Dubai

How To Shop for Vintage Fashion in Dubai Like a Pro: 5 Tips From a Connoisseur

How To Shop for Vintage Fashion in Dubai Like a Pro: 5 Tips From a Connoisseur

Tatiana Fayad. Photo: Courtesy Nouvelle Vague
There are fashion connoisseurs, and then, there are vintage lovers… those sartorial enthusiasts who can’t get over the romance of a painstakingly found piece from the yesteryears, which stands out not just for its impeccable detailing, but also for its history. Designer Tatiana Fayad, the woman behind accessory brand Vanina‘s beaded creations, is, believe it or not, one such collector. “My personal love story with vintage clothing started during my teenage years, when I started digging into my mother’s closets and found myself amazing pieces. These hand-me-downs made me realize the value of vintage fashion, and bit by bit, I started looking for unique and one-offs pieces while traveling,” she tells Vogue Arabia in a candid chat that takes us back to her childhood. “I started acquiring my own vintage stock with the dream that maybe one day, I could open my very own vintage shop.”
Bag, Louis Vuitton. Photo: Courtesy Nouvelle Vague
Come 2018, the dream was realized with the launch of  Nouvelle Vague, Fayad’s very own vintage haven, which offers up age-old treasures to Beirut’s fashion-savvy set, and was soon followed by an e-commerce website aiming to become the main online destination for vintage lovers in Lebanon, and also the region. And this year, Nouvelle Vague took things one step further, introducing a special Dubai pop-up that promises a unique collection of eclectic, yet wearable pieces to shoppers in the UAE. “With new drops every week, you can expect to find everything from classics to statement pieces that have been selected for their quality and style,” the designer reveals.
Dress, Lille Rubin. Photo: Courtesy Nouvelle Vague
Keeping the importance of sustainable fashion in mind (“Clothes weren’t designed to be disposable, but to last and be cherished forever. The future of fashion has to be vintage, up-cycled designs and rentals,” says the designer, who also prioritizes the environment when working on new Vanina creations), Nouvelle Vague’s Dubai pop-up brings together vintage finds that reflect Tatiana Fayad’s discerning eye, and could very easily be spotted in her own closet. The key to finding the right piece, however, is to shop like a seasoned vintage store hopper.
Jacket, Saint Laurent. Photo: Courtesy Nouvelle Vague
Here are Fayad’s top five tips to shopping for vintage pieces like a professional
1. Invest in timeless, classical pieces, like an Yves Saint Laurent suit, or Emmanuel Ungaro dress, because if a design can withstand time, it means that it’s a good investment.
2. Make sure the garment fits you well. Since most of the vintage pieces that you find in stores have been worn several times, size does not really correspond to what’s indicated on the label. So be a little patient, and if there is no fitting room at the store, do not hesitate to try the garment directly on yourself.
3. Quality is paramount. You need to invest in vintage clothing that is perfect, so look out carefully for stains, marks, broken zips and missing buttons, as you will never be able to get stains out properly.
4. Feel the fabric. You may fall in love with a beautiful dress or a stunning shirt, but if it is made from a rigid fabric—think twice. Look for for cottons, silks, linens and denims, and always touch the clothing to make sure the piece still has life in it.
5. And lastly, be open-minded! Vintage shopping is an adventure. You may stumble upon your new favorite outfit, or something that may look good on you that you might not have chosen at first!
Can’t wait to dive into Nouvelle Vague’s Dubai pop-up? Keep an eye out for Fayad’s five favorite pieces
I have a special connection with every single piece that I collect and put on display, picking out just five is not an easy task! But here are a few of my favorites:

1. An Emilio Pucci printed dress from the 90s.
2. Chanel pointed-toe pumps from the early 2000s.
3. A heavily beaded Laurence Kazar cardigan from the 80s.
4. An Escada belt with golden hardware from the 90s.
5. A ribbed Alaia maxi dress from the 90s.

On till April 2022, Nouvelle Vague’s vintage pop-up is taking place at Kulture House Café

Clogs, Chanel. Photo: Courtesy Nouvelle Vague

Exclusive: Louis Vuitton’s Traveling Exhibition, See LV, is Coming to Dubai

Exclusive: Louis Vuitton’s Traveling Exhibition, See LV, is Coming to Dubai

Louis Vuitton Spring 2022 Ready-to-Wear. Photo: Gorunway.com
Dubai is set to play host to the third leg of Louis Vuitton‘s traveling exhibition, See LV. After its inauguration in Wuhan 2020 and a sophomore display in Hangzhou in 2021, the month-long exhibition will make its way to the Dubai Fountain area on Friday, February 4. For the uninitiated, See LV offers a one-of-a-kind journey through the French fashion house’s nearly 170-year history via its archival objects mixed with newer creations. The exhibition also uses immersive and interactive digital features to allow visitors to delve into the Maison’s heritage as well as more contemporary elements, from early 20th century trunks and artistic collaborations to iconic leather creations.
Divided into four “universes”, namely, Finding Louis, In Fashion, Bags Stories, and Evolution Gallery, See LV opens with a portrait of a young Louis Vuitton, created using Artificial Intelligence by Turkish-American artist Refik Anadol. After viewing a selection of men’s and women’s ready-to-wear pieces in reverse chronology, visitors can expect to see historical pieces like a gown by Charles Frederick Worth and a 1906 trunk. Next, the house’s most iconic arm candies, from the Steamer to the Speedy, and Noé to Twist, have been lined against a backdrop of images of Louis Vuitton’s celebrity friends including Alicia Vikander, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Regina King, and more. The exhibition also dedicates an entire space to its contributions to the invention of luggage typologies by showcasing pieces like the iconic Wardrobe trunk, the Skateboard trunk, 1920s Auto trunks, and the 2020’s Louis Vuitton 2054 raincoat-tent.
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Dubai was chosen as the location for the exhibition’s next stop because of its cosmopolitan nature. A statement from the house reads, “Dubai has proven to be a city where the nexus of East and West makes for a stunning display of cultural diversity that spills over onto the business realm and everyday life. This makes Dubai the natural next step for See LV’s 2022 journey.” See LV follows a host of luxury brands who have brought their archival and latest designs to the Middle East, contributing to fashion’s boom in the region. The year 2021 saw Giorgio Armani put together a star-studded runway show at the Burj Khalifa, followed by Chanel‘s first physical show of its Cruise 2021/2022 collection, and in Doha, Dior‘s first exhibition in the Middle East. With 2022 taking off with Louis Vuitton, one can expect the region’s fashion calendar for the year to be just as packed.
The See LV exhibition will run from February 4-March 7, 10am-12am; with free admission. 
Read Next: Louis Vuitton Celebrates the 200th Birthday of Its Founder With a New High Jewelry Collection

Yasmine Sabri Aces Dubai Winter Dressing in a Winning Color Combination

Yasmine Sabri Aces Dubai Winter Dressing in a Winning Color Combination

Photo: Instagram.com/yasmine.sabri
After celebrating her birthday on January 21, Yasmine Sabri is continuing her time off in Dubai. The Egyptian actor recently took to Instagram to share glimpses of her day out in the city, where she can be seen nailing winter dressing.
As temperatures in Dubai continue to remain low, calling for layering, Sabri opted for an appropriate ensemble in the season’s much-loved colors. The former Vogue Arabia cover star was dressed in a navy blue collared shirt paired with jeans for a more relaxed look. To top it off, she kept warm in a cream-colored leather jacket that perfectly matched her nails, serving up color-pairing inspiration for those with an aversion to navy blue and black. The actor kept the rest of her look low-key with minimalistic gold jewelry: a pair of open hoops, and a Cartier love bracelet—her go-to accessory as an ambassador for the French jeweler.

For her day out in Dubai, Sabri wore her hair parted down the middle and slicked back in a chic low bun instead of her usual waves. As for her makeup, the star went for a bold lip, wearing a matte red shade, and completing the rest of her look with a hint of blush, highlighter, and bronzer across her cheeks, along with defined eyelashes.
The 34-year-old’s afternoon in the city consisted of a number of trips to some of its hotspots: from dining with a closeup view of the Burj Khalifa, to sipping on hot kahwa at Burj Al Arab, and later enjoying a personalized dessert by Bulgari.
Read Next: Then and Now: 48 Pictures Charting Yasmine Sabri’s Style Evolution

A New Fashion Week for Regional and Indian Designers is Coming to Dubai

A New Fashion Week for Regional and Indian Designers is Coming to Dubai

Atelier Zuhra. Photo: Courtesy of Atelier Zuhra
Mark your calendars for another fashion week coming to Dubai. Joining the existing events in the emirate—Fashion Forward Dubai, Arab Fashion Week, Middle East Fashion Week, Modest Fashion Week, and Arab Men’s Fashion Week—the inaugural edition of Fashion Week DXB will take off on December 16, 2021. Launched by UAE-based producer Saif Ali Khan and director Kevin Oliver, the three-day event is setting itself apart with an aim to highlight designers from the Middle East as well as India.
Amato. Photo: Instagram.com/amataofficial
The fashion week schedule is limited to just 12 brands, to ensure all are spotlighted equally with their own shows. While the full list of participating creatives is yet to be announced, the fashion week will open with an undisclosed Emirati designer, and those who have signed up include Filipino designer Furne One’s Amato, couture label Atelier Zuhra helmed by Omani designer Rayan Al Sulaimani, and Indian designers Varoin Marwah and Rocky S. Along with runway shows, the event will feature an outdoor space for select designers to showcase their creations, as well as food and entertainment areas.

While the city’s fashion flock awaits the announcement of Fashion Week DXB’s venue, it will make its way to Rixos Premium Dubai, JBR for the Modest Fashion Week. From November 18-20, the event will feature talks and discussions on sustainability and industry tips while showcasing over 40 brands.
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Balqees Fathi Becomes the First Arab Star to Have Her Wax Figure at Madame Tussauds Dubai

Balqees Fathi Becomes the First Arab Star to Have Her Wax Figure at Madame Tussauds Dubai

Balqees Fathi photographed by Sandra Chidiac for Vogue Arabia
Balqees Fathi‘s fans will soon be able to pose with her as she becomes the first Arab star to have her wax figure revealed at the Madame Tussauds Dubai. The Emirati-Yemeni singer Fathi met her wax figure for the first time today (August 17) at a side-by-side unveiling held at luxury resort Caesars Palace Dubai, Bluewaters Island.
Photo: Courtesy of Madame Tussauds
Crafting Fathi’s lifelike wax figure saw a team of Madame Tussauds’ sculptors traveling to Dubai to document 500 of her precise measurements, before setting to work back in London, spending three months handcrafting the figure and inserting real hair strand by strand. It will stand among the some of the most renowned global actors and musicians in an A-list party room where visitors can pose with the figure before hitting an interactive dance floor with a DJ.

“I feel privileged to be the first Arab artist to stand side by side my wax figure at the iconic Madame Tussauds Dubai,” said Fathi. “I am overwhelmed with the incredible likeness that this wax figure holds to my physical appearance and to the impeccable attention to detail that captures my personality. I cannot wait for people to visit Madame Tussauds and to finally be able to enjoy this unique experience in the Arab world.” Since rising to fame in 2013, Fathi has released three albums, joined the UAE NSO Symphony Orchestra, and also launched her own beauty brand, Bex.
Located next to Ain Dubai, the world’s largest observation wheel, Madame Tussauds Dubai is the first Madame Tussauds experience in the Gulf. The world-renowned attraction is set to open its doors later this year and will let visitors take photographs with 60 global stars, including 16 new figures from the Middle East.
Read Next: This is What Happened When Balqees Fathi Met Her Mentee

Exclusive: Chanel Sets Sail to Dubai for a Physical Cruise 2021/22 Show

Exclusive: Chanel Sets Sail to Dubai for a Physical Cruise 2021/22 Show

Photo: Inez and Vinoodh/Courtesy of Chanel
After traveling to some of the world’s major cities for previous shows, Chanel is bringing its Cruise 2021/22 collection to Dubai. The French fashion house will present the ready-to-wear collection with a physical show at an undisclosed location on Tuesday, November 2, 2021.
Chanel Cruise 2021/22. Photo: Courtesy of Chanel
Unveiled for the first time via a digital presentation in May, the collection was designed by creative director Virginie Viard with Mod and Punk references, and inspired by Provence, and French creative Jean Cocteau’s 1960 film The Testament of Orpheus. Consisting of mainly black and white pieces, the collection was presented against the hauntingly beautiful backdrop of Carrières de Lumières (Quarries of Light) in the Sourthen France village of Les Baux-de-Provence.
Chanel Cruise 2021/22. Photo: Courtesy of Chanel
Cruise collections are an iconic part of the house’s history, as it all started in the 1910s when Gabrielle Chanel conceived the idea to make light and comfortable designs for her clients journeying to sunny destinations. In 1990, Chanel became the first to present a Cruise collection with a physical show, going on to leave a mark on the fashion world by taking the collections around the globe. Explaining the reason behind holding an in-person show for such a collection, the then creative director Karl Lagerfeld had said that couture seamstress directors work better ″when they know they’ll be admired by the press and a larger audience, not just in a showroom.” The house has since visited New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Venice, Saint-Tropez, Cap d’Antibes, Versailles, Singapore, as well as Dubai in May 2014.
Chanel Cruise 2021/22. Photo: Courtesy of Chanel
While it is not the first time a Cruise collection has set sail to the UAE city, the show is expected to be far from ordinary. Taking place as the world gradually opens up after a year of lockdowns, it signifies everything the seasonal show stands for, which is an invitation to travel.
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HH Sheikh Mohammed Marks the Islamic New Year with an Inspiring Message

HH Sheikh Mohammed Marks the Islamic New Year with an Inspiring Message

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. Photo: WAM
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has shared an important message to mark the Hijri New Year. Taking to Twitter, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai outlined what can be learned from the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) 1,443 years ago as he migrated from Makkah to Madinah. Today, August 10 (Muharram 1), would mark the first day of the year 1443 according to the Hijri calendar. Sheikh Mohammed outlined that it is one of the most important lessons for the Muslims of today.
“We congratulate the people of the Emirates and the Arab and Islamic nation this year,” he began, adding that migration is “a symbol of transformation from one condition to another. “[It’s] a symbol of movement and rejection of stillness, a symbol of striving and not stopping..migration represents effort and sacrifice to build a better tomorrow,” Sheikh Mohammed wrote, adding, “This is the most important lesson for Muslims today.”

عام هجري جديد ..نبارك لشعب الإمارات وللأمة العربية والإسلامية هذا العام..الهجرة رمز للتحول من حال إلى حال..رمز للحركة ونبذ السكون..رمز للسعي وعدم التوقف..الهجرة تمثل البذل والتضحية لبناء غد أفضل..هذا أهم درس للمسلمين اليوم بعد ١٤٤٣ عاماً من هجرة نبينا وحبيبنا صلى الله عليه وسلم
— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) August 9, 2021

To mark the Islamic New Year, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, also shared a public congratulatory message on Twitter. “Congratulations to the UAE people and Muslims around the world on the occasion of Hijri New Year,” he said, adding, “May God bless all of us this year with peace, prosperity and good health.”

نبارك لكم عاماً هجرياً جديداً….جعله الله عام خير ورحمة وسلام على بلدنا والأمة الإسلامية وشعوب العالم أجمع.
— محمد بن زايد (@MohamedBinZayed) August 9, 2021

On this occasion, UAE citizens and residents in the private sector will have a day off on Thursday, August 12, as announced by the UAE’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) last week. Combined with the Friday-Saturday weekend, this will result in a long three-day weekend for many across the country.
Read Next: 10 of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s Wisest Quotes to Live By

Inside the Timeless Wardrobe of Nirvana Abdul, the Jeddah-Born Founder of an Environmental Platform

Inside the Timeless Wardrobe of Nirvana Abdul, the Jeddah-Born Founder of an Environmental Platform

Nirvana Abdul, the Jeddah-born founder behind an environmental platform sees her style rooted in slow fashion.
Photographed by Lina Mo
Nirvana Abdul has developed a relationship between fashion and reducing her carbon footprint. She is the founder of The Responders, an online platform with an emphasis on environmentalism and furthering the conversation. “I needed a space that focuses on that area,” she says. “My personal platform wasn’t enough, and sharing information is the least I can do.” Between workshops on upcycling, the impacts of single-use plastics, and introducing eco-friendly brands, Abdul’s goal for The Responders is to form a community that’s friendlier and gentler to the planet. “At first, I faced many challenges. One of them was finding alternatives to replace old habits. It was about trying to find the best options that helped me shift to a more sustainable lifestyle. It also forces you to live life a bit slower. In this fast-paced world, it’s hard, but not impossible to slow down.”
Photographed by Lina Mo
Capsule wardrobe
Abdul describes her elevated personal style as a conversation starter. “What I wear speaks before I say anything,” she says. “It’s the first impression and it’s essential, because it reflects my values.” Dressed in a coordinating cream linen pantsuit by Nature Hedonist, a Dubai-based sustainable linen wear brand, Abdul gravitates towards minimal designs and, unsurprisingly for someone who emphasizes sustainability and environmental impact, a wardrobe full of timeless pieces. “I’m mostly in jeans, a white shirt, sneakers, and a coat,” she shares. Through the power of styling, she injects her capsule closet with statement pieces by Stella McCartney, Balenciaga, Saudi designer Nasiba Hafiz, and Dubai-based Amber Feroz. She also appreciates unisex separates. “I wear my husband’s clothes all the time; I love incorporating a little masculinity into my looks.” When her bold Sagittarius mood kicks in, she reaches for her pointy, red Manolo Blahnik mules or electric green Nicholas Kirkwood loafers for a flash of bright color.
Photographed by Lina Mo
Pride in a purchase
Curating a wardrobe that suits her sustainable lifestyle means Abdul is always aware of exactly how much or how little she needs. “This switch in mindset is a way to create lasting change in your own shopping habits,” she explains. “Thinking twice before buying is key. I always ask myself, do I need this? Can it be styled in multiple ways? Will I be wearing this a lot?” She minimizes her contribution to microfiber pollution by sticking to natural fibers such as silk, organic cotton, linen, or wool instead of synthetic materials and steering clear of fast-fashion brands. “I believe that small habits extend the lifespan of our clothes, such as following the care instruction labels and folding each piece the right way.”
Photographed by Lina Mo
Strike a chord
An impressive array of sleek golden-hued bottles and arabesque glass vials of fragrance spread across her vanity like much-loved sculptural objects. “It’s quite a relationship, I would say,” shares Abdul of her extensive perfume collection. “I’m picky when it comes to fragrances. I got this obsession from my husband; we explore scents together.” She picks up the black cap bottle of Byredo Bal d’Afrique and spritzes her wrist with what she describes as her signature scent, a warm and romantic blend of African marigold, neroli, and Moroccan cedarwood. Further enveloping the room with a citrusy mist, she takes a whiff of another beloved fragrance, Oud & Bergamot Cologne Intense by Jo Malone, its notes of cedarwood amplifying the intoxicating Middle Eastern scents.
The digital influencer takes her skincare routine seriously. “Every single day and night I start with Clinique All About Clean Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser, followed by serum and moisturizer from Drunk Elephant. And I never forget to apply sunscreen before leaving the house,” she says. To prep her face for creating a day’s worth of content, she focuses on defining her cheeks and jawline. “I have this makeup trick that I’ve been doing since 2005: Applying compact powder only to my cheeks before layering on blush. It gives a fresh and clean finish.” For a pampering self-care Saturday, she sets the mood with an aromatherapy massage.
Photographed by Lina Mo
Productivity at home
The mother of three finds balance by mapping out her day, ensuring she always stays organized and well prepared. “With homeschooling, time is tight. I plan everything that I need to do ahead of time. I still use a notebook and pen,” she smiles of her analog ways. “I try my best to stick to my schedule. Most days I wake up before my kids, finish what I can, and take a break when I know it’s needed.” Her perfect day off involves visiting her mother and grandmother, dinner at her favorite Italian restaurant, Il Gabbiano, for its lobster pasta and tarabani fish dish, and movie night with her girls.
Photographed by Lina Mo
A sustainable future
For Abdul, shaping a greener world for everyone starts at home. “I have a lot of conversations with my daughters about practices and habits that can have a positive impact on our world. I ask them if they need a certain thing before we buy it, and our craft time involves upcycling the packages to become beautiful pieces to play with,” she shares about passing down her sustainable practices to the next generation. “Whatever we buy is considered an investment, and supporting a business is supporting its ethos.”
Photographed by Lina Mo
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Originally published in the June 2021 issue of Vogue Arabia

Middle East’s First Jewelry Line with Lab Grown Diamonds Launches Collection with Lebanese Entrepreneurs

Middle East’s First Jewelry Line with Lab Grown Diamonds Launches Collection with Lebanese Entrepreneurs

Reem Kanj, Aya Ahmad and Natalya Kanj. Photo: Courtesy of Fyne Jewellery.
Fyne Jewellery, the Middle East’s first contemporary fine jewelry brand created in Dubai using the highest caliber, conflict-free lab grown diamonds and responsibly sourced 18K gold, has launched Stargazing, an ethereal collection co-designed with founders of talent management agency Ego & East, Reem and Natalya Kanj. True to the name, every piece pays tribute to the stars and the sky, offering forward-thinking design – in line with the Kanj sisters’ minimal aesthetic.
“Our design process was very much organic: Reem and Natalya had a few inspired ideas and we worked closely together to design an effortless, intricate five piece collection. My favorite design from the Stargazing collection is the Zenith Diamond Body Chain – it’s very eye-catching but alludes a subtle sexiness to it as well. You immediately feel more confident as soon as you put it on,” Lebanese diamantaire and Fyne founder Aya Ahmad told Vogue Arabia.
Photo: Courtesy of Fyne Jewellery
Ahmad was first drawn to the world of lab grown diamonds for their innovative and inclusive outlook challenging traditional practices in the industry of mined diamonds. According to Ahmad, sustainability, now a necessity rather than a choice for brands, starts at the design stage; she believes that there is no use in creating a collection from recyclable and eco-friendly materials if new ‘drops’ are churned out every week, which is why Fyne is a made-to-order brand that designs season-less collections meant to last for generations.
Photo: Courtesy of Fyne Jewellery
Ahmad believes that sustainability in fashion is undoubtedly related to feminism. “The more we learn about global warming and its relation to consumerism, the more we see that it’s not a gender-neutral issue,” she says. “Particularly in the fashion industry, the statistics speak for themselves: 80% of garment workers are female, producing clothing for females, as women spend far more on clothing than men. What’s more, most of these women are operating in unsafe conditions and experiencing gender-based violence and harassment. This is all the knowledge we need to stand up for women, not just in the fashion industry, but against other rights violations globally.”
She added, “Because of the female nature of this issue, it’s no wonder that women are at the forefront of the sustainability movement. In fact, evidence suggests that females in the top executive and political positions are far more likely to prioritize sustainability and climate responsibility than their male counterparts due to their compassionate and empathetic nature. This shows that feminism directly benefits the earth, in ways more than one.”
Aya Ahmad. Photo: Courtesy of Fyne Jewellery
Ahmad says that her heritage plays a role in her jewelry design. “I come from a beautiful village in the South of Lebanon where we have ancient olive trees, a mountainous landscape that connects to the Mediterranean sea, and limestone houses built four decades ago, passed down through generations. The poetic landscape of this nature and the generational architecture fuel so much of my creativity, inspiration, and design aesthetic! They remind me that the earth needs to be preserved, not only for nature, but for people to continue to live and thrive. It’s this core value that pushes me to consciously create, always designing jewelry with sustainability in mind,” she added.
Natalya Kanj. Photo: Courtesy of Fyne Jewellery.
Reem and Natalya Kanj say that it’s key for them to utilize their platforms as influencers and businesswomen to ensure that their audience is excited and aware of the concept of sustainability and environmental issues, such as plastic pollution and climate damage.
“By sharing knowledge on the subject relating to isolated issues, such as the fires which devastated the Amazon rainforest in late 2019, or suggestions on how to maintain a more sustainable life through daily small changes, we perpetuate the subject in a relatable manner, hopefully offering a space for someone to grasp the issue and feel emotionally connected to it enough to make a change. We feel that highlighting and promoting fashion and beauty brands with sustainability at their core is a great way to remind everyone that what and how we shop have an impact on the planet,” they told Vogue Arabia.
Reem Kanj. Photo: Courtesy of Fyne Jewellery.
The Kanj sisters offer advice for aspiring jewelry designers who want to incorporate sustainability in their designs and promote it effectively.
“There are so many brands and companies using key words such as ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘sustainable’ to simply greenwash themselves with no real steps or methods to actually contribute in a positive way. We would suggest that designers aim to truly understand how they can make changes to become more sustainable for the long term and implement these within the brand’s DNA. They can then educate their consumers on the difference they’re making and why it’s important in their social media content and marketing strategies,” they told Vogue Arabia.
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Why You’ll Love Kerry Washington’s Collaboration With This Regional Jewelry Brand

Why You’ll Love Kerry Washington’s Collaboration With This Regional Jewelry Brand

Kerry Washington models the Aurate Lioness collection. Photo: Supplied

When it comes to promoting women’s rights and breaking that glass ceiling, actor Kerry Washington is no wallflower. In fact, the star has been recognised by the National Women’s History Museum after becoming the first African-American woman to headline a network TV drama since 1974 (for her role in Scandal). Washington is an ardent supporter of fellow females trying to make a difference, most recently backing the women-owned jewelry startup Aurate.
The actor and philanthropist collaborated with the jewelry brand to design and develop the Lioness collection which will see Aurate donate 20% of proceeds to Supermajority, an organization committed to building a movement of women across all races, ages and backgrounds, working for women’s equity.
“Kerry’s voice transcends borders,” says Moroccan Bouchra Ezzahraoui, co-founder behind New York-based jewelry line Aurate. “As an Arab woman, Kerry’s activism around female empowerment immediately resonated with me.” She adds that the two have been friends for years, and that Washington has also served as an advisor and an inspiration.
The Aurate Lioness collection. Photo: Supplied

The Lioness collection marks Washington’s official welcome as an investor at Aurate. “Kerry is an incredible person to consult with when it comes to brand and strategic positioning,” explains Ezzahraoui. “She’s bringing not only her financial expertise to the table but an incredible voice to our board and a creative mind to bounce ideas off. We are very intentional about who we partner with and for us this was a truly organic relationship. In our eyes, Kerry is the definition of style and substance and that is a pillar of our brand.”
The Lioness collection, which is intended to be an “homage to the power within and between women,” is inspired by Sekhmet, a goddess of Egyptian mythology, whose name translates to “she who is powerful.”
The Lioness necklace by Aurate. Photo: Supplied

One of the hero pieces from the collection is the Lioness necklace featuring two gold chains bonded together as one. From the chains, a pendant featuring a lioness head is flanked by amulets, notably a solar disk. Sekhmet was considered a protector of the pharaohs, helping to carry them into the afterlife. Ezzahraoui elaborates, “A celebration of the lioness’s aspirational sisterhood, Sekhmet is both a warrior and a goddess of healing and a beautiful image to celebrate the power of women – the lionesses in our lives. When working together, we can achieve amazing things; like lionesses, building, nurturing while being fierce at the same time.”
As for the campaign shoot, Ezzahraoui explains it aligns with the mood of the collection by “touching on strong poses,” meanwhile the styling is neutral, offering the focus on the gold jewelry. “Most importantly, it was shot in a setting that spoke to the lioness gold tones, earth tones, and desert tones,” smiles Ezzahraoui, offering another wink to her fertile homeland.
Kerry Washington with Aurate co-founders Bouchra Ezzahraoui and Sophie Kahn. Photo: Supplied

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