Exclusive Interview with Malin Andrén


Yes so I went off the blogging grid again! I know I promised to try and stay focused, but I lost my mojo somewhere after my last few posts and honestly haven’t had time to dedicate to C&C. But I’ve decided to kick myself in the arse (metaphorically speaking coz I don’t think it is physically possible to do so!) and get back to what I love, especially as I’ve got to interview some fabulous people over the past few months starting off with the lovely Malin Andrén, designer behind By Malina. Continue reading


Candy & Couture meets Willy Monfret!!

It is very rare when I become tongue-tied. I can usually have a conversation with anyone, but when Willy Monfret walked into our interview on Friday, I was actually rather lost for words! I mean his piercing blue-green eyes captured my heart (and thousands across the world) when he played Nicki Minaj’s love interest in the video for her single “Right Through Me”, so having him sit right in front of me, I won’t lie, almost had me skip a heart beat (or seven!) Continue reading

Swarvoski Elements: Exclusive Interview with Houida Al-Baridi

Dubai is due to host the most spectacular event of the social calendar this Wednesday, with the first ever SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS ‘Sense of Two’ fashion show in the Middle East. This unique fashion event will showcase the talent of designers from the UAE, KSِِA, Kuwait and Bahrain in a themed designed to evoke the designers’ dual creative sides, hence the name ‘Sense of Two’. This year the show has challenged its design partners to create two fashion-forward garments incorporating SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS and expressing the theme of two contrasting sides of their inner selves.

One of the incredibly talented designers taking part in the show is Syrian designer, Houida Al-Bairidi, and I was incredibly honoured to interview her last week about her inspirations and to try to find out about the show.

Continue reading

Designer Profile: Ctrl+Z Jewellery

By far the quirkiest jewellery brand I have come across, Ctrl+Z, is my new obsession! Designer, Zinab Chahin’s designs are fun, unique and the definition of “making a statement”.

Aged just 24 and living in Beirut, Zinab lived in the States until she was 18.  This has influenced her designs as she says she designs “as an outsider looking in, making jewelry that I would have wanted as someone new to the culture.”

Zinab has taken old Arab pop culture, symbols and sayings and represents them in her jewellery by incorporating modern designs and bright colors.

Getting Started

Zinab started making jewelry in early 2009.  Before that she was always playing around with making her own “weird” jewellery, but only for herself.  In early 2009, she took a huge image of an old poor arab man and put in on a leather cord. The response she got from people was amazing so and from then on she started designing and selling to anyone who wanted to buy her designs.  As this took off, she decided the time was right to start on a small collection.


Zinab has two main inspirations.  The first is the arab pop culture… quirky little sayings like “I ❤ Teta” or “I ❤ Baba”, or ones for girls who are a bit more daring like “Toz 3lek”.  She also use images of Fairouz and other people specific to the Middle-Eastern culture.  Zinab has always loved vintage Egyptian movie posters and uses them frequently in her designs.  Her husband is an arabic calligrapher so he always helps her out in creating calligraphy such as the fam

Another inspiration for Zinab is affordable prices.  This was an idea she implemented from the very start.  “I think it is unfair that most unique jewellery nowadays is priced so high that most young people simply can’t afford it, or they save up money just to buy a necklace like I used to do.  Unique handmade jewelry shouldn’t be exclusive to those who are rich,” says Zinab. I love this philosophy!

Where to Buy

 Zinab organising many events where she displayed her work and her Facebook page is always updated as to where she will be! One thing I love about Zinab is the personal connection she has with her buyers, She loves it when someone contacts her and they meet personally at a cafe and she can show them all of her work and they can buy directly.

Another fun idea Zinab offers are jewellery parties where you can get a group of your friends together and she brings all her supplies with her and you can create your bracelets in a fun setting.

Ctrl+Z is sold at the following outlets:

Sunflowers boutique in Saifi Village

The Union in Gemayzeh

Zafir in Zamalek (Taha Hussein St.)

Fortune Cookie (Sharq – Karizma – Next to Alameri Hospital)

Pinkdust – Amman – Abdoun – Ahmad Al Arousy St. – Al Batool Center – Bldg 17

Alternatively, head over to Urban Souq to buy her designs online.

Follow Ctrl+Z on Twitter and head over to the Facebook page to stay connected!!