‘Follow your instinct and be who you are, who you truly are and not a copy of…Have your own identity.’
That is the advice of Nadine Kanso, the Lebanese born creator and designer who brings beauty and fashion together with socio-political matters. This makes sense when you consider where her ideas come from.
‘Travelling and looking at new things around the world and around me is always inspiring. People do inspire me in so many ways, events , words…’ Nadine Kanso
Now based in Dubai, she has always seen creativity as an innate part of her being and her background and culture is evident. Her Arabic identity, and her pride in it, is a living element of her jewellery line, Bil Arabi, which fuses the Arabic language with her milieu of design and creative training and a passion for looking good.
But she also wanted to explore the meanings behind jewellery, and it was the desire to ‘create a jewellery line that expresses something other than marital status’ which triggered the range. Subverting the ritualistic symbolism and the idea of a piece of jewellery almost being a representation of ownership, she has reclaimed it as a piece of self expression, or even just simply, beauty.
Nadine Kanso is evidently hard working and driven, and in 2012 was voted the 80th most powerful Arabic woman by Arabian Business. But creativity is not a chore. Instead, it ‘comes organically, being creative has a lot to do with what comes from within, from what we feel and need to express.
That said, sometimes we keep images in our memory that eventually months or years down the road will come back again and develop to become a piece of art or design. When the mind works it has no specific place…’ Being a photographer, journalist and designer, she cannot be limited to such things as genre and place.
Dubai is a place where energy and ambition infiltrates everyone, and for this passionate entrepreneur the day often begins with emails in bed. A busy schedule revolving around art, children, friends and events fuels the creative drive with Nadine, who believes that ‘every moment has its own flair.’
In fact flair is what it is. ‘I am an artist and a creative, business is not an appealing word to me…If I thought it was going to be a business I would probably not have gone with it!’