Nada Debs is an internationally-acclaimed conceptual designer. She is known for her multidisciplinary design creations and for an artistic output that flows with emotional resonance. Imbued with exquisite craftsmanship, every piece tells a story.
Debs grew up in Japan and was educated in the US. Although she has spent considerable time traveling the world and living in a number of countries, she currently resides and works in Beirut.
WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO RETURN TO LEBANON AFTER SO MANY YEARS ABROAD?
I felt the urgent need to return to my roots and rediscover personal elements of my identity that I only experienced during brief visits to the country. I found myself thoroughly charmed by the very complexity of Lebanese culture and the wider Middle East.
WHEN DESIGNING, WHAT IS IT THAT INSPIRES YOU? WHAT DO YOU SEEK TO CONVEY IN YOUR WORK?
Life itself can be very inspirational. At times, I am inspired by certain trends in contemporary fashion, a great work of literature or a marvelous city I recently visited. In my work, I seek to find a graceful balance between various elements, to create articles of contemporary design that achieve a sense of unified harmony.
HOW HAS LEBANON INFLUENCED YOUR CREATIVITY?
Lebanese culture is exceptionally rich and vibrant. We have an ancient history of incredible craftsmanship that continuously refuels my creative processes.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE ESSENCE OF YOUR BRAND?
Ultimately, my brand is about reinventing craft and placing it within a modern context. I strive not only to preserve traditional craftsmanship, but to widen design boundaries while continuing to preserve inherent core values. I refer to this branding process as “hand-made heart-made.”
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST CAREER ACCOMPLISHMENT?
It has to be when I opened my very first showroom, in 2003. I had no idea of the kind of reaction I would receive from the public to my furniture and accessories.
OUT OF ALL OF YOUR CREATIONS, WHICH HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE?
I must admit to liking our most recent collection, Funquetry. Essentially, the design is based on the craft of marquetry, only I turn the concept over and inventively play with its inherent design ideas and attributes.
HAVE YOU EVER CONSIDERED CHANNELING YOUR CREATIVITY IN ANOTHER WAY?
If you closely study my brand, you will see that I manage to channel my creativity through various items. I begin with furniture and home accessories, all the way to the creation of scarves, handbags and other fashion items. I perform according to inspiration and have a lot of fun doing so.