Nadine Mneimneh was born in Paris in 1983. In 2001, she moved to Beirut and obtained a B.A in business from the AUB. Her strong interest for fashion was revealed when she attended a styling course at Istituto Marangoni in Milan in 2004. After several years of experience in retail management, she learned fashion design and pattern making at Esmod Beirut. In parallel with her studies, she was in charge of the marketing and sales at Gardem. Later on, she worked as freelance stylist for advertisements, and pattern maker for a bespoke ready-to-wear atelier. It was in 2010, she decide to create her own ready-to-wear label: a loose and minimal silhouette hinting femininity, comfortable and modern fits sharpened by the use of refined menswear fabrics. She was selected by the Starch foundation, ( a project initiated by Rabih Kayrouz and partner Tala Hajjar aiming to promote up and coming Lebanese designers), to present two capsule collections, which marked her debut as a fashion designer.
Greatest inspirations or influences?
I always find inspiration in fabrics, especially menswear fabrics. My upbringing in France in the 90s has shaped my aesthetics sensitivity; I’m drawn to dark colors, androgynous shapes and volumes. I’d rather hint the lines of the body than flaunt curves. Traditional costumes and artisanal techniques are also a great influence to me; I like my garments to have a hand-made touch as it brings authenticity.
Challenges of starting your own collection?
The main challenge for me is to build a strong identity. I need to feel I’m bringing something new to the table, hopefully something that will last.
Favorite websites, blogs, publications?
- I’ve been loyal to Lula magazine, the rest of my magazine picks are totally random.
- I’m currently on the lookout for new blogs to get hooked on. Sometimes I enjoy browsing DIY blogs such as http://apair-andaspare.
blogspot.com/or http://outsapop.blogspot.com. I like the spirit of DIY, it is fun and laid-back fashion, and can be more interesting than pictures of people showing-off trendy outfits.
Fashion Icons in your opinion?
I have many icons, all designers. Among them are Ann Demeulemeester, Rick Owens, Yohji Yamamoto, Jean-Paul Gautier, Martin Margiela and Antonio Marras. I have so much respect for their work and what they have accomplished