The Piercing Annex pop-up will be at Warehouse 26 in Dubai Alserkal Avenue in Al Quoz, from November 9 to 11. Visitors can choose intricate body jewellery from celebrity piercer Maria Tash among other brands. Each piercing costs Dh250, plus the price of the jewellery you select. We speak to the company’s founders Reema Motib and Laima AlEisa about piercing tips, trends, dos and don’ts.
What inspired the decision to launch The Piercing Annex?
Piercings are a huge trend and a form of self-expression. We would always have to wait until we travelled in order to get pierced professionally, so we decided to create something home-grown and collaborative where people can come and get pierced knowing that they have good-quality jewellery in their ears and that they're being handled by an experienced professional.
How many piercings do the two of you have?
Reema: I have my lobes, right forward helix, right helix and daith pierced. So four in total.
Lamia: I have two lobe piercings, my tragus, rook, conch and flat pierced. So six.
Why would people come to The Piercing Annex, instead of visiting a local jeweller for a piercing?
Other than our highly experienced professional piercer, who travelled from the US for this project, visitors can gain access to an edited selection of beautiful Maria Tash and BVLA jewellery. We think people also come for the experience, we like all our pop-ups to be hangout spots, with well-thought-out music and interiors.
What are some risks in getting piercings from inexperienced outlets?
There's a huge hygiene risk. While piercings are not a medical procedure, the sterilisation methods should certainly be of medical standard. Inexperienced outlets may not adhere to these standards, and may not have the proper hypoallergenic gold jewellery for body piercings to ensure proper healing and the look the client wants.
Why don’t you encourage the use of piercing guns?
Piercing guns aren't ideal because there's technically no way to properly sterilise them. They also don't pierce, they just pressure your skin or cartilage into breaking. It's very shocking for the body, and most piercings done with guns don't end up healing properly. Not to mention precision and the fact that there are many piercings that can't be performed with guns.
What’s the most painful part of the ear to get pierced?
I've seen a lot of assumptions online, but I do think it depends on the thickness of the area you're piercing, who's piercing you, your pain tolerance and just how your body is that day.
Do your clients in the region often opt for culturally inspired piercings, like nose piercings?
We don't like to generalise; everyone's so different and they wear their piercings differently for cultural or personal reasons. But we do think that clients nowadays are more concerned with what's personally flattering on them.
As jewellery trends turn more minimalist, how is this reflected in piercings?
There are now daintier and understated options for body jewellery to suit the trend, it's much more versatile now than it ever was.
Stereotypically, multiple ear piercings are viewed as punky or gothic – in what ways can they be feminine?
The great thing about piercings is that they add to an overall look that you want to portray. If you want the piercing to be a statement, you have the options, and if you want a more delicate look you can get that as well. Since the variety and options for body jewellery have become so massive, you can personalise it to whatever look you want – feminine or otherwise.
Do you think that ear piercings have become especially trendy among young Arab women? If so, why?
We think that piercings have always been trendy. It used to be so cool when someone got their second lobes or helix pierced in high school. I would say that unique and unusual piercings like daiths, septums and traguses have become particularly trendy.