July 30, 2013

EXCLUSIVE Summer Interview: Nadine Kanso of BilArabi Jewellery

How do you pack your jewellery for the summer? What do you take and what do you leave behind? For this week's Exclusive Summer Interview, I sat down with Nadine Kanso, the designer behind the beautiful jewellery brand BilArabi. We discussed travelling to destinations like Beirut, London and Mykonos, how to not overpack jewellery, and enjoying not having any schedule during summer and switching off. 

Tell me about yourself and your jewellery line?
I am a Lebanese-born, Dubai-based jewellery designer and artist photographer. I started my jewellery line BilArabi in 2006 (Link). It started off with a single ring in the Arabic letter N "noon". I designed and handcrafted it out of 18 carat gold and semi-precious stones. It was a hit! Soon after, I made it in all the letters of the alphabet and women started to express themselves 'Bil Arabi' - In Arabic. Today my line includes rings, earrings, bracelets, pendants and cufflinks that draw on the beauty of the Arabic alphabet, calligraphy, and common expressions. Bil Arabi captures the essence of Modern Arab identity in the 21st century.

Where will you be travelling this summer?
This summer I will be travelling from one place to another. I have a jewellery show at Athr Gallery in Jeddah, London and Beirut for family time, and Mykonos with my husband. I might find time to squeeze in somewhere new like Sicily! 

How long will you be staying?
5 weeks. I am looking forward to some summer fun and relaxation!

Any plans while there?
Each location will offer something different and special. What I enjoy most while on holiday are walks, sitting by the sea, or having a simple espresso in a cafe and watch people passing by, reading a book. Basically having time to do all the simple things without the rush and hassle of our busy daily schedules.

What will you be shopping for?
I prefer to walk the cities, enjoy the beaches and the food rather than shopping. Having said that, I will never say no to something my heart falls for while going around the cities, especially in London!

Who will you be travelling with?
This summer is a combination of everything and everyone - from family to friends to an all girls trip so the mix will be cool.

Do you usually pack heavy or light?
I try to be as practical as I can but with the different destinations and the long trip, packing light isn't really an option this summer.

What will you pack?
EVERYTHING! I will be taking long beach dresses By Malene Birger and Monoplaza that I bought from S*uce. 

I always pack all my chargers and personal items in my Bil Arabi pouches
 They are so practical for travelling

How do you pack your jewellery for your holidays? 
I try not to pack all of my jewellery with me and pick pieces that work both day and night. 2 or 3 sets of earrings with rings to match. After all, a woman always has to have a touch of glamour :)

These T-shirt wrap bracelets are my summer jewellery must-haves. They are always packed in my jewellery pouch for summer as I can change the colors of the ribbon depending on my outfits. They are casual pieces yet eye-catching, eye-candy ones :)

I always pack my 2 rings with the letter N on them. They can be worn both day & night, look like tattoos on the finger, and the letters are not that obvious. People ALWAYS stop me and ask about them! 

What are your summer beauty essentials?
When travelling to beach destinations, body and hair oils are a must as well as sun protection and moisturizer. Always a cool hat.

My favourite summer oils include:

What will you pack in your carryon?
My book of the moment The Oil Kings, computer, camera, agenda and paperwork I need to work on. 

Nadine Kanso's jewellery brand BilArabi is sold in the U.A.E at S*uce, Bloomingdales, and Harvey Nichols. 

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