By Mariam Nihal
Nadine Kanso’s brainchild ‘Bil Arabi’ recently launched a new accessories line after celebrating its 10th birthday.
“Bil Arabi came to life after my first solo photography exhibition ‘Meen Ana’, that dealt with and expressed Arab identity and pride of being Arabs,” Kanso told Saudi Gazette. “The translation or if i may say the development of this expression was embodied in the first letter Noon that I made with an 18 carat gold ring and from there I started taking orders for Arabic letters and pendants from friends.” Soon she started her own label Bil Arabi. “This was first sold and encouraged by Zayan Ghandour owner of S*uce Boutique and the rest is history. I am an artist and I do not have a strict business vision. I do what I love and express myself and who I am as an Arab, even in my photography and in my brand. We should always be proud of our culture and language and never shy away!
Talking about her new work, Kanso reflected on the brand’s 10 year journey and new collections. “One was the Ashrah collection, based on the number 10 in Arabic, which formed the design of the patterns. The new line is inspired by the graffiti style of writing, using coloured enamel. It is a step forward and a new approach which again gave us visibility and great success in terms of response.”
Not in a rush to cash in or make it big overnight, the artist enjoys her current job and the organic growth of her brand. “I am happy in growing my brand organically, I pick and choose what fits with my brand identity. I have always had that approach and I think I have done well for an artist and an entrepreneur. We all do have ambitions but I am not killing myself to prove it to the world to be honest. I still want to enjoy what I do.
What comes my way I will embrace, I think this is my approach.” Bil Arabi has showcased its works internationally including Casablanca, Tunis, London, Dubai , Abu Dhabi, Muscat and Saudi Arabia.
Kanso’s ‘Top 5 must-have pieces’ from Bil Arabi are the Toul Ring, The Hobb Cuff, the signet Ashrah collection, the eye from Mina collection and “my latest love affair with the new design I made for the Emerald ring is to die for!”
The latest Bil Arabi collection is available exclusively at S*uce Rocks in Galleria Mall, Dubai.