I’m a girl. I like pretty things. I also like pretty shiny things. If they’re funny too, then I’m overjoyed. I may also feel overwhelmed by the countless options to choose from, which is exactly what happened when I met ctrl+z Zinab Chahine’s jewellery at Zafir Studio in Zamalek yesterday. The bubbly and amiable Lebanese designer had her stand in a corner of the space, where most female visitors were clustered for half the evening.
Chahine brings the energy, funk and charm of Beirut culture and fashion to Cairo with her pop-art, kitschy jewellery. She uses images of Arab pop icons like Om Kalthom, Abdel Halim Hafez, Fairouz and Nadia Lotfy as well as I Heart Bamia/chocolate/Teta logos, among others. Bottle tops are turned into pins carrying the kaf symbol, candy-coloured skulls dangle from delicate bracelets, and long pearl necklaces are mixed up with portraits of iconic Arab actresses. Zinab can customize any bracelet or necklace with the charms displayed along the counters.
Her collection of flashy, chunky, funny and cheap jewellery uses quintessentially Arab images, including a few graffiti images from Beirut. Zinab says she’s excited to incorporate Egyptian elements, including Cairo graffiti, into her future lines. Her stuff is also affordable; meaning even the perpetually indecisive like me can walk away with at least one item guilt-free.
This is not the first time Zinab has showcased her collection in Cairo, but she’s now found a permanent location in Zafir; so you can pop over and check out her stuff anytime. However, she won’t be there to personalize bracelets and necklaces, so you’ll have to wait till her next visit, announced via her Facebook Page.