. It reflects the unique vision of a person who finds absolute pleasure in creating nothing ordinary but only exquisite pieces of jewelry women love and often seek to own as per their sophisticated taste.
In that case, the designs created by a renowned Hong Kong-based artisan jewelry designer Wallace Chan really stand out for that exceptionally high attribute whenever connoisseurs of jewelry come across his work.


Chan’s love of jewelry became obvious when he started learning the craft of gemstone carving at the age of 16. So the first stone that he found himself in contact with was a piece of malachite known for its healing wonders. From here on, his incredible journey with gemstones began rolling. “My curiosity increased through time, and I started to explore the properties of different kinds of gems. Nurtured in the generosity of Mother Nature, gemstones often tend to narrate stories of the universe’s past and present,” he says.
What makes Chan’s success story even more riveting is that he didn’t attend any prestigious design school because his family couldn’t afford a formal education. Even if he couldn’t and spent only a few years in school, he showed steely determination to change the challenging circumstances in his favor. “My study on Western sculptures began when I showed my courage and entered a bookshop one day,” he says. “The first book that came my way was a book on Michelangelo’s sculptures. I was overwhelmed by the dramatic expressions of light and shadows, the tensions of muscles and the compelling contours.”

Moreover, what he discovered in them was way too different from the Chinese carvings he was familiar with. In order to find more about Western sculptures, he did the insanely impossible when he spent some nights sleeping in the cemetery just to observe the Western marble sculptures there.

By and large, he finds solace in the colors, crystal structures, textures and forms of gemstones as they reveal the invaluable relationship between humankind, nature and the universe. “Be it carving, sculpture or jewelry, gemstones are the best medium that I love to use to interpret life, express resonance and get in touch with the future. They inspire my creativity from ideas and forms to craftsmanship and inventions. I like to embrace the flow of constant changes in my path,” he says. “This entire thing is an exciting journey for me as it keeps motivating me to explore the various facets of the unknown.”
While there are so many established brands competing head-to-head to entice the consumers with their products, he doesn’t feel fazed by it. Rather he proudly supports the imminent competition and says gently, “I’m delighted that my designs happen to draw in a lot of people. That’s good to know. I find it really rewarding.”


According to Chan’s clear-cut insight, people who collect jewelry art pieces are cultivated persons highly knowledgeable in the field of gemstones and jewelry. Artistic values and refined craftsmanship appeal to them immensely. They also prefer jewelry pieces that are unique. “The way I see it, they aren’t confined by the so-called hyped traditions and trends, but they do feel engaged with pieces that contain stories and have deeper meaning,” he says. “In essence, each piece of mine is what it’s here for.”
Today he holds such a big influence in the world of fine jewelry simply because of his one-of-a-kind technique “Wallace Cut” that is often talked about by the jewelry industry. It’s a carving technique which creates an illusion in transparent materials by combining medieval 360-degree intaglio into 3-dimension engraving. The resulting quintuple reflection unifies these features with precise calculation and angle casting and forms a 3-dimension and multi-line reflection. Chan achieved this milestone not in days or months. It took him eight years to master the technique constantly experimenting on titanium.

“I invented a gemstone-setting technique. In order to minimize the appearance of metal claws, this technique uses gemstones to function as claws. In simple words: Function is beauty. Titanium is light, hard, colorful and bio-friendly, but it’s also stubborn. It takes a long time to communicate with titanium so as to have it tamed the right way,” he says. “To be able to use titanium the way I wanted to has solved a lot of obstacles in jewelry making, thus expanding the canvas for my creativity, and it also allows me to create jewelry pieces that are ergonomically correct.”
His creations are designed and adorned with utmost attention to detailing to make sure women wearing them feel on top of the world. This is when Chan tends to focus on visualizing a woman’s figure. “A jewelry piece should not only be wearable, but it should also be comfortable. This conviction frequently leads me to study the human figure and understand how the bones, muscles and skin work in tandem,” he says. “It’s not intuition, but a lot of hard work involved. But through constant practice you start to believe it’s intuitional. I try my best to make my pieces universal, so they aren’t confined by a particular body type, and they’re able to accommodate all happily.”
Always pushing the envelope to enhance a woman’s beauty, his muse can only be someone special — a cultivated and confident soul who is passionate about life and arts. Chan’s multiple works speak volumes about his engaging philosophy to be reckoned with at the international level and for that reason he is graciously invited by TEFAF (the world’s leading art fair) to show his collection there every year. “I feel absolutely honored to be invited to participate at TEFAF. When art lovers of different cultural backgrounds gather at a high-profile event like this, it’s not just cultural exchanges that take place but also I get a chance to establish mind-to-mind connection with different individuals. I take this in my stride as a process of art practice,” he says.
It comes as no surprise that all his pieces are inspired by his experiences from different periods of his life journey, including his reflection on the mysteries of life.

While Asian jewelry especially from India and China is the most sought-after style in the world and it has had great influence on the West, inspiring jewelry creators who traveled far into the East and studied the history of the East, it would be wrong to say that there is one culture more unique than the other as he puts it, “Today, the world is so globalized that cultures inspire and borrow from one another, creating an environment where soon it may not even be necessary to distinguish jewelry pieces geographically anymore.”
However, Chan takes pride in ancient Asia jewelry as it tells us about the emotional functions of gemstones. All these materials have become a source of inspiration at present. “In the Middle Eastern culture jewelry commands a lot of respect and because of it I’m always fascinated by the colorful stories emanating from this region as a whole,” Chan says.
He has certainly blown everybody away with one of his creations titled “Fish’s Whisper” which is shaped in the form of a bangle. To bring it to life, he used intaglio to carve two pairs of fish on the inside of the crystal, following the curve of the bangle. One gets an illusion of the fishes as if they’re looking out at us from a bowl. “The world they see and the world we see are both twisted and we tend to assume each of our versions of the twisted world as something close to reality. Nothing is real, and nothing is unreal. Everything is a matter of perception,” Chan says. “But I feel that it’s a bit heartrending for the fish to live in a bowl, so I created jeweled corals for them; where they’re entitled to feel contented in their own universe.”

This time, Chan has gone one step further by doing the impossible. He has developed 20 jewelry pieces which are crafted in porcelain, a material that is five times harder than steel. As a patent to his pioneering invention, this method has been named “The Wallace Chan Porcelain.”
Although women lust after his remarkable jewelry sold at mindboggling prices, many collectors of his great work are men too and they’ve been wearing his jewelry with fervor for quite some time. “Whenever they wear the designed pieces of mine, they appreciate the pieces’ sculptural, carving or other qualities,” he says. “Many of my collectors are not celebrities. I look for collectors who appreciate the spirit of my work. We need to share the same vision. Resonance is the key word in our friendship.”
As the world gets hooked on his breathtaking jewels and art installations, Chan plans to have more exhibitions in years to come so that he can bring his creations to a wider audience and promote the spiritual values of jewelry art.

It’s no wonder why his night time appears to be so enigmatic. “Every night when I go to bed, I imagine myself going through rebirth, and when morning comes, I’m a newborn person again, curious about everything I see or sense. I’m constantly inspired and I absorb like a sponge,” he says.  

 

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Fashion Interview

MICHAEL Michael Kors: ALL EYES ON TIE DYE

A dreamy tie-dye print makes an eye-catching statement when worn head to toe, or mixed with any graphic print for an instant burst of color.

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Interview

Tyler Ellis: I believe In Italian Craftsmanship

BY: MIRVAT GHANEM/ @Mrs.M

What secret lies behind the uniqueness of your brand?

I am independently owned company, meaning I have no investors pushing me to cut quality to raise profit margins. I pride myself on workmanship and unique design. You will not find a TE logo on the exterior of any of my products because I believe in Italian craftsmanship, practical functionality, exquisite materials and eye-catching silhouettes. My seasonless collections are named after meaningful places rather than chronologically because I design pieces that are meant to remain relevant for generations to come.  As the late, great Karl Lagerfeld said, “Trendy is the last phase before tacky.”

 

“I pride myself on workmanship and unique design..”

How would you evaluate the success of you brand from last year?

Last year I traveled to the Middle East, Europe and Asia expanding my brands global footprint, which got me thinking about the intrinsic value of websites.  In today’s world, sites are becoming more and more important because they act as a brand’s international storefront and I decided I needed to up my game.  I spent the last few months working to make my site as informative as possible in an engaging, exciting and easy to navigate way.  From spinning Swarovski clutches to top celebrity sightings to the latest Awards Shows to personal images of me and the owners of my factory, my new site is filled with visual stimulations, engaging articles, behind the scenes information about my signature details and of course, all my timeless designs. When you have a moment, please go check it out – we ship internationally 😉

 

How many collections do you launch in a year?

I typically design two larger collections each year while also creating new silhouettes and colorways throughout. I recently launched Bespoke by Tyler Ellis, which offers our clients a personally tailored experience that connects you directly with a member of our dedicated concierge team to customize your one-of-a-kind handbag. We work with personal stylists to curate multiple looks for their client’s jet-setting lives and international red carpet galas, corporate event and wedding planners to deliver the perfect gifts for large affairs and much more.

 

Do you have a team that supports you creatively? What role do they play in improving the business?

I do not have a design team; all design is done solely by me and executed by the supremely talented, multi-generational Italian artisans at my factory. I do have a small team of A+ people who are essential to me and my business. In order to succeed, you need the back end of the company running efficiently so scalability is possible. Strategic PR and marketing advisors are also vital because brand awareness is incredibly valuable, especially when building a boutique luxury brand. The product is in the end what the consumer buys, but it takes a dedicated, insightful team of trusted advisors to move the brand to the next level. I am truly thankful for the special group of women and men working alongside me.

 

To what extent do your surroundings matter while creating a collection? How do you arrive at the final designs?

Prior to COVID-19, I would design most of my collections on my flights home from Italy, after visiting Lineapelle (the bi-annual leather fair) where tanneries showcase their new leather/skin collections and I choose samples. It was me, my swatches, my notebook and 12 hours with zero distractions, allowing me to focus purely on design with the fair still fresh in mind. I am unsure about the status of Lineapelle this fall, but because I wasn’t able to attend the winter fair earlier this year, I designed my Spring/Summer 2021 collection from home, and included a few skins from a previous season that I had treated with a lamination effect giving them a fresh vibe. I’m incredibly excited about SS’ 21 as it’s filled with electric, bright colors and exciting new shapes!

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Tell us about your latest Spring Summer 2020 collection? Where is it sold in Dubai? Are you planning to open any standalone stores in the region or worldwide?

My SS’20 collection is called Piuma Road, named after a beautiful street in Malibu Canyon that embodies southern California’s laidback roots, while exuding the romantic and timeless feeling of a bygone era. The rugged desert landscape emboldens the rich Italian leathers with colours reminiscent of the morning sky.  I chose electrifying lizard hides and supple snakeskins, pairing them with my classic silhouettes.  The dramatic juxtaposition of textures and hues highlights the rarefied beauty of each design – eternal jewels that will last a lifetime and more.

Currently, I do not have plans to open any stand-alone stores. I’m waiting to see how the retail industry recovers from COVID-19 and re-evaluate as the situation evolves.

 

After investing in and creating accessories, do you have any plans to foray into jewelry, watches, and or perfumes? What are your future plans for the brand?

I’m in the process of finishing a large renovation on my home, which inspired me to create luxury homeware items. I’ve created quilted leather note pads, python floor pillows, fox tissue holders, alligator candle holders and Orylag blankets.  I’m thinking about a luxe bathroom trash can next .

I would love to create a scent with my husband. He has an incredible nose and I’ve always wanted to design a vintage inspired perfume bottle!!

I’m also expanding my men’s collection…belts, cigar holders, golf score card holders, totes, attachés… we shall see where 2021 takes me!

“I am working on designing an exclusive collection for the brand..”

 

With all these commitments, where do you find time for yourself? Family and friends?

I am a huge believer in balancing work and pleasure. I can work from pretty much anywhere, providing internet availability, so my husband and I always try and tag on a personal trip when traveling for business.  We aim to work smart and enjoy our life together.

 

Do you have any new projects planned for the Middle East region in the coming months?

I’m incredibly excited about a potential collaboration with a UAE based couture designer. I am a huge fan of her spectacular work, and my clutches have already been paired with her gowns on A-list Hollywood celebs!  We are finalizing the details now, so we will keep you posted!!

I am also in talks with a luxury hotel brand, which also happens to include my favorite place to stay in Dubai! I am working on designing an exclusive collection for the brand.  Think rich pops of color, island inspired prints and water-resistant totes…

 

Tell us more about your next collection – FW 2020. What is the inspiration behind it and what should your customers expect to see?

My FW 2020 collection is named Lyon, which is inspired by nature’s inherent beauty by embodying its vibrant hues. From unique silhouettes embellished in sparkling Swarovski crystals to exotics reminiscent of the rich hues of a Peacock’s feathers, these are eye-catching designs that will resonate for generations to come!  The French countryside’s tranquil atmosphere allows one to step back and enjoy all of nature’s incredible gifts to humanity.

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Fashion Interview

The Multitalented Blogger Bushra Boumehdi: I Draw Inspiration From Anything & Everything Around me

Bushra Boumehdi, is a renowned style and fashion blogger who is from Morocco and at present in Abu Dhabi. With a aim to inspire people how they can be confident and beautiful, is her goal.

 

How did you decide to become a fashion blogger? Was it a thoughtful choice? 

Bushra Boumehdi : I always loved wearing stylish outfits since my childhood. I inherited from my parents. I was posting my outfits on social media from the past many years now and was getting requests to start blogging. Initially, I ignored the requests due to time crunch. However, eventually I gave it a serious thought and started pursuing my passion for fashion, and started posting more about it on Instagram.

Ms.Bushra Image 3

 

How was the response initially? Share some moments?  

Bushra Boumehdi : I started blogging as a part time hobby, while people use to recognize me on the streets and requested for pictures and advice. I was overwhelmed and satisfied with my world.

 

Who or what has been your greatest fashion inspiration?  

Bushra Boumehdi : I draw inspiration from anything and everything around me. It could be movies, fashion magazines, nature or blogs. I do not follow trends blindly. I take them into consideration with my body type and comfort before adopting a trend.

 

 Ms.Bushra Image 1

There are a lot of people following you on Instagram . How do you manage this huge number of followers?  

Bushra Boumehdi: Numbers are just a part of the journey.

 

You recently went to Pune for a fashion show ? What was it all about ?  

Bushra Boumehdi : Yes, I went to Pune India. Actually I was invited there By Orra diamonds to Present 5 Elements for the festival of lights Diwali 2019 – and I also got the award for show-stopper.

Ms.Bushra Image 4

 

Advice for all your fans? Who want to start their fashion industry journey ? 

Bushra Boumehdi : Know fashion trend by engaging in Eastern and Western cultures to get the best of both the world.

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Interview Jewelry Videos

Exclusive.. Nada Ghazal: It’s very important to be true to yourself!

By: Mirvat Ghanem

Exclusive Interview With the stylish Nada Ghazal,

Founder and Creative Director of the brand Nada G Fine Jewelry.

What secret lies behind the uniqueness of your brand?  

I believe it’s very important to be true to yourself! Being true to myself and putting my heart in every piece I create, makes everything I create genuine, authentic and unique.  Every collection stems passionately from a feeling, a story or an experience, it is obvious that every piece I create has a soul, so I do not just create jewelry, but I create experiences which I love to share with women around the world.  And when it comes to details, every pieces is meticulously produced by highly experienced and passionate craftsmen.

 

Tell us more about the last collection, (inspiration)?  

In collaboration with Beirut Design Week, dedicated to ‘Design & Nostalgia’, I created a collection called ‘HERITAGE & HEIRLOOMS’, inspired by heirlooms I saw being passed on from the women in my life to their daughters. I grew up in a traditional Lebanese family who like most Lebanese families are connected to their heritage and proud of their history. A tradition, I have witnessed so many times is mothers gifting their daughters heirlooms they’ve been given by their mothers before as if to pass the torch forward and continue this tradition. My inspiration for this limited collection is drawn from these pieces I saw being passed on. I think it’s a beautiful tradition and the pieces spread happiness and joy, strengthen social ties and preserve this beautiful heritage of ours with a genuine unique gift that has a strong sentimental value. For those women who were lucky to receive heirlooms from their mothers, the tradition can continue by passing these to their daughters. For others who were less fortunate, I invite them to start their own with one of these beautifully designed limited edition pieces.

 

How do you evaluate the improvements of brand during the last year?

Last year was a big tipping point for Nada G. We opened a bigger jewelry workshop where all our collections are being meticulously produced and supervised by a professional team, so our production capacity has increased. Our team has increased 200%, we have had a wider exposure, and we had a great overall increase in sales. This year we are working on our rebranding as part of the ground work to go internationally, and we will be opening our flagship boutique by Q4 2019.

 

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In what way do you plan your projects schedule? And what’s the period to be applicable?

Being creators, producers, retailers and wholesalers, our plan is split on various areas, creation, production, and sales and marketing activities which include events, exhibitions, campaigns on various mediums etc… Besides the business plan which is worked on a three years basis, the yearly plan is usually set at the end of every year; however, does get modified based on results during the year.

 

What’s the role of your team work in your projects? And improvements?  

I have learnt throughout the years to surround myself with passionate and dedicated people who are better than me in their own specialty. This way delegation becomes a pleasure, and team work becomes very natural, where we all team up and distribute tasks between us, making the whole team feel very involved and motivated. Now that I can say, I passed many challenges to build a great team, the whole operation has improved.

 

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To what extend do you insist on the elegance of the environment where your pieces will be hosted, and how the design is achieved?

Everything is effected by the environment around it, and the way it is displayed, so I make it a point to personally supervise the way our pieces are displayed, so that every piece takes its true value.

 

Are you planning for more openings in the word?  

Growing internationally has always been part of my vision, and I aspire for the brand to become a leading international brand. At this point we are doing a lot of ground work to set a strong base, as a preparation to fly internationally in 2020, mainly in the UK, France and the USA.

 

How do you feel when your brand is the favorite brand chosen by the highest classes of the society?

The most gratifying reason to being a jeweler, is translating my emotions into timeless jewelry pieces that awaken emotions in others. It’s what keeps me going, and I hope to continue connecting to more and more women around the world through my jewelry pieces.

 

 

With all these commitments, where do you find time for yourself? Family and friends?  

It’s all about time management and learning how to delegate the right tasks. I am an early riser, so my day starts at 6am as it’s a priority to spend the morning with my husband and three children. By the time our little ones are all set, and on their way to school, I exercise for 45 minutes for a boost of energy, then I rush to work to make sure I am there by 9am. In some cases even earlier.

I spend my day at Nada G headquarters, and my time spreads partly with myself and partly with the communication team, the financial team and the production team – which is the part that adds more glitter to my eyes! I also visit the points of sales to spend some time with the sales team and of course our customers. So I am pretty involved in everything. However, I make sure to be home for lunch when our children come back from school to spend some precious time with them and with my husband, then I head back to work again while my children get busy in their after school activities. By the time my children finish their activities, I head back home for dinner time and bed time which are sacred for me, so I am at home then, which means I do let go of most activities and events taking place during these hours, unless there is something very important and urgent for work. Once the children are in bed, if I have pending work to do, then I have all night to finish, otherwise, it’s the perfect time to spend with my wonderful husband and friends.

It’s challenging and could be very tiring, but I have learnt how to set my priorities, and have achieved a good balance in doing what I love to do most.

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Interview Jewelry

Exclusive 10 Minutes With Maria Tash

Text By: Mirvat Ghanem

 

Interview with the Fine jewelry designer and celebrity piercing expert, Maria Tash.

 

 

How would you describe the Maria Tash brand?

Fine jewellery and jewellery styling that leaves the wearer feeling beautiful, creative, and daring with luxury piercing services that are best in class. I want everyone to leave a Maria Tash store feeling more beautiful via a fun styling and precision piercing experience.

 

What led you to jewellery? Earrings and piercings in particular?

I’ve always been attracted to jewellery. As a child I would raid my mother’s jewellery box and wear most of her pieces simultaneously to her amusement.  Sketching jewellery ideas also started early, approximately age twelve.  I attended my mother’s adult education night jewellery class with her when I was a child. The focus on earrings and piercings in particular derives from my youthful participation in the punk and gothic subcultures.  They were liberating and I was able to experiment with asymmetric looks.  Piercing played a big part in the punk/goth aesthetic and music.

 

How do you translate the history of the brand in to your designs?

In all of my pieces you can see the traditional body piercing philosophy of “low profile” meaning all jewellery lives very close to the skin so it can live there for years if desired without catching on clothing or hair. I also spent much of the time in the 1990s designing elaborate navel jewellery.  Now some of these designs which were once joined by curved barbells, live apart, are scaled down, and reside in different parts of the inner ear.  The individual curved barbell components and navel ring designs, were miniaturized and improved.  Then I found new places on the body to put them, like worn together in the Tash rook and the high conch.  Specialty curved bars I developed for the navel have also been scaled down and applied to the ear, and as a result we have been able to pierce new inner ear locations and create effects not seen before, like a Tash daith.

 

What have been your career highlights so far?

Opening my freestanding store in Dubai was a significant milestone for me and I am very proud of it. Building a global team that makes my brand’s worldwide expansion possible is what I’m really thankful for, and we’re an extended family.

 

How would you define the spirit of Maria Tash?

Self-celebrating, confident, courageous, edgy, daring, unique

 

What makes Maria Tash unique, how have you diversified from other fine jewellery brands?

The attention to detail found in the delicate, small, and sturdy designs. The uniqueness of the types and sheer range of sizes of rings and studs create a wide palate of styling and curation options for true custom fitting and unique combination styling. I created a thin internal threading to apply to the body, invisible diamond setting in studs and rings, and applied the latest in laser technology applied to diamonds to create elaborate and floating diamond effects applied to the body in ways you have not seen before.

 

What in your opinion is currently the biggest trend in the industry?

I dislike the word “trend” as it implies a temporary condition. I’ve been in the piercing and jewellery industry since 1992, and multiple lobe piercing has always been popular, and rightly so. I would say at the moment “stacked” lobes and staggered lobe designs with tiny studs placed in creative ways around traditional earlobe piercings is having a deserved moment.

 

How is Maria Tash approaching this trend?

I am working on invisible setting new shapes of diamonds to apply to the stacked and staggered looks so the effect when worn with a traditional lobe piercing is novel and exciting.

 

How does Maria Tash cater to the celebrity market?

I have been very fortunate in that my brand, located in Manhattan since the early 1990s, was able to reach a lot of stylists, models, and actresses just from organic walk in traffic basis. Working seven days a week in Manhattan for years, enabled the word to spread. I do give a lot of credit to the early stylists I met and worked on, as they would introduce celebrities to my brand.  Celebrities would ask their stylists where they got their personal Maria Tash jewellery, then they would come into the store, and the brand grew.  This effect was all before social media.  Now, I have the privilege to be able to think what pieces would look great on certain celebrities and work with them directly to create a look they love.

 

What is the short-term and long-term vision for Maria Tash?

Creating new jewellery for our next campaign, and simultaneously grow and expand my retail stores. I’m very excited for the future.

 

What does success mean to you?

Creating value and meaning in the lives of the people I work with, in the lives of our clients, and for me having fun doing that creation. I love and feel honoured to be able to bring the ideas in my head into physical form, and then having people incorporate these pieces into the body to feel more beautiful, confident, and happy.  It is also very significant to me when I hear how the jewellery and piercing experience created a memorable bonding event between two people.  This can be between mother and daughter, father and daughter, friends, or partners.  Being able to do this globally and have people around the world feel this way while loving the jewellery is humbling and satisfying.

 

How do you feel when you meet a professional achievement?

I feel a deep sense of accomplishment with a pinch of “ok, now what’s next?”. I think it is always important to set goals and reach high. By the time there is a professional achievement, there is usually years of work or thoughts behind it, so thinking about how to expand to the next achievement keeps my world exciting.

 

What’s next for Maria Tash in the Middle East?

Store expansions, and more custom jewellery pieces designed especially for the region. I feel like I can design with freedom for the Middle East and feel proud to create bold pieces to have there for an exclusive period of time. Please stay tuned!.

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Interview

Exclusive : Conversation with Alberto Morillas

By : Linda G. Al Ali

 

Could you tell us something about yourself and your passion for perfumery? When did you first start making perfume?

I’ve been perfumer with Firmenich for the past 40 years and my passion for perfumes and fragrances is still the same as the very first day I started working there. It all began when I read an article about Jean-Paul Guerlain in French Vogue. At the time, being a perfumer wasn’t such a glamorous job and really wasn’t talked about much but that article was a real revelation and steered me towards my path.

How do you choose your fragrance? Do you have a process?

This is the most difficult part of my job, I find it so hard to make a decision because as a creator, I never feel like my product is truly finished. It’s much easier when I work with other brands as I have deadlines to stick to, at some point, I have to stop making modifications, but when I create for Mizensir, my daughter has to police me, or I’d keep making adjustments forever.

What draws you to a particular scent?

I draw inspiration from everything – an emotion, a souvenir, family and other people close to me, travel etc. The idea for Epine de Rose, for example, came to me once, when I was at the airport. I had smelled a beautiful rose scent on a man who was sat close to me. Smelling such a fragrance on a male figure gave me the idea to create a very particular masculine rose scent.

What is your approach to making a perfume? How would you describe the style of your perfumes?

I would describe my perfumes as fresh, transparent and fluid.

 What are your thoughts on scents and seasons? Do you change your fragrance seasonally?

I change perfume several times a day but I do not believe there are particular scents for each season. You should wear different perfumes depending on your mood.

 How did you decide to start your own line?

I started this brand with my wife, over 20 years ago with the creation of the Mizensir candles. I have always had a love for fine scented candles and it just felt right to start my fragrance house with them. Over time, I’ve created more than 100 different scented candle fragrances. At some point, I felt Mizensir was ready for the next step, so naturally, we went on to create our perfume line.

“I want to create perfumes of excellence”

Portrait Alberto 2 Portrait Alberto 3

 Could you tell us what makes Mizensir Parfums special? Is it a big deviation from other perfumes that you’ve made in the past, or even from most perfumes in the market?

When I founded Mizensir Parfums, I wasn’t trying to create a complicated or super original concept. I want to create perfumes of excellence. There is no compromise in the selection of raw materials. Our perfumes are created for those who love quality perfumes.

 Which is your favourite Creed scent, and why?

I could not tell which one is my favourite in the Creed collection but Olivier is a great friend of mine and one of the most talented perfumers of our generation.

 What material do you use in your perfume?

Of course, I use a lot of natural ingredients that are carefully selected by Firmenich to be the best in the industry.

On the other hand, I like to use synthetic molecules, especially the musks, that allow me to give some depth and a mysterious dimension to my creations.

 With so much to smell, how do you make a selection?

I live surrounded by smells, good and bad. I draw inspiration for my creations from it. What is essential is to know how to associate and balance them.

 After starting your own line, what will be your next future plan?

For Mizensir, the plan is to keep creating as many perfumes as possible. Mizensir is my playground where I can create and explore as much as I want.

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Interview

Exclusive: Long Talks …. Rami Al Ali

Rami Al Ali : “No better feeling then to see someone wearing one of my designs”

 

By : Linda G. Al Ali

Why did you decide to choose fashion designing as a career?

I have always had an interest in fashion, I was mesmerized by the power of style and the confidence it brought. I knew that my career would always be something that allowed my creativity to flourish.

What according to you is a favorite part of being a fashion designer?

I love the design process from the initial concept to the construction – It’s a great feeling to see my designs come to life. There is also no better feeling then to see someone wearing one of my designs.

What skills according to you are necessary for a successful fashion designer?

Having the courage to experiment and go outside your comfort zone and then find your identity and focus on it. Most importantly, be determined and consistent.

What is the qualification required for a fashion designer career?

You don’t need formal education; travelling and gaining knowledge through experiences is more valuable. You just need to think creatively and the ability to craft something beautiful that leaves a lasting impression.

How do you stay up to date regarding fashion?

My style is timeless and elegant, and I try to incorporate that in everything that I create. I don’t usually follow trends and I try to be innovative and introduce something new to the audience, while also maintaining the brand DNA.

Tell us something about your background?

I grew up in Deir-ez-Zor, a large city in Syria. I was a graduate in Middle Eastern History. I later moved to the capital, Damascus to study Visual Communications at the college of Fine Arts. My final graduation project is where I produced my first fashion show.

What do you consider the important facets of the fashion industry?

The most important facets of the fashion industry is creativity, innovation and passion for what you do.

Tell us about the upcoming collection & what material do you use?

I am honored to have collaborated with Charles & Keith, and to be able to inject my aesthetic to this project. I included elements of embroidery, a satin bow, and embellishments, such as crystals and pearls, to make it my own and give it the couture look.

Tell us more about your collaboration with CHARLES & KEITH?

This collaboration was about designing wearable accessories that also offered a piece of the couture world to a wider community. Charles & Keith are known for their quality and their fashion forward designs, we aimed to create an unparalleled hybrid of styles that fit together seamlessly and mixed both our brand DNA.

 charlies & Keith

Rami Al Ali X Charles Keith available in stores

Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?

I see myself doing the thing I love, designing. I want to grow my brand and expand my audience. Keep creating more designs, individually and in collaboration with other international brands that value innovation and quality like Charles & Keith.

How would you describe your personal style?

I would describe my style as understated chic. I love timeless pieces that will never go out of fashion. I prefer to indulge in fewer pieces that I know will last longer. My staple wardrobe consists of a crisp white buttoned up shirt and my navy blue Louis Vuitton loafers.

How will you handle stress?

I take time away from my projects, this allows me time to relax but also helps me gain a broader perspective and helps me remain focused.

How would you relate past and present fashion trends?

Fashion has always been a way to communicate and deliver messages. In the past it was more positive and upbeat, but recently is has become very negative. This might be a reflection of what the society and the environment is going through now.

 

 

Categories
Interview

Heba Al Fazari

Emirati, Heba Al Fazari is a visionary. Armed with a Georgetown Global MBA,
diplomatic experience, economic policy and business development to name but a
few, Heba uses many innovative strategies to expand her business across different
territories. An adventurer who has travelled across the globe, discovery has been
her lifelong passion. In particular, a love for unveiling new treasures, Heba set out on
a new journey to create an online experience that allows clients to liven up their
wardrobes with exclusive and luxurious items.
Founding COVETI following fourteen years in the business industry, her experience
in leadership across many different cultures and territories has cultivated a rich and
solid network and has positioned her business acumen into the spotlight – the
perfect base for launching her own retail concept. With a multinational background,
Heba holds a wealth of international experience. Working with both emerging and
developed markets, her travels have allowed her to seek out treasures from every
corner of the globe. Discovering hidden boutiques and small local designers, the
pieces she uncovers are beautiful and unique. Heba’s goal is to create a
revolutionary data-driven online experience that not only creates value and new
opportunities but to also take the COVETI customer on an inspiring adventure into a
one-stop destination of picturesque items that will surely liven up any wardrobe.

Categories
Interview

Q&A with Grace Elizabeth

Your mom was really the force behind supporting and encouraging you to be a model. When did it click for you that this was what you wanted to do? I wasn’t sure about it until a few months before I moved to New York at age 18. In my mind, I was going to work as hard as I possibly could and give myself six months to see a shift in my career. If that shift hadn’t happened, I would have gone back home and started a new career.

When was the first time you truly felt like a model? I was shooting in Miami Beach for an Australian magazine in 2015. People gathered around for hours taking pictures of the set. It was pretty wild!

 

You’ve been doing this for just a little over two years. What has been the biggest surprise for you? The fact that I can be in 3 different countries and 4 different cities in one week. What does it mean to you to be joining Estée Lauder? I am blessed to be a part of such an established brand. The fact that Estée Lauder has been thriving since 1946 speaks for itself. The Estée woman is everything I aspire to be: confident, beautiful, strong, courageous, and an entrepreneur.  

 

What is the best beauty tip you’ve picked up on set? The base is everything. Your skin has to be loved in order to look loved.

 

What is the one thing you wish everyone understood about modeling? It takes a lot of dedication. It’s not just about physical appearance—you have to maintain your health, because you may be jumping off of a 14-hour flight and heading straight to set for a 12-hour day. You have to look and feel good in order to perform well.

 

Where do you go when you just want to get away from it all? Home to Florida.

 

You also talk about going bowling every time you’re home. What’s your average score? I’m not sure, actually, but I have bowled a turkey (3 strikes bowled consecutively) numerous times! What would you be if you weren’t a model? A marine biologist.

 

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Never go grocery shopping hungry. You’re a big fan of classic rock. How did you get introduced to it and who is your all-time favorite musician? Tom Petty, for sure! I have very fond memories of my family singing (or screeching, depending on who it was), doing karaoke, or strumming the guitar to classic rock while canoeing down the river or having oysters by the fire. What’s left on your bucket list? An American Vogue cover, launching my own denim line, skydiving, bungee jumping, cave diving, cliff diving, hot air ballooning, and vacation in Venice, Italy. What is the most recent thing you just checked off your bucket list that you’re most excited about? An Estée Lauder contract!