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Editor’s Letter: Middle Eastern Talent Takes the Front Seat in Vogue Living Arabia Fall/Winter 2023

Manuel Arnaut. Photo: Ziga Mihelcic

I’m always extremely proud when I see Middle East creatives achieving international recognition. One of the best examples is Iranian Gabriel Hendifar, the cofounder of the cult lighting design brand Apparatus, headquartered in New York City. To celebrate the fact that Apparatus will showcase for the first time ever in the UAE at this month’s edition of Downtown Design during Dubai Design Week, we asked Hendifar to open the doors of his Manhattan apartment. As expected, this home is everything I dreamed of, and more. It’s masculine yet feminine at the same time, balances minimalism and maximalism in perfect measure, takes advantage of a sea of textures, and is a masterclass in home accessorizing. And the pistachio ice cream colors we are featuring on our cover? Absolutely delicious.

Another project that I’m excited to share with you this month is the Alpine resort LeCrans, founded by Emirati businessman Abdulla Al Gurg. Some years ago, Al Gurg called me asking for names to decorate a new retreat he had recently purchased in Switzerland. Although he didn’t follow my advice, I’m glad to see that LeCrans turned out beautifully, framed by dramatic mountains topped with white snow crowns. This Swiss chalet-style haven, renovated by Christophe Decarpentrie, is that type of space that fully pulls you in, where you just want to snuggle and enjoy some dolce far niente, while watching the fireplace. “We drew inspiration from the beautiful villages of Valais, respecting the authenticity of its pastoral origins while adapting to the new demands and standards of comfort for the 21st century. The alpine setting, the cyclical nature of the seasons, of time, and how we as humans interact with the natural environment are at the core of the project,” says Al Gurg.

Lastly, I would like to thank all the creatives who took part in the inaugural Dine and Design event, hosted last month at the SO/ Uptown, also in collaboration with Breton. We created Dine in Design because we believe fashion is not only what we wear, but also the way we live. And there’s no doubt that the universe of fashion is more and more linked to the world of interior design. This is a message constantly present in the pages of Vogue Living Arabia. For this edition we challenged interior and fashion designers to create a table design or artistic installation that represents the DNA of their brand, and gather their support system to join them for dinner. In the world we are living in, I truly believe this sense of community is what will drive us forward not only as members of the creative industries, but as humans. On p96 you will find a portfolio featuring the 11 fabulous tables, including Vogue Arabia’s, created by couture king Elie Saab. I can’t wait to find out which table is your favorite.

Originally published in the Fall/Winter 2023 issue of Vogue Living Arabia

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