Since as long as she can remember, Lebanese designer Dina Khalifé showcased an interest in drawing. “Going to stationery shops was a pastime,” she explained to Style.com/Arabia from her home in Madrid. Khalifé later developed a passion for textiles and fashion design soon followed. Her early stomping ground was the Spanish mid-range women’s label Bimba & Lola. “In the Middle East, either you work for a very high-end brand or you start your own company, which is very difficult to do because you don’t have any experience yourself.” After learning the ropes, Khalifé returned to her native Beirut to become one of the first designers to accept Rabih Kayrouz’s offer to join his nascent Starch Foundation initiative in 2011. But Spain, a country dear to her heart since the first vacation with her brother, was never far from her mind. Today, the Iberian Peninsula serves as a creative inspiration, the location of her brand’s production, along with being her home.
“Spain is a very inspiring country; the nature is beautiful, the people are always happy, and there are a lot of exhibitions, museums, and greenery,” recounted Khalifé. The young designer’s positive outlook on the country is showcased through her designs, and the collections—The Swimmers, Blooming Garden, and the latest, In the Market, featured above—all display her signature optimistic hand-drawn prints. Khalifé has also extended her work to accessories—scarves, rings, necklaces, and brooches.