BAGS FOR LIFE
In Arabic, the word nawa means seed. It’s also the name of the initiative set up by the Lebanese designer Nadine Mezher; representing the idea that abundance and generosity begin with a single simple act. Mezher’s “act” is producing and selling fair-trade high-end bags and accessories. All net profits from the sale are used to help fund community based charities in the Middle East and India.
The Beirut-born designer has a fine fashion pedigree, spending several years in Europe, working for Chanel, Elie Saab and John Galliano among others, before returning to Lebanon to set up her own atelier, specialising in couture evening wear.
Her bag collection was launched last year, and its undisputed star is the Tree of Life, an oversized clutch with a stunning embroidered version of the famous tree of life motif. There’s also exquisite little vintage-style clutches with crocheted embellishment, plus a new range of messenger bags with hand-crocheted silk detailing. All the bags are made in workshops in Lebanon and most are designed to incorporate embroidery or crochet work commissioned from local women. Available through Nawa’s website and the Dubai-based online boutique Aura B, their sales have so far funded projects including the provision of meals for underpriveleged schoolchildren in Syria and the Palestinian Territories and bought furniture for a school in Uttar Pradesh, India. Mezher is currently working on a new “very special and very artistic” collection that she aims to launch by next month. These bags will help to send food boxes to displaced families in Tripoli, Lebanon.
From Dh1,010, www.nawaproject.com; www.aura-b.com