Piercing pioneer Maria Tash reveals what sets Middle Eastern women apart from all her other customers

Putting the luxury into piercings
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Piercing pioneer Maria Tash reveals what sets Middle Eastern women apart from all her other customers

A couple of years ago, you probably didn’t know your conch from your helix.

But thanks Maria Tash, curated cartilage piercings are now par for the course, and the process itself is a far cry from the painful pinch of a piercing gun at Claire’s or an intimidating tattoo parlour.

With locations in Dubai, New York, London, Dublin and Rome, Maria is opening her next store in Kuwait, further solidifying her presence in the Middle East. Here the New Yorker chats to Grazia to about her special connection to the region. 

Have you experienced a surge in piercing popularity in the Middle East since you opened your boutique in Dubai?

Yes, it has been amazing.  I am thrilled to be in the Dubai Mall and I personally love the city. It’s wonderful to be able to directly reach, work with, and be inspired by Middle Eastern clients and their requests. And to have a store in such an important and international location as Dubai Mall’s Fashion Avenue alongside other luxury houses is very important for brand positioning. 

What are the biggest piercing trends in the Middle East? What makes your client here unique?

I feel like our Middle Eastern clients appreciate the same pieces I wear myself.  I can design boldly, and have an audience that is more receptive than in the west. Large clusters of pear and marquise diamonds in the Tash rook are popular in the region.  My demi diamond ring designs in the helix, and high stacked earlobe piercings with larger diamonds are also a favourite. Our Middle East clients love bigger diamond pieces, especially pear and marquise stones, and are bolder not only with the pieces but the number of piercings as well.  Even if they cover their ears in public, the choices tend to be bolder, which I love.

What is your advice to someone who has never had a piercing but is considering one? 

You don't have to start with an earlobe piercing, in fact it can be quite artsy or avante garde to start with an unusual piercing and forgo the traditional lobes. It is helpful to have a vision of what you would like your body to look like before we start styling and to map that larger scale vision. However, lobe piercings are a quick heal and are easy to change out, hence its popularity.

You’ve just announced the launch of your Kuwait store, why is this so exciting for the brand?

I always envisioned to launch in Kuwait which makes this store opening very exciting for me. With our experience in testing the market through pop-ups and listening to our audience through organic social media engagement, we knew there was an appetite for the brand and a loyal Maria Tash following in Kuwait. This opening marks our second location in the region and an important step to building our presence in the Middle East.

Photos: Supplied