MEET OUR MUSES: LOUCINEH
It's Taurus season, so we thought it was about time to get to know our fave Taurean and founder, Loucineh!
What is your name and what do you do?
Hi, I’m Loucineh and I’m the founder of Zart. In 2021, Pedestrian TV ran an article referring to me as “A Tik Toker” so I guess that’s something I do now too but In 2020, I started Zart because I couldn’t find any high quality but affordable jewellery that was also size-inclusive. I was sick of my gorgeous sausage-esque fingers not being adorned by stunning, colouful gems. After conducting a little research found there were a lot of people – men, women and non-binary folks -- that were in the same predicament and thus our size and gender inclusive, ethical brand was born.
What are three words that best describe you?
Loyal, creative and hilarious.
What are you most proud of?
I was born during a pretty crazy, 8 year long war in the Middle East. One of my earliest memories was being electrocuted during a missile air strike. I also remember spending extended periods of time with my family in a bunker. Mind you, the bunker days were super fun to me – I thought we were indoor camping and my parents ensured I was generally oblivious to what was happening. When we eventually left and immigrated to Australia – we were safe but there were a whole set of new challenges to navigate.
My whole family was also running on adrenaline, and generally operating in a fight or flight mode for years. It took a couple of decades for any of us to actually pause and reflect on the trauma from our experiences while we just struggled in silence. I, myself, had a pretty persistent eating disorder, and body dysmorphia I battled with, but I did a pretty good job of not letting the world see, or any leave any hint of what was really going on.
All this to say that I’ve recently realised that me just existing - working, contributing, trying, healing, learning and growing is the biggest achievement of all. I’m enough as I am. Anything else is just the icing on the cake.
What are you passionate about?
My biggest driver is wanting to make a positive contribution, and impact in this world. I recognise that it might sound really naïve and vague – it’s honestly the biggest motivator of not only what I do, but how I do it.
It affects everything I do – selecting the vendors I work with to the way I structure my business. Even every minor daily interaction.
In my 20s I was working for a multinational, and there was a person I had to work with who was one of the most challenging and toxic people I’ve ever had the good fortune to come across. When they got a really big promotion – I was kind of gobsmacked. How? Why? My colleague and I were talking about it, and I remember her exact words: “Well it’s not surprising because on paper they look like someone who gets things done…but that’s because no one can see the trail of destruction they leave behind”
I never want to be that person – the one that leaves a trail of destruction. No success or accolades would ever be worth that.
It’s this passion that led to founding Zart – a place that is welcoming, inclusive and going above and beyond when others refuse to. I’ve always loved fashion because it’s an expression of your personality, and wearing jewellery was one of the earliest forms of self-expression. Having a larger body for all my life, though – I never felt like it was my place, or I was worthy of it – I remember walking into fashion stores thinking “I don’t deserve to be here”. I never want anyone else to ever feel that way, and that’s what I’m passionate about.
Who would you say is your hero or person you look-up to and admire?
I have to say I’m pretty lucky because of everything I’ve experienced in my life – i.e. surviving war. I am in awe of the women in my family, my mother, aunts and cousins. It would take me hours to talk about what they endured, and how successful and amazing they are. You’d be bawling by the end.
I also get so excited about people younger than me - or looking at the next generation of change makers, who I wish I could be more like. Flex Mammi is probably one the most talented, cool, thought provoking people you’ll ever come across.
What is your biggest fear?
Dolphins. They creep me out to no end. I’d take a shark any day over a dolphin.
Also, I do still fear failure, but in a healthy way. I fear regretting never having tried something more than failing. Like, I picture one future version of me saying “Oh I wish I had done that” vs. another scenario where I'm saying “I can’t believe that all went up in flames” and honestly, I’d be super happy with the latter. The first one though fills me with a serious dread and fear.
What would you change about yourself if you could?
Well, the thing I work with the most with my therapist, is getting better at putting up boundaries. Like, she always says “No is one of the shortest words in the English language, but one of the hardest to say”
I’m also learning to be kinder to myself, so I try not to think about what I should change about myself. It’s a slippery slope.
How would you describe your style?
More is more, and less is a bore. Definitely lean towards maximalism and colour. I can’t believe I used to live in black in my 20s because I thought it was ‘slimming’ – gross.
Now I dress for fun, flair and also comfort. I'm a borderline sneakerhead. I have a growing collection of Airmax 90s which are my faves - I love creating my own customized colourways via NikeID. Love the Air Jordan 3 and 4. Fun Fact: Air Max 90 are Jordan 3 & 4 are all designed by the same person, Tinker Hatfield.
What are your favourite fashion brands?
Obsessed with anything Christopher John Rogers does. When he described his customers he said they were " looking for something over-the-top to go with their everyday items" and that's me to a tee.
I have also bought a few pieces from plus-size label Elloqui recently, and love their work. Not only do they cover all the basics, like suiting for the office, but then they'll throw in a metallic pink pleather jumpsuit because yes - us curvy gals want both.
What's your favourite Zart piece?
That’s like asking to name a favourite child – even though I have no children, but you know what I mean? The Madrid rings and earrings are probably my most unique designs, and the ones that I get the most compliments on, which makes me unreasonably happy.
What are you currently listening to?
These days it’s a mix of Anderson Paak, Ye, Kaytranada, Ari Lennox, Alexa Demie’s man JMSN or John Coltrane. Also been getting into audiobooks while I do life admin - it’s been a game-changer. What was I doing before I started putting in my air-pods while I'm blowdry my hair?