Since the inception of our business, Miilkiina has championed empowering multi-faceted and talented creatives globally. Our approach to doing this prioritizes understanding the ethos of our collaborators and their mission while continuing to echo that message through all creative extensions of the project.
In February of 2019, we were approached by singer, songwriter, and long-time friend, ABIR, a Moroccan-American artist, signed to Atlantic Records. Following the incredible success of her feature on the certified Gold hit, Finest Hour from Cash Cash, ABIR began looking forward, and exploring her next project and intentionally sought to represent her culture and fuse her Arab heritage in all aspects
of her art. In her music, her styling, her performances – she was determined to embark on a real and raw end-to-end process.
This week, we’ll be sharing a closer look into Miilkiina’s process behind our 18-month long collaboration, but today we’ll dive into the research, the conversations, and the vision behind it all.
The intimate and vulnerable process behind ABIR’s project “Rebirth” – a proof of concept and an amalgamation of months of well-researched visual direction, ideated and executed exclusively for ABIR, produced in September of 2019 by Miilkiina.
Now, let’s take it back a bit. All the way back to our very first kick-off conversation with ABIR when we delved into what she was envisioning for her signature image. Throughout a 4-hour-long intake session, we dug deep, with so many “aha” moments – leaving our founder, Nadia, feeling personally connected to ABIR’s project, with an ever-longing curiosity to explore third culture experiences, being an Egyptian-American herself.
Something ABIR mentioned to Nadia during her discovery session was the seemingly concise intention behind her rebrand; she wanted to fully embrace all that she is and put it into everything that she does as an artist. She is a Muslim-Arab-Moroccan pop star that is breaking barriers and the misconceptions of what an Arab woman is expected to look and feel like.
How radical is that?
With so much room to play, following months of strategic research and collaborative efforts between the Miilkiina team and ABIR, we landed on an all-encompassing 360° visual direction, solidifying ABIR’s genuine creative identity through a visual approach that she could align with not only as an artist, but most importantly, as an individual.
To further cement this visual approach, we reached out to a really good friend of Miilkiina, Andy Madeleine, to direct a visual biography showcasing the birth of ABIR’s translated creative vision, Rebirth – a tasteful non-stereotypical and non-orientalist ode to the cultural intersection of the East and the West.
ABIR’s EP, HEAT, is a multi-faceted musical and visual experience and embodiment of all that’s to come from the Arab-American Pop-Princess.
This REBIRTH is quite literally, just the beginning. Stay tuned this week as we showcase the evolution of Miilkiina x ABIR featuring intimate peaks into the project and how it came to be, behind-the-scenes and exclusives with Abir herself.
This powerful trailer was brought to life with the help of an incredible team we thoughtfully selected:
Directed and Edited by Andy Madeline
Creative Direction by Miilkiina
EP James Sibio
Color Dante Pasquinelli
Steadicam Jordan Tetewsky
Gaffer Manny Aroyo
Set Design by Lufti Janania
Words by ABIR
Hair by Jenny Iva Wimmerstedt
Makeup by Jenny Sauce
Styling by Newheart Z. Ohanian