Harper's Bazaar Arabia: 10 years, that’s a big anniversary, congratulations! What do you think has been your biggest achievement in that time?
Nadine Kanso: The 10 year anniversary of Bil Arabi is a great moment for the brand and myself as we are celebrating 10 years of hard work combined with love and passion, so what better reason to celebrate such an important milestone. We are not only celebrating the anniversary of the brand, but we are also celebrating our pride through a cultural and artistic channel which the brand has become synonymous for and reflects through its collections and designs. It has been an incredible journey and being able to collaborate with some of the greatest regional and international talents is something I am extremely proud of.
HBA: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in those 10 years?
NK: Always follow your dreams and do what you love to do! We do live in a material world, and I think it is important to stay true to yourself and not give in to pressures, but to always keep up with the latest trends but not let them run your business for you.
HBA: How would you say the brand’s aesthetic has evolved over the years?
NK: The brand has always remained the same, paying tribute to Arabic heritage through stylised Arabic calligraphy. However, over the last few years, we have started to experiment with new styles and techniques depending on the inspiration for the collection. I am constantly being inspired by my surroundings, life, travel, etc. so whenever I come across something that inspires me, this is what influences my designs and creations.
HBA: What was the inspiration for your new collection?
NK: The 10 year anniversary was the main inspiration for all collections and exhibitions taking place this year, so every collection is somehow linked to the 10 year celebration of the brand. This particular collection, ‘Mina’, follows the elegant yet fun and quirky style that the Bil Arabi brand is known for. Graffiti and pop art encompass each part of this collection and vibrant colours of enamel bring each piece to life. With a keen emphasis on positivity and love, words such as “love”, “light” and “will power” take centre stage making each piece a one of a kind addition to any collection.
HBA: Of all of the pieces you’ve created in the past decade, does one stand out as your ultimate favourite?
NK: Many are dear to me and have a special place in my heart but if I want to choose one it would be the FEDEYTAK cuff that was auctioned at Christie's a few years back. It holds all that I have in my heart.
HBA: What do you hope to achieve in the next 10 years?
NK: To continue to grow the Bil Arabi brand and work with many more successful brands in the region. The art and design scene in the region is growing at such a fast pace and there is so a lot of potential talent in the region, I hope to be able to continue to be part of this growth but most importantly to add my experiences and passion and to help aspiring designers in the region grow their brands. And always enjoy what I do!
The Mina collection will be available from November. View the full collection in our gallery above.