BAGS FOR LIFE

The National - News - Luxury - - THE STYLE LIST -

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

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