MINE is a Saudi new born brand – Handbags & Accessories, offering unique interchangeable items that allow you to create your own style. One can transition from a casual look to an elegant look with ease.
Noor Zahid and Meriem Tamarzizt, founders of MINE, share the way of their creation and challenges from early 2019 up to these days.
When did the creation story of Mine begin?
The concept of the brand ‘MINE’ began in 2016 when the co- founders of the brand – Noor Zahid and Meriem Tamarzizt – met for the first time at an event in Jeddah Saudi Arabia.
Meriem’s family has a background in producing leather goods in Tunisia, while Noor’s background is mainly in jewelry design and Arabic calligraphy.
We met and spoke about fashion and mainly handbags, the idea of a collaboration sparked from there. We wanted to create something new and exciting. It took us over 2 years after this to perfect our designs and launch our first collection in February 2019.
Please tell us if it is easy to design and create the embroidered line of Mine?
Our brand consists of 2 lines, an embroidered line which is made in KSA by local women, NGOs and charitable organizations.
The other line is our premium leather line, designed by the co-founders and produced in Tunisia.
The embroidered line of MINE took years to perfect. Each design was meticulously drawn, measured and edited by the designers. This process was not as easy as it might look as prototyping a new concept is technically challenging.
Our ‘Hobb Mouth’ embroidery for example, has a subtle black outline embroidered in the center of the lips with the word ‘hobb’ ‘حب’ written inset in Arabic calligraphy. This was done to highlight our Arabic heritage in a subtle and artistic way.
The main designer, Noor, is a calligrapher and has designed every aspect of the lips. After which, it is sent to a graphic designer to perfect The High Resolution Design. This is then sent to the embroiderers who make countless prototypes using different threads and embroidery techniques before the final approval and production.
The difficulty we face is a labour of love, trial and error, it includes choosing fabrics, intricate measurements, color and style while staying true to our own personal tastes and finally, with teamwork a design is made and perfected.
Do you come up with designs for a particular woman?
Our designs are meant to be interchangeable and versatile. This is the reason we called our brand ‘MINE’. It gives you a chance to create your own style and make it evolve over time. This is why our brand is in the sustainable and slow fashion segment.
Our leather handbags for example, are very simple, classic and timeless. We incorporated a center hole where a brooch/pin can be placed, removed and exchanged. The brooches are sold separately. The brooches are made and designed in Saudi Arabia. The range of brooches is very extensive, from small, simple styles to large extravagant ones. This allows a lady to take her bag from day to night by merely switching her brooch or strap. Our slogan is ‘ Style it YOUR way’.
What has been the hardest challenge in your designing career?
We had 2 very tough challenges. The first was creating the leather line in KSA. This we tried to do for a full year, however, after many failed prototypes, we decided to produce the bags in Tunisia, with Meriem’s family overseeing the production and therefore keeping the quality and finish art at world class levels. We are very proud of this decision.
Our second challenge was designing the mechanism for the brooch to fit in the tiny hole that we designed in the center of the bag. Believe it or not, this small detail drove us crazy, taking 2 full years to perfect!
What inspires you to create The Premium line of collection?
When Meriem and I – Noor- met, I was wearing an embroidered handbag which Meriem admired. We then discussed the possibility of creating a line of leather handbags incorporating embroidery. We wanted the embroidery to be removable and interchangeable. Our story developed from there.
Meriem later had the idea of adding leather straps, belt bags, phone carriers and clutches to the collection using handpicked premium leather sourced directly from the local market in Tunisia. We only produce a few items in each color leather and therefore, our styles remain ever changing and evolving.
We are not yet into to limited editions but we can say that we try to avoid repetition.
Which is your favorite model bag from your collections?
Our collection is truly diverse and is completely designed by us. It is hard to choose a favorite. It’s like asking a mother to choose between her children! However, our first baby will always be our first love. This is the ‘Single Hole Leather Handbag’. We particularly love it paired with the Arabic Letter brooches. These truly personalize the bag while incorporating the Arabic language and Culture into a timeless piece.