The arts, though vast in quantity, genre and practice, fare difficult to access in the region, being scattered within community pockets of each country. We don’t even manage to “catch them all”, and constantly find ourselves wondering how many talented people are really out there? To quote the late Leonard Cohen we “can’t keep track of each fallen robin.” This is where an exclusive to the creative arts online magazine like Kingdome shows its value in a region where art is important, yet not showcased enough.
Fay Al-Homoud and Adel El-Assaad were first inspired by plans to conceptualize an event dedicated to bboys and urban street dancing, stating that, “The event meant to take place under a built dome-like structure representing the realm of urban street culture. The dome itself sparked the idea to create our own planet; A kingdom of sorts. Hence the name Kingdome, merging both notions of a KINGDOM and a DOME, perfectly.” From there, they decided to focus on all things representing both regional and international street culture and talent.
Kingdome is ultimately an online lifestyle magazine, and poses as the answer to all of Fay and Adel’s questions, giving both artistic souls a platform to spread their love and appreciation for the arts, and equal opportunities for the talented to show the public their capabilities. “We aim to present Kingdome as a showcasing platform and not as a standard content provider.” Fay says of the publication. “We are very interested in the hidden talents and strive to make Kingdome the source for hidden creative. The on-going search for hidden talents is actually what Kingdome was founded on and this limelight is what sets us apart, gaining us recognition so far.” With aiming to showcase rather than merely cover topics, the magazine is exposed to far more opportunities and projects with the global creative communities. Kingdome aims not to limit their interaction as only a media face, but as partners in the community.
And as partners in the community, Adel and Fay work hand in hand, building the initiative from the ground up. Fay’s responsibilities as Managing Partner as well as the Editor in Chief of Kingdome include editorial approvals, content coordination, the scout for talent, planning of features and task delegation for the team. She also plays a primary role Kingdome’s business and creative development.
As Managing Editor and Creative Director, Adel also acts as a lead in Beirut and the Senior Lifestyle Editor of Kingdome. He plans its creative development, associations and events and collaborations while staying true of his duties in building Kingdome’s Lifestyle Section, editorially. “Adel spends a lot of time in Lebanon, and everyone knows how amazingly creative that country is! The scene is overflowing with new concepts and creativity is overwhelming. He comes back with great opportunities and we both work on strategically developing the magazine with both our networks and finds.” Fay says of her partner’s work.
The duo’s passion for publicizing the arts stems from both of their backgrounds, where their collective expertise lies in the experience they have with showcasing talent. Fay, who is also the founder of Q8 Street Art, feels that it is crucial for her to remain informed about the growing and ever evolving urban art and culture scene in Kuwait and around the world. “Through my many travels to Paris, London, Malaysia, New York, Belgium and many other countries, I find myself networking and getting to know artists all over. There were so many great stories to tell and my love for supporting the arts has made me even more determined to produce great editorial and features to showcase these creative people and their work.” Even prior to Kingdome’s inception, Fay to this day prides herself in trying to attend as many events as possible, both in Kuwait and abroad, to remain up-to-date on industry news regarding up and coming and established artists, designers, creative news, gallery openings and related happenings.
What Adel’s expertise contributes is derived from his understanding of luxury lifestyle, contemporary high fashion marketing, creative communications and building beautiful and effective customer experiences for shoppers. As a founder of his boutique consultancy, A.EL.A Communications, he doesn’t limit himself to brands, and feels that the flexibility of Kingdome introduces him to different networks to work with. “I have more freedom to explore and innovate with start-up businesses and what better time to do this than now; the age of innovative businesses.” His impressive resume boasts experience with International titles such Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, and W Magazine. “Working closely with these publications and their editors for coverage, events, pop-ups and other special operations allowed me to customize and frame my editorial angles, creating experiences for my clients, then and now. I am able to accomplish this fully with Kingdome as the Senior Lifestyle Editor by fusing my love for modern lifestyle editorials with what the scene has to offer.”
Kingdome’s appreciation and involvement in the scene is relevant with constant coverage. This vehemence has strengthened the brand’s relationship with local artists, as both Adel and Fay are adamant about keeping in touch with, and keeping updated on [the talent’s] work. Building such rapport results in Kingdome rivaling most online publications in the region with the coverage on local, regional and international Musicians, DJs and Producers, boasting exclusive sets by these artists. “They are asked to produce exclusive sets and tracks just for the magazine and this has done very well for the magazine. Exclusivity is important for a business like ours.”
Kingdome is powered by Monstarium, a 360-degree urban lifestyle brand that is centered around creating trends, and it also functions as home to the Monstarium street fashion Label. As part of this lifestyle brand, Kingdome was conceived as a Monstarium initiative, yet operates as a free-enterprise trademark fueled by the Monstarium label.
The brand has big dreams for itself, aspiring towards establishing a fully fledged creative hub, with operations in the worlds leading creative scenes (Dubai, London, Milan, Paris, New York). Kingdome intends on inviting such scenes to celebrating all art forms under Kingdome. “We would ultimately like to become a center for the Arts – a production house that caters to creative production for artists, designers and businesses.” And by the looks of it thus far, they have a great chance of getting to where they want to go.
Photography by Yousef Al Nasser.