Rasha KAHIL

Creative Director | BARBARA

I am an artist and founding partner of Barbara, an art direction studio based in London.  After having worked at a number of style magazines in London since 2015, including Dazed & Confused, Arena, British Vogue, and heading up the redesign and relaunch of ES Magazine in 2016, I set up Barbara in 2017 with Felix Neill, a former colleague and art director at British Vogue. Our work centers around art direction, content creation and design for fashion and lifestyle clients. I also moonlight as an artist, and my photographic artwork has been exhibited internationally, including London, Beirut, Paris, Istanbul and Amsterdam.

questionnaire

What was your very first job? What does it feel like to look back at it now?
My first proper job was as a designer in a small female-led design studio. I lasted there just under 2 months—the ‘boss’ and I did NOT get along to say the least. This was ultimately a godsend because I was offered a job at Dazed & Confused magazine shortly after and lived happily ever after.

 

Please describe, in your own words, what your current job is and what work it entails.
I am co-founder of Barbara, an art direction studio which I started with a colleague from our days at British Vogue. We take on design and art direction projects for lifestyle and fashion brands, which have ranged from branding a dog treat subscription business, to designing a photography book, interactive exhibition design for the Saatchi Gallery, to art directing fashion look books.

 

How did you discover that the creative world was right for you? Was there a time in your life that you credit to this discovery? and which train of events did bring you to where you are today? 
I grew up in London until 1992 when my family and I returned to Lebanon as the war there ended. London was at its beginnings of ‘Cool Britannia’ and I had caught a glimpse of it all as a preteen before being whisked away. Beirut was slowly awakening in the early 90s, and I was still very young, so I avidly followed the UK creative scene through MTV (which was still relevant back then!) and magazines like i-D and Dazed that my local shop stocked at my behest. Of course, Beirut very soon became the amazing city it now is, but my thirst for fashion, design and the arts was already cemented. I came back to London in 2004 and have never left…

 

In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how and where do you usually find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant? 
Through small gallery exhibitions, second-hand books and posters collected in flea markets, vernacular typography and lettering, getting away from London, researching the work of ceramicists, painters, weavers, product designers, the list goes on. And I hate to give too much credit to social media, but Instagram has become an invaluable tool for discovering new talent.

 

If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, especially for the creative work and innovation it required rather than its recognition or industry success, what would it be? 
Leaving my full-time job and starting my own design studio in 2017.

jury

Angela AFFINITA
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Balwant AHIRA
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Nil AKKURT
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Anna AKOPYAN
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Lee ALDRIDGE
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Paula Amaral
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Zamir ANTONIO
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Julia ARENSON
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Ian ARMSTRONG
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Marga ARROM BIBILONI
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Angela ASIEDUA
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Daniel ATKINSON
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Rosie BARDALES
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Elen BARNES
Marketing Director | TAG HEUER
Constance BARNWELL
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Noah BERNARD
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Jim BLETSAS
Head of Design | LUCKY GENERALS
Karen BLOOM
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Chris BOOTH
Head of Design | LEGO
Phil BOSHER
Head of Design | LEO BURNETT
Karen BOSWELL
Head of Innovations | ADAM&EVE DDB
Jeff BOWERMAN
Creative Vice President | BEAMLY
Director
Daniel BROOKS
Account Director | DELL
Rob BROWN
Executive Creative Director | MCCANN Worldgroup
Christophe BRUMBY
Senior Creative Strategist | AMPLIFY
Dino BURBIDGE
Director of Innovation & Technology | WCRS
Charlotte BUTLER
Head of Creative | MTV
Gabriel BUTLER
Brand Marketing Manager | AIRBNB
Alistair CAMPBELL
Executive Creative Director | WE ARE SOCIAL
Creative Director | THE CANNELLS
Sam CARTMELL
Creative Partner | OGILVY & MATHER
Head of Broadcast | FCB INFERNO
Executive Creative Director | THE GATE LONDON
Jon CLEAVE
Creative Director | TRIBAL WORLDWIDE
Ben COLE
Head of Art Buying | VCCP
Conor CRONIN
Head of Visuals | STELLA McCARTNEY
Hazel CROSS
Dir. of Communications | HOLLAND AND HOLLAND
Neale DAWN
Ass. Dir. of Creative Serv. | BODEN
Johanna DELLA-RAGIONE
Dir. of Content & Brand Partnerships | EASTMAN KODAK
Suzanne DONALDSON
Sr. CD Prod, Global Brand Imaging | NIKE
Aine DONOVAN
Head of Art Buying | BBH
Haley DUHOLKE
Sr. Brand Mkg Coordinator | STELLA McCARTNEY
Pascal DUVAL
Head of Creative | ASOS
Alexa EASTERBY
Head of Creative Production | TK MAXX
Abi ELLIS
Executive Creative Director | WUNDERMAN
Gary FAWCETT
Executive Creative Director | TBWA MANCHESTER
Andy FOWLER
ECD, Founder | BROTHERS & SISTERS
Head of Marketing, UK | RIOT GAMES
Debra GERRARD
Creative Director | LEGO
Claire GIBBON
Director of Creative Services | J P BODEN
Wandjina GLASHEEN- BROWN
Global Creative Director | JO MALONE
Nieal GREWAL
Beauty Design Director | UNILEVER
Tyrone HANNICK
Head of Digital | MOTHER
Voice Technologist | SIREN VOICE
Tom HIND
Head of Photography | BBC WORLDWIDE
Ross HOPCRAFT
Creative Director | BISQIT
Ed HORNBY
Head of Digital | VCCP
Kathy HOWES
Sr.Creative Prod.& Art Buyer | PROXIMITY LONDON
Lu HOWLETT
Head of Art Buying | IRIS WORLDWIDE
Karen HU
Head of Marketing | KIEHL'S Since 1851
Senior Business Director | IMPERO
Zara INESON
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Michael ISKAS
Global President | THE STORY LAB
Chief Creative Officer | MADE.COM
Claudia JAEH
Creative Director | BB235
Martin JASKOLOWSKI
Head of Digital | CHIVAS REGAL
Tim JONES
Creative Director | BBC CREATIVE
Rasha KAHIL
Creative Director | BARBARA
Diane KAPLAN
Brand & Marketing Director | ORLA KIELY
Rosarie KING
Head of Creative | HOBBS
Mary Claire KIRWAN
Creative Director | LIPSY
Toby LAMB
Design & Brand Director | RICHARD JAMES
Giles LAMBERT
Creative Director | DOVE
Creative Director & Designer | SAINSBURY'S
Andre 'Dedé' LAURENTINO
CCO & Global ECD on Dove | OGILVY
Andre LE MASURIER
Executive Creative Dir. | GOOGLE BRAND STUDIO
Nicole LE-SURF
Sr Mgr Creative Services | STELLA McCARTNEY
Stephen LEDGER-LOMAS
Head of Production | BBH
Zoe LINES
Lead Campaign Creative | TED BAKER
Tracy MACASSEY
Head of Film | BROTHERS AND SISTERS
Amanda MACBETH
Creative Director | MOLTON BROWN
Al MacCUISH
Chief Creative Officer | THE SUNSHINE COMPANY
Charlie MacPHERSON
Lead Producer | FACEBOOK CREATIVE SHOP
Creative Director
Leo MARKS
Creative Director | MINI - BMW Group
Head of TV | MOTHER
Alex MATHIESON
Creative Director | ITV
Greg McALINDEN
Creative Director | AGENCY SPACE
Creative Director | 4CREATIVE
James MILLER
Head of Integrated Production | THE&PARTNERSHIP
Creative Director | BRAVE
Daniel MOOREY
Head of Photography & Illustration | ADAM&EVEDDB
Sophie MORE
Head of Marketing | BREWDOG
Alan MORRICE
Head of Art | NBC UNIVERSAL
Head of Film | GTB
Creative Head | CAMELOT GROUP
Group CD, Head of Visual Design | R/GA
VP Creative | SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT
Ben PALMER
Creative Director | MR PORTER
Erasmo PALOMBA
Head of Art Buying | WIRZ
Ricky PARTNER
Global Head of Creative Serv. | THE BODY SHOP
Shaheed PEERA
Executive Creative Director | PUBLICIS
Ian PENDLETON
Creative Director & Co-founder | SHOW MEDIA
Ross PLUMMER
Group Production Director | R/GA
Rowena RATNAM
Marketing Director / Brand Consultant
Simon RICHINGS
Executive Creative Partner | ANALOGFOLK
Giles RITCHIE
Global Marketing Manager | BACARDI
Fabio RUFFET
Creative Excellence Director | BACARDI
Anna RUSSELL
National Brand & Retail Marketing Lead | AUDI
Eric SAMPERS
Global Brand Director | PERNOD RICARD
Eric SCHOEFFLER
Chief Creative Officer Germany | HAVAS
Tracy SEDINO
Art Director | LINDA FARROW
Silvia SELLA
Head of Activation Design | MULLENLOWE
Harry SHAW
Global Creative Director | GREY GROUP EMEA
Head of TV | THE SUNSHINE COMPANY
Francesca SIELER
Marketing Director | LULU GUINNESS
Laurent SIMON
Executive Creative Director | BBC CREATIVE
Eimear SINNOTT
Head of Brand & Mkg | HOUSE OF FRASER
Mark SLAUGHTER
UK Marketing Director | UBISOFT
Sam SOUTHEY
Vice President Creative Excellence | COTY
Angela SUMMERS
Creative Director | HOTEL CHOCOLAT
Digital Creative Director | SUPERUNION
Justine TABAK
Freelance Creative Director | L.K. BENNETT
Alex TALIKOWSKI
Head of Design & Activation | WCRS
Lee TAN
Executive Creative Director | MCCANN Worldgroup
Julie THYMANN
Head of Art | MOTHER
Martin James TICKNER
Art Director | LOVE MAGAZINE
Andrew TILLER
Creative Director | DJA
Steve WALLINGTON
Head of Brand Creative | HACKETT
Katrina WARD-SMITH
Dir. of Brand and Mkg Comms | HUTCHISON 3
James WARNER
Creative Director | URBAN OUTFITTERS
Laura-Jane WATSON
Creative Brand Manager | PRIMARK
Portia WEBB
Picture Editor | THE TIMES
Brand Manager | CREATIVE ASSEMBLY
Anica WISLAWSKI
Group Senior Head of Creative | NEW LOOK
Duncan WOODS
Sr. Creative Brand Manager | KAREN MILLEN
Bob WORKMAN
Sr VP Brand Partnerships | WARNER MUSIC
Tatiana ZHEREBKINA
Head of Marketing | GEROG JENSEN
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