Seeking some fashion-meets-pop-art interior inspo? Then look no further than 81 Designs and its collaboration with renowned British-Moroccan artist, Hassan Hajjaj. Showcasing at Art Dubai, the canvases are influenced by ‘tatreez’, the time-honoured embroidery technique used for centuries by Palestinian women. It’s the kind of thing you might lust (and haggle) over in a bazaar, but it’s now had a major design overhaul by artist known as the Andy Warhol of Morocco. Instead of traditional tapestry – think oversized pop-art prints with an Arabic influence.
Furthermore, this artwork also gives back. Nadine Y Maalouf, Co-Founder of 81 Designs, and mastermind behind the project tells Grazia, “We work with women from the Palestinian refugee camps in Ain El Helweh, South Lebanon, and provide training, equipment, and emotional support to empower them to create. We want to challenge the stereotypical view that refugees live on handouts and are charity cases. We are helping them to be self-sufficient, with a monthly wage, so they can plan for the future –with at least 60-80 per cent of profits going back to the women.” She adds, “Plus by showcasing this age-old tradition in a modern medium, it means we can reach a different audience and still keep the heritage of tatreez alive.”
Hassan who visited the camps with Nadine reveals, “It is such an honour to meet the ladies who are striving to survive. This should be an eye-opener to those who do not realise how lucky they are. It makes me proud to collaborate with 81 Designs and have the opportunity to help support these women through my art.”