Interview by Manuela Antakly
Leila Antakly is the Founder & Editor of Ninu Nina, a creative platform she started as a hobby in order to promote the work and creativity of her many talented friends. Many people ask her what is "Ninu Nina" and what does it mean?
Leila: Ninu Nina is a silly word my sister ( you) invented that sounds very much like "Nanu Nanu" from a 70's comedy Mork & Mindy that I grew up watching and loved very much. It makes me smile to see people sound silly when they pronounce it. I honestly didn't think about it too much I just wanted it to be fun with a component of " outer space" in the title cause Ninu Nina is my own little galaxy.
What is the purpose of this blogzine?
Well I just want to share the work of interesting and creative people I meet from all over the world and want to be a resource of information. Blogs are an interesting form of communication because anyone has a say and if it catches on, these unknowns can all of the sudden become influencers. I find it super irritating when people use it too much to promote themselves, and use it as a form of constant advertising and product placement. Its very obvious. I like to see variety when it comes to digital content, unique perspectives of the world combined with inspiring or edgy visuals. I have no intention of becoming an " influencer" myself I just want to continue curating great content and being the first to interview creatives at the beginning of their successful careers.
Leila you like to interview artists, photographers and update us on music , which one of these is more important for you?
This is a very tough question Manu, because all of them are equally important but I can't live without music. You also know that I can't answer my favorite because I love trip hop, techno, house, old school hip hop, rock, New Wave 80's and alternative. I could never answer one in particular, I can name a few bands that have inspired me.....
- Massive Attack, Portishead, Tricky, Hooverphonic, Thievery Corporation,
- The Cure, U2, Depeche Mode, Pharcyde, WU TANG,
- Jamiroquai, Guns N Roses, Janes Addiction, Nirvana, Madonna, Dee Lite
- Spanish music from the 80's like Los Hombres G,
- DJ's such as Format B, Matthew Dear, Bookashade, M. A.N.D.Y, Magda, Carola and Locodice.
Leila I know you love fashion but you don't take the industry too seriously, tell us some of your favourite brands?
- Missoni, Zadig & Voltaire, Alberta Ferretti
- Bottega Veneta, Nina Ricci
- Proenza Schouler
- and many of the brands that my friends have created which I post about on Ninu Nina.
- I always loved the branding of Fiorucci and hope they make a comeback.
- Fiorucci, Corso Como 10, Colette
- in London Top Shop, Dover St Market, Harvey Nichols, back in my high school days there was a Record shop off of Carnaby Street called Unity Records, I could spend hours there.
- NY: Urban Outfitters, Intermix, and all the funky little stores in nolita, That Rat shop on Broadway has the best t -shirts ever.
- Piaff, and Kitsch in Beirut
- Sluiz in Ibiza
Favorite Restaurants in NY?
- Woo Lae Oak - that was my all time favorite for so many years
- Il Buco, Little Owl, Commerce
- Mercadito Grove- fun place and great Mexican
- Illili-super cool Lebanese and very proud of my friend who started the concept from A to Z and has created something very special.
- Casa Lucio in Madrid
- Pizzerias in Navigli, Milan
Leila you've often said that you wish you could have worked for MTV, in your opinion what are some of the Best Music Videos ever made?
- Closer by Nine Inch Nails- Mark Romaneck I believe is the director
- Windowlicker Aphex Twin
- Bjork's All is Full of Love
- I always looked forward to a new Madonna video to see what she was going to do next.
- Anton Corbjn who worked with Depeche Mode and U2
- All the videos by this creative genius Floria Sigismondi
After a couple of attempts at production, you've mentioned how hard it is to break in to the industry. Tell us who are your Favorite Film Directors?
I'm lucky I got my start working for HBO and am proud to say that I've been involved in some of the worst and most embarassing film productions ever made. That said they were still amazing learning experiences and getting that kind of hands on technical training makes me appreciate the film industry even more and the greats like Tarantino, Almodovar, Aronofsky and Danny Boyle to name a few. Fellini in my opinion is one of the greatest ( Amarcord is one of my top fave films) and Italian cinema really fueled my love for film.
Who are the most stylish girls in New York?
I think all my friends have amazing style and unique ways of expressing themselves. New Yorkers have amazing individual style, this city is just an endless runway, its pretty impossible to not feel inspired on a daily basis because fashion is such an important part of the city. Obviously the it girls create trends and fashionistas live and breathe style, but I don't think you have to be one of them to be original, elegant and stylish. You see style everywhere in this city and I love that.
- Im going to be so unoriginal with my answer but I just really love Kate Moss's style and love her evolution.
- My mother in the 70's and 80's ( I wish she had kept all her dresses and accessories)
- Jane March in the film "The Lover"
- Talitha Getty, Bianca Jagger, Sofia Loren, Monica Bellucci
Best Websites out there in your opinion Leila?
- There are so many now its so hard to keep up with good sites.
- Yatzer, Nowness, urbandaddy.com and notcot.org which I check a few times a day.
- I can really relate to these:
- " Psychedelic visions are my reality"- Lennon
- "Be the change you want to see in the world"- Gandhi
- "Love is not to look at one another but look together in the same direction"- Antoine de Saint Exupéry