They’re almost too seductive for words. The new bags from Kuwaiti label Marzook, created in collaboration with Beirut-based designer Nada Debs and released last week, are spherical orbs of loveliness exuding Debs’ signature style.
When we interviewed FTA Prize 2019 finalists Marzook last March, they revealed some details about their upcoming collaboration with Debs, stating that it was inspired by the cosmic world. “Marzook approached us around three years ago to do a collaboration,” says Debs, explaining that she sought to keep Marzook’s recognizable bags but reimagine them in her characteristic East-meets-West way. “We have a craft-based design approach and chose to use our intricate craft techniques on the signature Marzook spherical shapes,” she says.
Named the Celestial Collection, the three new bags feature tin inlay and wood carving applied on solid oak and walnut wood. “This is the first time that Marzook works with wood and crafted wood,” says Debs. “We saw the spherical shape of Marzook’s bags as planets in the universe. We also saw that different planets orbit around the sun with unique movement and patterns, so we applied the different patterns on the bags.”
In keeping with their eco-friendly practices, Marzook and Nada Debs created the bags in the MENA region, utilizing the skills of local artisans. In addition, the easy-to-carry bags were made using FSC certified wood, ensuring a minimal impact on the environment.
The Marzook x Nada Debs collaboration marks a renaissance of sorts for Debs, whose showroom and store were severely damaged during the Beirut explosion last August. Yet in spite of the multiple crises plaguing the country, Debs repaired her showroom and plans to stay put, demonstrating the legendary resilience that’s become a Beirut trademark. “We intend to stay in Lebanon as a base because this is where our craftsmen are,” she says, “and they’re the ones we get the inspirations from. But saying that, we are focusing a lot on the GCC area to show the value of craft and preserving our heritage in the Middle East.”
The Celestial Collection is available on the Marzook website.