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Nada Debs showcases at ‘The Vitrine’, the first after the 2020 Beirut explosion
‘The Vitrine’ by Nada Deb
Image: Courtesy of Nada Debs

Nada Debs showcases at ‘The Vitrine’, the first after the 2020 Beirut explosion

 A former boutique revamped after the explosions in Beirut, preserves the damage of the blasts, connecting the old with the new.

by Nada Debs
Published on : Jan 06, 2022

The Vitrine is a newly revamped space presented by Nada Debs, designed to showcase the brand’s latest collection, bespoke designs, and signature crafts to the world.

“The Vitrine is our window to the world,” says Lebanese designer Nada Debs of the revamped space on the ground floor of her eponymous boutique in the heart of old Beirut. The boutique was built with the vision of retaining the memories of the Beirut explosion which occurred on 4 August 2020. The boutique preserves the damage of the Beirut blasts, connecting the old with the new.

 “The Vitrine captures a moment in time; it makes me look back at what happened to our boutique during the blast, and yet it inspires us all to think forward and connect with the world, as craft-custodians safeguarding the legacy of culture,” says Nada.

In the aftermath of the explosions, several artists including Debs, sprang into action, using their creative magic to resuscitate a formerly dynamic metropolis and contribute to Beirut's healing process. Located in a typical Lebanese 1930s building, on the popular Gemmayzeh street, it is surrounded by trendy local stores and cafes and beautiful historic buildings from the French era, all of which were affected during the blasts. The ground-floor of the boutique is used to display craft objects and collections that weave together homelands, history, and heart in an attempt to bring together people from different cultures and ethnicities.

Every month a new story is revealed through installations against the backdrop of rich velvet curtains that conceal the damages of the blast. The store’s interiors create a theatrical and engaging atmosphere using a play of colors and contrasts. It is a space that connects people to the concepts of ‘new materialism’ and ‘human connection’ - expressions coined by Nada Debs as a method to explore the future of design and the resurgence of old-world crafts in a post-pandemic world.

Nada Debs work expands her works from product and furniture design to one-off commissions across craft, art, fashion and interiors. Her eclectic designs find connections across different cultures and tell stories that touch people's hearts. Debs emphasises the importance of human stories and places value on connection - to places, to others and to our own identity within the wider world, describing her work as: handmade and heartmade.

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