NEXT STOP BAHRAIN: Like many designers, Maggie Norris logs her share of air miles and this week called for one of her longer journeys — a trip to Bahrain for Visionaries’ “Success Stories.”
Held on June 1, the NGO-backed event is geared toward promoting the role of youth in society and Bahrain’s economic development.
Reached by phone in the small island country near the western shores of the Persian Gulf Tuesday, Norris said the youth-powered crowd had plenty of questions for her and her fellow speakers — architect Carlos Zapata and artist Benjamin Shine. There was a lot of conversation about their respective early days, and the intersection of art, fashion and design. “They wanted to know how to get started and what my idea of success is. They were so happy and so enthralled,” Norris said. “It was such an interesting mix of people. And they understand that in this age of Facebook and Instagram, we can all change the world in or own small way.”
A Louisiana native, Norris first came to New York to attend The New School’s Parsons School of Design and the Arts Students League. After picking up her diploma, she worked at Ralph Lauren rising in the ranks to senior design director. In 2000, Norris went out on her own, launching her Maggie Norris Couture label.
Having met the Queen of Bahrain and toured some of Bahrain’s centuries-old architecture, Norris planned to spend the rest of the week learning more about the country and exploring historic sites before returning to New York. “It is always better to go to a place than to think about what it’s like,” she said.