In Cel­e­bra­tion of Love and Loss

ArabAd - - COVER STORY - BY: JAD HAIDAR

The Bour­geoisie have al­ways been against the idea of be­ing seen in pub­lic wear­ing the same piece of cloth­ing, twice. It is a re­al­ity, which with the rise of a new gen­er­a­tion, not only changed, but is also trend­ing!

Iron­i­cally, these en­er­getic, savvy and quite in­tel­li­gent young­sters, who were privy to a first-class ed­u­ca­tion and up­bring­ing, look at the world in a more sym­pa­thetic fash­ion. “They also are more knowl­edge­able of who they are, what they want, and where to get it,” ex­plained

founder of De­pot-vente vin­tage cloth­ing store in Mar Mikhael as her ex­cep­tion­ally sooth­ing voice its way through the tele­phone re­ceiver made.

This how­ever, is not the story. The real story be­hind the launch of this store some five years ago, which she de­scribes as be­ing smaller than some peo­ple’s walk-in clos­ets, was a re­ac­tion to her only thir­teen-year-old child want­ing to pave her own way by go­ing out into the world.

So, be­ing the overly-pro­tec­tive mother that she is, the next two days were spent in soli­tary re­flec­tion, which was also when a dif­fer­ent kind of re­al­ity she was also grap­pling with came to light. “The thir­teen years I had ded­i­cated to nur­tur­ing my daugh­ter were grad­u­ally com­ing to an end driv­ing the ques­tion of what I wanted to do with my own life,” she rea­soned in a self-lament­ing tone.

In­stead of mourn­ing loss, I be­gan to cel­e­brate the rich his­tory in­ter­wo­ven within the rich fab­rics the var­i­ous pieces on dis­play of­fer.

Nawal As­saoud,

De­cem­ber 2016

With all the time in the world, As­saoud de­cided to have another baby, only this time around, it would be a place, rather than a per­son, where peo­ples’ lives are lent a sec­ond life. That was when one of the coun­try’s hippest cloth­ing stores was born. It also was when she had fi­nally fig­ured-out how to hold on to some of her most pre­cious mem­o­ries.

“I have lost many peo­ple through­out my life, which till this day still hurts. How­ever, in­stead of mourn­ing loss, I be­gan to cel­e­brate the rich his­tory in­ter­wo­ven within the rich fab­rics the var­i­ous pieces on dis­play of­fer,” she said in a dreamy way.

While some peo­ple call this nos­tal­gia, her view is far more elab­o­rate and mean­ing­ful. As a child of the seven­ties, her mem­ory of times past con­sti­tutes a trea­sure trove of emo­tions and ad­ven­tures that silently linger on more so to­day than ever be­fore.

Though her clien­tele in­clude both gen­ders and all ages, the ma­jor­ity of cus­tomers are 20-30 year olds who are highly opin­ion­ated and are dar­ing enough to trans­gress an­ti­quated so­cial norms that used to dom­i­nate the coun­try’s for­mer civil so­ci­ety. “Most of the young­sters who step through my door truly ap­pre­ci­ate qual­ity, es­pe­cially when it comes to one-of-a-kind items. Best of all, they crave that per­sonal feel, which none of the avail­able cloth­ing stores could ever of­fer, that is with­out pay­ing an arm and a leg as op­posed to the minute amount we charge,” she clar­i­fied.

In ad­di­tion, she be­lieves that the main rea­son be­hind this kind of resur­gence, is due to a new found need to af­firm a per­sonal iden­tity. “These hip­sters who are con­stantly rein­vent­ing them­selves have re­alised how dif­fer­ent they are from ev­ery gen­er­a­tion that pre­ceded theirs and are out to com­mu­ni­cate that re­al­ity through cloth­ing items laden with his­tory, thereby adding a per­sonal feel to the en­tire ex­pe­ri­ence,” she pointed out.

While some be­lieve that the trend of re­vert­ing to a cer­tain era is driven by nos­tal­gia, As­saoud clar­i­fies be­fore con­clud­ing that, “De­spite the fact that most of my clients had not ex­pe­ri­enced that pe­riod in time, they nonethe­less firmly be­lieve in the dif­fer­ence as­so­ci­ated with a look and feel that is un­like any­thing else, which is also how they see them­selves!”

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