The Nadine Kanso and Gagà Milano collaboration you need in your life
While we’re pretty big on all things watches here at Esquire ME, there are a few checkboxes that are guaranteed to get us, well, ticking. So when we saw the result of the Nadine Kanso x Gagà Milano collaboration, we got pretty excited. Limited edition? Check. Arabic engraving? Check. Stocked exclusively on regional e-commerce favourite, Ounass? Check, check, check. We sat down with Nadine herself, to talk about the design process, changing consumer habits and the reminder to simply ‘live’.
ESQ: Why was it important for you to make the watch unisex, as opposed to your incredible mainline jewellery, which lends itself to a more female audience?
Nadine: It is always great to find new ways to challenge your creativity and work with products that express different things and by combining a watch that is Unisex that has a beautiful message of life for both female and male to wear, was such fun and quite an adventure.
Times are constantly changing, so are we. I have always been a fan of wearing men’s watches. Our Bil Arabi men’s line is more unisex, so anyone can wear it. I think it’s important now more than ever to be able to work and design unisex products, so people can buy and wear them with more fluidity. Markets are changing, and we can see more of that trend increasingly happening.
ESQ: Has the process of designing a watch with a more masculine air inspired you too design more menswear pieces in general?
Nadine: Designing the Al Hayat watch sure did give me the push to create more designs to add to our Bil Arabi collection. The feedback we always get is “we need more variety for men’s designs and items“, so we listen and try to fill that gap as much as we can. It’s always fun!
ESQ: There is a bold, striking aesthetic to the Al Hayat watch - could you talk us through your design process?
Nadine: The process designing a watch that struck a balance of boldness, simplicity and chicness was the tricky. The size was important, obviously, and so was the colour combination. Black is always a good option for accessibility, and the choice of green was to bring contrast and meaning (the colour green represents prosperity). The word ‘Al Hayat’ was kept as a discreet detail, for the eye to find and focus on.
ESQ: Why was it important to stock the watches exclusively on a regional platform like Ounass?
Nadine: The watch is limited edition for the region; it was designed to appeal to our market. Our launch was to be in March, and The GaGà team was to join in Dubai for that, but Covid-19 halted the world and those plans, and we all felt the best way to launch would be online, with Ounass, as they have one of the best client services in the region.
ESQ: Can you talk us through the meaning of the name, ‘Al Hayat’, what it means to you, and how it could translate directly as a message applicapble towards these current, turbulent times?
Nadine: I chose the word Al Hayat (meaning ‘life’) because time is about the life and moments we live. The forward message and simplicity of having that word on the watch seeks to make the message as bold as possible. Being in the moment, especially at this point in time, means the word makes even more sense than ever. I’m glad that it relates and reminds to simply LIVE.
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