ANTI-GLOSSY. INDEPENDENTLY OPINIONATED.
DIALA MAKKI GUCCI NADER MANSOUR KHALID SHAFAR KHULOOD AL THANI FREDDIE HUNT SAINT LAURENT DEUS EX MACHINA ALEXANDER MCQUEEN STELLA MCCARTNEY JIMMY CHOO SERGIO ROSSI MARNI BALENCIAGA
ANTI-GLOSSY. INDEPENDENTLY OPINIONATED. LOG ONTO D-JOURNAL.NET TO SEE VIDEO CONTENT, MAKING-OF THE SHOOTS AND REGISTER FOR NEWS, INVITATIONS AND MORE.
OUR PUBLISHER AND EDITOR IN CHIEF ON THIS ISSUE: AYAAD: It’s important every now and then that we let go and move on. MEREDITH: I think it's very liberating and important for the psyche - it's a sign of strength in my opinion. What has been a moment for you when you have just let go and moved on? AYAAD: There have been many - moving to a new country. Getting married ... MEREDITH: Do you think it comes down to trusting yourself? AYAAD: I think we instinctually do it all the time - it’s a part of growing. MEREDITH: Like shedding an old skin. Also, it's like accepting the good and bad in every situation in order to move forward. AYAAD: There’s always bad that comes with good. It all depends on how well you handle that bad. The world is for the brave. MEREDITH: And bravery comes in many forms ... I think sometimes the bravest thing of all is to simply believe in an idea and not give up - kind of like a little kid. AYAAD: The brave and the crazy are the ones changing the world. MEREDITH: This is a part of your childhood you should never give up sometimes the crazy ideas are the ones that work out the best! AYAAD: I love watching little kids. They are so focussed and don’t give up on what they are doing until it’s compelte. MEREDITH: I know - it's crazy to think that for a little kid doing anything for the first time is such an immense task. If they don't focus they will never learn anything. AYAAD: They get there in the end - even though they struggle. I also love old people - they get to a place when they just don’t care any more. They don’t care about what they say as they have nothing more to loose.
TEAM MANAGING DIRECTOR Ayaad Damouni EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Meredith Taylor-Damouni editor@D-journal.net ART DIRECTOR Capital D Studio ONLINE EDITOR Parisa Birgani INHOUSE PHOTOGRAPHER Miguel Veterano, Marvin Caibal PHOTO ASSISTANT Sufyan Muhammad SENIOR RETOUCHER Shijar Mohammed PRODUCTION HOUSE Capital D Studio PRODUCTION HEAD Ziad Georges D THE AGENCY DIRECTOR Shefki Nawaz ADMIN & DISTRIBUTION Loida Cocjin BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Alina Taranov PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION POINTS FOR THE PRINTED EDITION INCLUDE
MEREDITH: Hahaha - yes they have really let go! AYAAD: Combine the focus of the young and the honesty of the old an you'll be getting somewhere. ENJOY THE ISSUE!
FOLLOW AYAAD: FOLLOW MEREDITH:
ON THE COVER - DIALA MAKKI PHOTOGRAPHED BY Ayaad Damouni @ D the Agency STYLE DIRECTOR Meredith Taylor-Damouni @ D the Agency HAIR & MAKEUP Salma El Saadany PRODUCTION & POST Capital D Studio ALL FASHION BY GUCCI
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Diala wears Gucci. Hair and makeup by Salma El Saadany Shot at Capital D Studio Production and post by Capital D Studio
DIALA MAKKI WHAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF Interview by Meredith Damouni Photography by Ayaad Damouni at D the Agency
Who are you? I am a simple girl from Lebanon with a big dream and a vision. I am trying to make it in my industry and become a role model for other women in the Arab world.
the world, revealing the stories of inspirational designers, going to workshops in remote places and discovering craftsmanship among many other forms of art. It’s the world through the eyes of a simple girl. Not a fashionista. Not a fashion critic. Just very real point of view. Now in the second season, we have changed the name of the series and added more reality and opened up the platform to include other forms of art. I am really excited about the prospects.
Where do you fit in? I am a journalist, a producer and a TV host and hope to position myself as such. I studied film and TV production in addition to a major in journalism and international affairs. I always knew I wanted to be in the show business at a very early age and took steps to make my dreams come true. I hosted cinema shows, big formats, international formats like Taratata, was a model and a cover girl and a brand spokesperson. Today I’m a journalist with a passion of producing documentaries and discovering success stories from around the world.
Who is the designer you would love to meet that haven’t yet? Actually the only designer I was looking forward to meeting was Giorgio Armani and we did meet. Even though we had a language barrier, I was in awe of his presence. It shocked me that a man his age and in his powerful position globally is still very much hands on and involved in every single detail in his company. Not to mention the respect that I have for a man who created power suits for women in the 80’s! There is nothing more refreshing than a man empowering women and he was a pioneer at that.
How do describe yourself when meeting someone new? I never had to. All the experiences and the background I have made me who I am today. I greet people with a big smile and I’m always open to meeting new people in my life.
Why do you think fashion is so interesting to the Middle East? Fashion is interesting in the Middle East because we showed the world that when it comes to Haute Couture noone beats us. It’s as simple as that. All I have to start is by saying ‘Elie Saab’.
What have been 5 pivotal moments in your life so far? 1) When I stood on the red carpet for the first time nine years ago to interview top Hollywood stars with no experience while trying to prove myself in a highly competitive industry. 2) First time I hosted a live show which was the Arabic version of Pop Idol .. I still remember the butterflies that I felt in my stomach till this day. 3) First time I fell in love. 4) When my grandmother died - she was always my fairy god mother. 5) Finally when I started producing my documentaries and seeing the dream slowly come together into a reality.
How important is social media to your work and your profile? Social media for me is powerful tool for engaging with my audience. I use it to enhance the quality of my work based on the feedback I receive directly through social media channels. How do you see the rise of Diala Makki in the next 5 years? In five years I want my format to go international. Are you interested in English programming for television? Yes.
What are the most important attributes you look for in a person? Every year is a learning process for me. I constantly try to educate myself, learn more, laugh more, be more humble and try and help people. I have become more independent, more career driven, stronger, down to earth and thankful for all the blessings I have.
Do you see potential in online webisodes and content for the Middle East? The potential is big, however it all depends on marketing and good content which is difficult to find in this region.
How do you define your social and work life when they are so intermixed? My social life is due to my work life and once you decide to be in the public eye there are certain sacrifices that you have to make. I have been blessed however, to find people in this industry that I call today as friends and mentors.
How much do you think that people know about Diala the person as opposed to Diala the presenter? I’m pretty much the same person as always - the success that I reached recently is due to the fact that I was being totally natural and myself on the show. I try to break the stereotypical boundaries that would otherwise keep me distant from my fans.
Is Dubai home? Dubai is certainly home, it’s the city where I transformed from a young girl that packed her bags in one day looking for an adventure, into a mature woman trying to benefit from all the experiences, both good and bad.
Who do you respect the most and why? My mother .. I learn from her strength everyday.
What do you feel are the most important aspects to creating unique content for a Middle Eastern audience? My job is about creating content through the many shows I hosted and produced. With the latest two series, I felt as a journalist, I had the responsibility of providing smart, deep, valuable knowledge about the luxury and fashion industry revealing the codes, DNA, heritage and inspiring stories of big personalities that changed the industry that we know today. The audience in this region is very well informed and hence I work really hard to provide entertaining content that is suitable for the region. I have very strong views about the power of journalists today as apposed to the rise of bloggers and opinionated individuals in this industry without demeaning the power of social media these days. I hope to raise awareness in this community that we are all responsible for the kind of information we put out there, and that this will ultimately affect the growth and education of future generations.
Name 3 things you can’t live without: 1) My passport , I can’t be stuck in one place for too long 2) My diary .. I write everything down .. everything 3) Chanel Number 5 perfume,because it’s my mother’s scent Favourite instagram account to follow? @Negin_Mirsalehi Follow Diala @dialamakki
How have you created a fresh platform with The Fashion Diaries? The fresh platform with Fashion Diaries is the fact that for the first time in the Arab world you see documentaries about the fashion and the luxury world in an educational yet transparent kind of way. It is my personal journey discovering the historical timeline of some of the most interesting brands in
Go online to D-journal.net to watch the behind the scenes of the photoshoot.
Diala wears Gucci.
NADER MANSOUR OF THE WONTON BISHOPS Interview by Parisa Birgani Photography by Miguel Veterano at Capital D Studio
At first glance, Nader Mansour epitomizes everything a rock and roll singer should be - the tattoos, the beard and the effortlessly cool attitude we all secretly want to have. But, once we sit down with the front man to Lebanese blues band, The Wanton Bishops, we soon realize, that behind it all, Nader is a humble, talented being that sometimes get’s misjudged because of his appearance. Who are you? I’m still trying to figure that one out. It varies according to days and nights, countries and people I’m around. Your band,The Wanton Bishops, is creating a new sound for the Middle Eastern region, how does it feel to know you’re creating that? When we do music there’s no correlation with the Middle East itself, we don’t represent it, we don’t want to represent it, we cannot. It’s a lot of responsibility that we wouldn’t want to partake in. A lot of other bands represent this region, maybe we do represent it by simply doing what we do and giving the Middle East another image, but do we carry the torch and go ahead? No. We do music which we simply love, and if people relate to it, that’s fantastic. Your voice has the most unique tone to it, do you practice singing in the shower? I smoke a lot, not in the shower. The shower is an interesting place for me, I love bathing in general, I’m like the old Romans. You’re quite an outspoken band, regarding politics, social movements... do you ever feel there’s a boundary for that in this region? Yes inevitably, and we break all of these, not because we’re a rock and roll band, but I’ve grown up in a way where I say what I actually feel. It has got us in trouble before, and it will get us in trouble again, its not always good, I don’t advise it, but we do it for the better or worse. You’re an award-winning artist that tours the world, what’s your secret? That would be when you’re back home; the organization, hanging out with your family - which is extremely important and working out. Now touring is different from back in the days, you sort of live a life of an athlete, you need to sleep well, eat well and eat lots of vegetables.
Favorite place you’ve ever played? Beirut is always sort of a riot, its hometown, we’re kind of big out there, when you get 2000 people to come see you, singing all the songs it’s very special. Jordan was fantastic, South Africa was excellent, and Paris is always special. It’s different, because it’s multiple layers but to the same thing. The bigger the better sometimes, the smaller the better, I can’t say it’s one city itself, there’s so many things that can affect it, the experience the next day, the crowd, the energy and the night itself. Favorite song to perform and why? That would inevitably be ‘Sleeping with the Lights On’, for a particular reason; I wrote it for a friend of ours who passed away. There’s a special energy, I mean whatever we play may be good, bad, loud soft, but this song, I can’t explain it without going into spirituals, which I’m too sarcastic for. What’s something that people would be shocked to know about you? That I’m actually a good decent human being compared to the rock and roll image that I might convey. I’m a loving family man, and people don’t see that because all they see is the tattoos, the beard, the rock and roll character. But behind it, there’s a wounded blues man, let’s say that. And I’m looking for love just like everyone else - I mean I’m looking in the wrong places but none the less I’m looking.
Listen to Nader’s Sound cloud playlist on the D-journal soundcloud channel : 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
If you could dine with three musicians who would they be? I would definitely dine with Nick Cave, Skip James and Sabah Fakhri. Where and when do you feel the most creative? Look I can give you a cliché answer, and then I’ll give you a practical answer. Home is definitely given me some inspirational moments, because where I live in my office I’m facing bed and after certain activities I’m left with a beautiful image. Although, getting up, getting suited up, and going out gives me inspiration. But overall, during my daily routine, I tend to develop inspiration. You can’t wait for accidental inspiration to happen, without life pushing it your way.
Grinderman- Dig lazarus dig Timber Timbre- Hot dreams Alt j –Fitzpleasure The Kills- Heart is a beating drum Robert Plant and the band of Joy- Live in Tennessee Leonard Cohen- Almost like the blues Johnny Guitar Warson- Ta Taya Baby Nick Cave- As I sit sadly by her side Tom Waits- The piano has been drinking Skip James- Catfish Blues
ON THE ROAD AGAIN Photography - Bridget Fleming - D the Agency Fashion - Meredith Taylor-Damouni - D the Agency Hair and makeup - Marisol Steward - D the Agency Model - Elena P. - Wilhelmina
Knit and skirt by Alexander McQueen
This page: Knit and shorts by Stella McCartney Opposite: Pants and shoes by Marni, cropped top by McQ, coat by Maje
This page: Jacket and skirt by Balenciaga, shoes by Marni Opposite: Top by Stella McCartney, skirt by Maje, shoes by Roger Vivier
This page: knit and skirt by Alexander McQueen Opposite: Earring by McQ, knit dress by Alexander McQueen
Khulood wears her own creation from Bint Thani
KHULOOD AL THANI DESIGNER, CREATOR Interview by Meredith Damouni Photography by Miguel Veterano at Capital D Studio
How do you define your professional career? Creative, challenging and different! What influences your inspiration? I would say most of my inspirations are coming from my own love for arts and culture and many will be coming from different movements that have happened, but will be packaged in more contemporary frame when it comes into design. What are the key elements you feel are at the core of your brand? The key elements of BINT THANI brand are the ready-to-wear collections, the accessories (currently the turbans) and the artistic special projects that I participate in, such as the ‘Between the Dunes’ project, an experimental project using camel leather, and laser cut techniques.
What are you planning for the next 2 years to develop the BINT THANI brand? I will be focusing on the core business of BINT THANI studio, developing new ideas and inspiration, focusing on communicating a defined style for BINT THANI Ready-to-Wear Collection and unique collaborations will be welcomed. Who are your style icons? There are few ones that I like; such as Diana Vreeland and Iris Apfel. Who would you love to see donning a BINT THANI head piece? I wouldn’t be very limited to a certain person; it’s honestly a piece that I would like any woman who considers herself a trendsetter to have it.
How important is social media to your brand? Social media is becoming increasingly important, especially for a fashion brand. It’s a channel to communicate the brand, educate your customer about your products and update them about your own activities.
What is making you feel excited at the moment? One of our latest projects is the ‘Urban Corp’, which is a collaborative experimental project between BINT THANI & INTER | ACT, merging expertise in design, fashion and 3D printing Technology. Myself and Amer Aldour, the Architect and the Founder of “INTER | ACT”, both see a great potential in developing something new and unexpected for the design scene in Dubai, by bringing a uniquely 3D printed fashion installation, that has been produced locally. The experimental garment is further infused with native camel leather, to accentuate the narrative behind the project. The concept ‘Urban Corp’ is inspired from the city of Dubai, more specifically the juxtaposition of seemingly out of context architectures against barren desert landscapes.
Do you often travel? Almost every two months…
Tell us your go-to website of the minute? That would be the NOT JUST A LABEL website.
Is this for work or for pleasure? Mostly, I would say for work, as I like to visit museums to find inspirations from arts and culture especially in cities such as Paris, Milan, Rome and many more. I also visit textile exhibitions such as Premiere Vision in Paris.
Which instagram account are you following the most at the moment? I’m following some that I consider them more as a trend-setter in fashion, art and styling, such as Linda Fargo and Diane Pernet.
Where can we find your brand? BINT THANI Ready-to-Wear Collection is now available at The cARTel in Alserkal Avenue, while the turban collection can be found at USH Boutique, ValleyDez Boutique and The cARTel.
Tell us about your involvement in shows abroad? Last year I have been picked by the contemporary platform for fashion, NOT JUST A LABEL, to be part of Origins. Passion and Beliefs. Being the only Emirati and one of the three Middle-Eastern designers who have been handpicked by the platform makes me really proud to represent the UAE in specific and the Middle East in general. Are you planning anything in like this in the future? Gladly, we have been picked by NJAL again to be part of Origins. Passion and Beliefs, happen in May. What are you doing locally to promote your brand? At this stage, we are hosting some of our own events and participating in some projects and events with our artistic line, such as the Origin exhibition and the Meet D3 event. Are you interested in designer collaborations? I enjoy collaborations when they are more challenging, have something to learn from and have a story to tell. Collaborations that inspire me are the ones with designers/brands that are from another field than fashion.
BLACK AND WHITE And who doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t appreciate the signatures of menswear - clean lines and a well fitted black blazer. Jack Kilmer - as seen in Saint Laurent
Jack is dressed by Saint Laurent in all images
Jack is dressed by Saint Laurent in all images
Jack is dressed by Saint Laurent in all images
Freddie wears Deus Ex Machina
FREDDIE HUNT ON RACING IN THE REGION
Interview by Amy Sturgis Photography by Francesco Scotti
Have you had a good time in Dubai? What do you think of the city? Yes I had a great time thank you. It’s a hell of a city! I only spent a day and a night in Dubai but it was a good first impression. Great food and very friendly people, not to mention the lovely weather. How was Bahrain? You stopped there first? How was the race? Bahrain was nice but sadly the races weren’t great. I was taken out in both races by being hit up the rear, not ideal but that’s part of racing. When did you realize you had a passion for racing, was it watching your dad? I never had any involvement in motorsport while I was growing up. Dad died when I was five. My first taste of racing was at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2006. I was attending as a spectator and was then invited to have a drive by a friend of mine. I had no racing license and had only had my driving license for a couple of weeks so it was very exciting indeed! The racing bug bit and I knew what I wanted to do with my life. Which city is your favorite race? Probably Monaco I would say, but Abu Dhabi was also great fun! It’s a really cool track too, I hope I can come back again this year. There is a lot of press around you and Lauda Jnr? Do you see each other a lot? What’s it like racing against him? No I don’t see him much as he lives in Spain and I’m in England. It was great to race with him. He’s a really good guy and we had a lot of fun together. I look forward to the next time we meet on track! Your mum recently passed away has this changed your perspective of racing? No I can’t say it has, I don’t think anyway. What’s next for Freddie Hunt? Can we expect to see you at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this year? I’ve just signed a deal with a Renault Clio Cup team to drive for them this season, great news. I’ll be racing a Jaguar XKR in the Britcar 24 hour at Silverstone in April. I am also looking at LMP testing for a Le Mans team. This is really great news because Le Mans is my target so it’s fantastic to finally be getting into the LMP crowd. At the moment I don’t have anything planned for the Abu Dhabi GP but I hope I can go!
Top by Deus Ex Machina, skirt by House of Nomad
STAINS CLOTHES GIRLS BOYS Photography - Bridget Fleming - D the Agency Fashion - Meredith Taylor-Damouni - D the Agency Hair and makeup - Chloe Widera - D the Agency Model - MARTA - Wilhelmina Dubai Model - FIOLKA - MMG Model - Chris O. - Wilhelmina Model - Elena P. - Wilhelmina
Top by Deus Ex Machina, trousers by House of Nomad
Ali is dressed by Burberry, Bike by Deus Ex Machina
This page: Trouser by Taller Marmo, jacket by Fatema Al Fardan, T-shirt by Deus Ex Machina Opposite: Sleeveless T by Deus Ex Machina
This page: Shirt and motocross top by Deus E-x Machina, skirt by House of Nomad Opposite: Bodysuit by Taller Marmo, long sleeved T by Deus Ex Machina
NAME Sofiane Meribet JOB Managing Director, LVMH 1. What’s the best app to download? As I love travelling, I will say “RometoRio” an amazing app which enables you to organize easily your transportation. 2. Who’s a must follow on Instagram? I really love “Shoesanddrama” account which gives daily fashion update through a fun arab perspective. I am also a big fan of “Toukadime ”which enables to discover or rediscover vintage north African music through old vinyls! 3. What’s your secret talent? I know how to say “how are you?” in 10 languages! More seriously, my friends will tell you that I easily fit in a lot of different cultures. 4. If you could wear one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? I would say Nike AirForce 1- I have them in several colors and even if I am a big Airmax fan (can write a book on the symbolic of these sneakers in my life), Air force can fit both on a street or classic/arty style. 5. Most creative art piece you’ve seen? It is difficult to judge the creativity of an art piece… so I will more choose ‘Yellow-red-Blue” from Kandinsky as it was one of the first piece I felt in love with when I was a child. 6. Your guilty pleasure? Some reminiscence of my childhood… I was born and grew up in Nantes, Brittany France, I will say Crepes! I love them with jam or butter and sugar. 7. The most impactful campaign you’ve seen? I am a fan of the latest Acne campaign with “Anna Wintour” hairstyle! The street campaign has been rolled-out in several European capitals 8. Your favorite online fashion website? www.sotostore.com, a nice way to keep updated on European trends through the website of the famous Berlin boutique. 9. Best thing about living in the Middle East? I like the fact of being near and far from everything at the same time. I am not talking geographically but more on the fact that the region has a strong identity, which despite the fact of not facing major cultural gaps, I always feel at home with a twist depending on the coun try I am visiting. Love how the region is being dynamic… still a lot to do but people are less and less looking at emigration as THE only option and everyday we are seeing a lot of new initiatives taking place in all the countries. 10. Shopping online or in store? More in store… when I have the choice to pick a piece instantly I prefer to do it. Online is more a way to have access to some brands or pieces not available in Dubai.
NAME JOB 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
NAME JOB 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Mark Lewis Executive Creative Director, LOWE Mena What’s the best app to download? NIKE+ Who’s a must follow on Instagram? Dan Bilzerian What’s your secret talent? Ex F-16 Fighter Pilot If you could wear one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Thobe. Most creative art piece you’ve seen? Sistine Chapel or the whole Vatican interior for that matter. Your guilty pleasure? Walking Fairways. The most impactful campaign you’ve seen? OBAMA,YES WE CAN. Your favorite online fashion website? Our client, Bloomingdale’s, Dubai Best thing about living in the Middle East? Mounir Harfouche. Shopping online or in store? Clothes are meant to be experienced not delivered.
10 people 10 questions NAME Nathalie Trad JOB Designer 1. What’s the best app to download? Instagram is an obvious one… And Wunderlist, the best way to keep my life organized. I have a list for everything! 2. Who’s a must follow on Instagram? Princess Deena Abdulaziz @Deenathe1st 3. What’s your secret talent? Clumsiness - I have the ability to accidently trip over anything. 4. If you could wear one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Jeans. 5. Most creative art piece you’ve seen? There are so many but I am currently fascinated by James Turell’s “Roden Crater”. 6. Your guilty pleasure? Food, food, food. 7. The most impactful campaign you’ve seen? Unfollow by Farfetch. 8. Your favorite online fashion website? WWD 9. Best thing about living in the Middle East? The sun and the people! 10. Shopping online or in store? Online.
NAME JOB 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Saira Meher PR & New Business, FFWD What’s the best app to download? I don’t have an iphone and I don’t download apps .. next ….. #blackberrygroupie Who’s a must follow on Instagram? I don’t have an instagram account but I would assume Carine Roitfeld (my hero). What’s your secret talent? Shhhhhhh , now that would be telling! If you could wear one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? An YSL black blazer or an Emperor 1688 cape. Most creative art piece you’ve seen? Ask me post the d3 launch! Your guilty pleasure? Shoes, lipstick , chocolate. The most impactful campaign you’ve seen? Usually anything shot by Mert & Marcus Your favorite online fashion website? Net-a-Porter (Natalie Massanet … another hero of mine) Best thing about living in the Middle East? Fashion Forward & my friends Shopping online or in store? Def store – I need to feel / try and get intimate before I buy!
Shefki Nawaz Associate Director, D the Agency What’s the best app to download? In this digital age I absolutely love the novelty of sending post cards while traveling, Postagram lets you use pictures from your iPhone to design and send a real postcard in the mail to your mates- so cute! Who’s a must follow on Instagram? @TheFatJewish gives me my daily dose of New York centric ridiculous humor. What’s your secret talent? I may possibly be one of the best karaoke singers on this side of the world. If you could wear one thing of the rest of your life what would it be? Chanel No. 5 Most creative art piece you’ve seen? Last summer I experienced the Kara Walker’s “A Subtlety” in a sugar factory in Brooklyn, the scent of the sugar was so intense- a really powerful exhibition socially & visually. Your guilty pleasure? Dance Moms- don’t start watching it! The most impactful campaign you’ve seen? I’m a sucker for the old school- The androgynous b+w Calvin Klein One ads from the 90’s with Kate Moss were everything! Your favourite online fashion website? ManRepeller - Leandra is the Sartorial queen of NY cool girl fashion, she dishes out the most spot on and hilarious advice on postmodern love, beauty & style. Best thing about living in the Middle East? Cheetahs on leashes at Kara Walker E Shopping online or in store? I love to snag a deal- Online
NAME Mitra Birghani JOB Communication Officer for Museums 1. What’s the best app to download? Instagram 2. Who’s a must follow on Instagram? Me! 3. What’s your secret talent? I have a strong sixth sense. 4. If you could wear one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Dior – both Ready-to-wear & Haute Couture 5. Most creative art piece you’ve seen? Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Room 6. Your guilty pleasure? Nutella (for sure!) 7. The most impactful campaign you’ve seen? Real Beauty Sketches by Dove 8. Your favorite online fashion website? www.the-fashion-hub.com 9. Best thing about living in the Middle East? The pleasure of living in a multicultural society. 10. Shopping online or in store? In a store of course.
In honour of our 10th issue, we launch a new section bringing together 10 people from fashion, art and life to get their view on, well, 10 questions! It’s pretty straight forward ... Interviews by Parisa Birgani NAME Mohammed Hindash JOB Artist 1. What’s the best app to download? Instagram! 2. Who’s a must follow on Instagram? @theacademynewyork 3. What’s your secret talent? I’m really good at identifying tastes to smells, and tastes to other tastes, and so on. It’s weird but I’m always spot on. 4. If you could wear one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Classic black Converse – High Tops, for sure. 5. Most creative art piece you’ve seen? Now that’s a tough one, I tend to gather creative influences from various different pieces! 6. Your guilty pleasure? Sitting on my sofa and doing nothing at all on weekends. 7. The most impactful campaign you’ve seen? I love Diesel campaigns. I remember going in store and looking through their season catalogue all the time as a teenager. 8. Your favorite online fashion website? I don’t really shop online, but ASOS? 9. Best thing about living in the Middle East? The diversity. 10. Shopping online or in store? In store!
NAME Hamdan Arbi JOB Singer 1. What’s the best app to download? Fyuse. it’s a cool app that enables you to shoot moving panoramic pictures. 2. Who’s a must follow on Instagram? ArtComesFirst. 3. What’s your secret talent? I paint and draw. 4. If you could wear one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Converse! 5. Most creative art piece you’ve seen? Anything by Jean Michel Basquiat. 6. Your guilty pleasure? Peanut butter - actually it’s not a guilty pleasure because i’m not ashamed of it! 7. The most impactful campaign you’ve seen? The work that the Palestinian Children Relief Fund (PCRF) do is very commendable. I love what they stand for and I have always gone to their annual charity iftar dinners and performed at a couple of their events. Their campaigns are always admirable. 8. Your favorite online fashion website? www.ssense.com 9. Best thing about living in the Middle East? The best thing about living in the UAE specifically is the multicultural community. you get to meet people from every corner of the world. 10. Shopping online or in store? In store. I like trying things out and touching the fabric, seeing how everything looks. You can’t really do that online.
NAME Isaac Jan Ode JOB Creative Director of Maison Levier & Editor in Chief of Levier Concepts 1. What’s the best app to download? VSCO cam 2. Who’s a must follow on Instagram? Being that I’m a huge fan of abstract art, I follow a guy name Watts. His IG is pretty creative and has dope imagery! Follow him @love.watts 3. What’s your secret talent? Deejaying, it’s something I picked up about 7 months ago and it’s pretty much become my obsession but I keep it low key. 4. If you could wear one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Sneakers, sneakers, sneakers! I’m a huge sneakerehead and if there’s one piece I think completes anyone look it’s definitely your shoes! 5. Most creative art piece you’ve seen? Popeye by Jeff Koons 6. Your guilty pleasure? I like to blast the music, and practice my dance moves in the mirror when no ones home. 7. The most impactful campaign you’ve seen? #bringbackourgirls When over 300 women and girls in Nigeria were kidnapped #bringbackourgirls was born. The hashtag was created to bring awareness to the terrorist group Boko Harem, who broke into a school to kidnap these girls, with hopes that the Nigerian government would help bring them home. To date about 50 girls have been rescued with over 250 still waiting to come home. 8. Your favorite online fashion website? Highsnobiety.com 9. Best thing about living in the Middle East? To me the best thing about living in the Middle East being a foreigner is seeing living proof of growth at an extraordinary rate. Watching it first hand has motivated me to better myself and grow in to someone that will last and leave a positive influence on people the same way witnessing the development of the region has on the world. 10. Shopping online or in store? In store.
NAME Sofia Guellaty JOB Fashion Editor, Style.com/Arabia 1. What’s the best app to download? Google Maps in Dubai! For fashion Asap 54 2. Who’s a must follow on Instagram? Style.com/Arabia of course! 3. What’s your secret talent? I used to dream to become a singer one day. 4. If you could wear one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Black leather jacket. 5. Most creative art piece you’ve seen? An installation by Olafur Eliasson 6. Your guilty pleasure? Chocolate. Too. Much. Chocolate. 7. The most impactful campaign you’ve seen? Benetton back in the day, as for fashion I love Lanvin campaigns. 8. Your favorite online fashion website? Style.com/Arabia, and Net-a-Porter 9. Best thing about living in the Middle East? The cross cultural exchanges and the weather. 10. Shopping online or in store? Online!
KHALID SHAFAR EMIRATI INDUSTRIAL DESIGNER
Interview by Parisa Birgani Photography by Marvin Caibal at Capital D Studio
Who are you? Khalid Shafar, an Emirati Product Designer & Founder of KHALID SHAFAR brand. What’s a typical day in the life of Khalid Shafar? An early day at 6:00am starts with a morning run or gym hour, breakfast at a busy place then head to my studio till 3:00pm. I continue the rest of the day outside the studio depends on the workload and my social agenda of the day. What’s the first thing you ever designed? My ILLUSION stool was my first completed design. What’s your design process? Old School: Sketch & drawing, prototype, material selection, then production. You recently was chosen to collaborate with COS on a special project, how was that? It was a challenging yet exciting project. Me along with 5 other international designers were given a 1 sqmt of white paper to explore design possibilities of our choice. I presented my ‘Table Template’ project that examines the relationship between luxury and paper. Four words to describe your designs? Original, functional, culturally-inspired & contemporary. Four words to describe your personal style? Shabby chic, mature, city man, designer look. You have exhibited all over the world in Berlin, Paris, Milan and Tokyo, how does it feel to have your designs globalized? I am definitely proud, yet unsatisfied, because success is beyond just having a global outreach -there is still more to achieve. What’s the best thing about being an artist in Dubai? There is always a new opportunity and a challenge everyday. In addition, Dubai is lively and connected to the world making life very dynamic for me as a designer. How many coffees does it take you to get through a day? Grande or Venti size Starbucks Soy Latte is my coffee dose for the day. One person you would love to collaborate with? It’s a brand than a person: CAMPER (www.camper.com) or Aesop (www.aesop.com) Your ultimate goal for the future? To have a solid Emirati creative brand and a successful business.
CHRIS FORD LIKES FILM Interview by Parisa Birgani
Who are you? Let’s see… I’ve worked as a banker on Wall Street, for a famous event photographer, on a commercial salmon fishing boat in Alaska, cofounder of a tech startup, photojournalist, started up a philanthropic organization in Cambodia… and I still have no idea who I am. I’m fine with that. How do you feel you’ve grown as a photographer throughout your career? Photography has enabled me to spend time in just about every different type of place around world. It has and taught me a lot about what inspires me, what I believe, and where I want to go next in life. You started as a model, what was that like? I hated it, ha. I remember my first job was at a showroom for a Versace: the clothes were very foreign to me and my hair was always being styled in the strangest ways. Modeling, however, help me pay my way through college; I was also able to learn a thing or two about photography while getting paid. What was the transitional period of getting into travel photography and what sparked such an interest? My first job out of college was on Wall Street. The hustle and bustle of such a fast-paced job in New York kept me focused for a good three years until I met an Icelandic girl one night in the City. She convinced me to come and visit her in Iceland. After 3 years behind a desk, I felt alive again. I returned to New York, put in my 3 week notice, and made the decisiosn to travel the world for a year. I don’t regret that decision for a moment. Favorite camera to shoot with? Minolta 35mm film camera. Every photographer should own a simple 35mm film camera at some point in his or her career. Learn how a manual camera works, make mistakes and spend time learning from those mistakes. The beauty of film is that mistakes often turn out beautifully; film has a wonderful way of rendering imperfections. Taking time to understand my manual film camera and the many mistakes made with it has sent my creativity behind a lens in new directions. Best place to shoot? South East Asia. The people in this area of the world have a warmth and genuine happiness that makes capturing their culture a wonderful experience. You’ve worked with legendary photographer, Patrick McMullan, what did you learn from him? Without reading glasses, Patrick could barely read the dials on his camera— my initial job was to make sure the camera settings were right so that he didn’t have to worry about it and he could focus on his subjects. Patrick was a master at capturing his subjects. The man could corral every person at a New York party, make them feel at ease, and capture the essence of a party in one shot. Patrick taught me the most important element of being a photographer: It’s not about how well you can work your camera or capture light, it’s all about understanding your subject.
You capture very organic moments, what attracts you to taking a certain image? I have an enormous appreciation for huge variety of different people, places and cultures in the world. You can’t stage a place or culture, and I feel the only way to truly experience it is to immerse yourself in it. If I’m lucky, I happen have a camera on me and I’m able to capture an image to remember that experience. Your interest of travel photography has enabled you to put it to good use, for social and political causes such as ‘The Widening Gender Gap’ in India, and the political movement in North Korea, how do you feel your photography captures that? I’m a firm believer that everyone should travel, meet people from a different place, and experience a culture that is far different than the one you grew up in. I hope my photography educates and inspires people to get out of their comfort zone. What’s the most interesting moment you’ve encountered with throughout your travel adventures? I was traveling through Siberia, Russia in 2005. I had met a police officer in one of the towns and he invited me to dinner with his family. Over a drink, I learned about his first job: as an officer in the army stationed at a missile compound not far from the town. The missiles, he explained to me, were all pointed at the United States. The night was full of laughs, smiles, and I forged some lifelong new friends. Encounters such as this one wake you up: no matter where you are in the world, people are good-hearted and not all that different than you. What do you think is more powerful, black and white or coloured photography? I always appreciate a simple but powerful black and white image. What’s the best thing you’ve learnt from your transition from being a model, to a photographer and now a ‘philanthropist’? I think back at all the experiences I’ve had in my life and I see it each one bridges a gap to an even better experience. I tell people to take a risk, live a little, and in the end the knowledge and experience you’ve gained will benefit you in ways and directions you’d never have anticipated. Take the road-lesstraveled; an adventure awaits. Chris is represented by D the Agency in the region visit www.DtheAgency.com to view his portfolio.
SYDNEY • BALI • LOS ANG
GELES • MILAN • TOKYO