Margherita (Ghita) Abi-Hanna was born in Kuwait in 1979 where she spent the first ten years of her life. In 1990, her family moved back to Lebanon. She continued her high school education at the Lycée Franco-Libanais and then completed her studies at the American University of Beirut, obtaining a Bachelor in Graphic Design with distinction in 2002. After graduating, she worked as a senior graphic designer with local design and communication agency “Mind the gap” for almost three years, following which she decided to branch out and start her own career as a freelance designer. In 2009, she moved to Italy to attend a one year master program in accessories design at Domus Academy in Milan.
Currently relocated in Lebanon, Ghita has launched her own line of leather accessories and jewelry. Her self-named brand “Margherita” consists of bold designs, for the most part carefully hand-crafted by Lebanese artisans using predominantly natural materials. Her debut collection has been selected for the 2010-2011 season of Starch has been on display in the boutique in Saifi since October 2010.
Greatest Inspirations of Influences?
Everything around me inspires and influences me, from my environment to my friends, to simply something someone might say that will trigger a thought or an idea. Mistakes can also turn into concepts in themselves. This is where the most innovative designs arise from. Other people's work that makes me think "I wish I came up with that!" is a great source of inspiration and motivation as well.
- 10 Corso Como in Milano
- Svenskt Tenn in Stockholm,
- Dover Street Market in London
- If and Starch in Beirut.
Tell us about your SS collection
My Spring/Summer 2011 collection now on display at Starch boutique was a continuation of the Fall/Winter collection where I explored the idea of flatness to volume. Through different manipulation and folding techniques I studied how a 2-dimensional material can develop into a 3-dimensional object. The shapes are quite geometric and architectural with fluid textured surfaces created by the smocking of the leather or canvas. The colors are earthly yet fresh and the combination of leather with canvas gives a summery feel to the large bags.
I have also recently released a limited edition collection, fully hand made (mostly by myself) for the "Starch your summer" exhibition taking place at the Beirut Art Center. Since the common tie between all the exhibiting designers was Starch, my inspirations were pure and chemical, cotton and leather, white and yellow. I created freeform molecular crochets which I imprinted into natural white leather to create an pouches, notebooks, and unique rings.
Anything else you'd like to share?
Keep following Margherita, I hope there will always be something to amaze and please you!