1 Nevien Zoubi
Is there any reason why you insist on your work being tailored in Italy?
I started working on my brand while I was studying in Milan. I had a workshop there, so they did the tailoring. I would then send them to Dubai for embroidery, so it just happened that way. Also, I couldn’t find the right material for my collection in Dubai, whereas Italy has such a fantastic selection.
2 Joumana Haj Ali
Many of your jewellery designs incorporate ‘the evil eye’. What’s the significance behind this?
Wearing a blue eye is known to protect against the ‘evil eye’, which is a glance that has the ability to cause harm to those it falls upon. Belief in the evil eye is ancient and ubiquitous: it occurred in ancient civilizations and is also found in Islamic, Buddhist and Hindu traditions. It has persisted throughout the world into modern times. So the belief is that wearing one will ward off bad intentions and, for some, it is a symbol of protection and good luck.
3 Golly Seyfi
Pamela Anderson was recently photographed wearing your ‘I heart Lebanon’ t-shirt. You also have one for Dubai, right? Could you tell us a little bit more about those designs and that range?
Pamela Anderson wearing one of my tops was such an amazing step for me. She went to Lebanon to open for one of the concerts there and had luckily stopped by one of the stores that I supply to in Beirut and picked up my ‘I heart Lebanon’ tee, which she wore that evening. I noticed there weren’t many ‘I heart Dubai’ tees for the region, so I decided to make one and the response from customers was pretty good.
4 Mariam Al Mazro
How did you feel showcasing your work at the Dubai Fashion Week in 2008?
It put me on the map to be an international designer and gave me a lot of recognition. It exposed me to other fashion shows and contests from the government of Dubai and Sharjah. It also fuelled my inspiration, leading me to come up with better designs with more attention to detail. And finally, of course, it introduced me to retailers!