Middle Eastern heritage is rich with complex, well-crafted and functional designs. Here are five contemporary designers who added a new adjective to the description; they’re timeless.
Being a Lebanese who grew up in Japan, studied in the US and started a company in the UK, Nada Debs comes from a multi-cultural background. Nada started the “East and East” concept in design, combining the minimalist Japanese aesthetics and the lavish Arabic details together.
Definitely not your usual canvas sneakers. LookMyBabouch fuses canvas sneakers with the traditional Tunisian leather slipper (AKA babouche), creating uniquely shaped pointed-toe sneakers.
Inspired by the beauty and the richness of the history of crafts in the Arabian Gulf, Zeri Crafts was created in 2010. The business works with a group of professional designers such as Nedda El-Asmar, Rocio Martinavarro and Sylvette Blaimont, to produce original, well-crafted collections that use the finest of materials.
“This is a toothbrush.” started as a student project by Leen Sadder during her graduate studies at the School of Visual Arts in New York. The Lebanese designer redesigned the traditional Miswak, a thooth-cleaning stick made from Salvadora persica tree, historically common in parts of the Middle East. After researching the health benifits of using the Miswak, Leen decided to modernise it, making it easier to use and store, and named it THIS toothbrush.
What’s like a cute, culture-inspired brand by a young Saudi creative? Nothing.
This creative brand uses cultural elements that are unique to the Arabian Peninsula to create hip, visually rich products. The designer behind Fyunka is Alaa Balkhy, a Saudi from Jedda who’s in love with bows, obviously! (Fyunka is the Arabic word for “bow”). With several uses of veils and face-veils in her prints, Alaa informs the world about her roots through a variety of products, ranging from pillows to bags and cases.
Do you know about other Middle Eastern designers we should know about? Tell us about them!