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TMCNet:  Hitting the right button [Khaleej Times (United Arab Emirates)]

[September 26, 2013]

Hitting the right button [Khaleej Times (United Arab Emirates)]

(Khaleej Times (United Arab Emirates) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Farida Talaat may have had to import buttons from America, but her pursuit for the perfect shade of blue was not in vain.

After four months, 250 hours of labour, and an exhaustive search for 600 buttons, the Dubai-based designer, whose label Zorar means 'button' in Arabic, has fashioned her support for Dubai's World Expo 2020 bid on a piece of white canvas emblazoned with the light blue Duabi Expo 2020 logo.

Egyptian-born Talaat, 27, who moved to Dubai for university in 2001, said she felt so passionate about her adopted city she wanted to do what she could to help convince the international Expo judging panel that Dubai was the right choice out of the four remaining candidates — including Brazil's Sao Paulo, Russia's Yekaterinburg and Turkey's Izmir — to be selected as the host city, when the announcement is made in November.

Talaat said Dubai had given her a lot, including the grounding for her handbag design business - all of which feature button decorations. "I think being in Dubai made this possible, in other cities it may not have happened. I'm Egyptian and there's lots of political turmoil and problems in my home country." Talaat, who also works full time as a senior account manager for public relations company Cicero & Bernay, said the bags took up to a week to make, while the logo, hand sewn primarily out of buttons, but also beads, lace, satin ribbons, Swarovski crystals, and even a light blue pencil, took four months.

But her greatest challenge was the button hunt, which led her to import buttons from America and Egypt. "This particular shade of blue is very difficult to find in buttons, so I had to expand the resources I used ... for some reason blue buttons are rare." Her efforts were rewarded when she delivered her artwork to the Dubai Expo bid organising committee about a week ago, who promptly hung the piece in their Emirates Towers office lobby.

"They were surprised because other people maybe take a picture of the logo and post it on instagram and other forms of support, but I don't think anyone else had created something by hand and gone on to give it to them." Taalat said she had not thought about how much the piece would be valued at, though a figure of about Dh5000 sounded about right.

"Buttons are not usually an expensive item but I think it's valuable because it's done by a designer who lives in Dubai, loves Dubai and it's all manual work ... if Dubai happens to win the Expo, I think that would increase its value. But I don't look at it as an auctionable item, as it belongs to Dubai." The designer, who had created about 100 bags by hand in the three years for customers around the globe, said she hoped one day her logo would find its way to a more public arena. "Even if (Dubai) doesn't happen to win, I hope it will be showcased here and gets the recognistion that it's meant for." (c) 2013 Khaleej Times. All Rights Reserved. Provided by an company

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