—From The Aberdeen Bestiary:
“In Pontus is a manner kind of beasts, that dwelleth now in land and now in water, and maketh houses and dens arrayed with wonder craft in the brinks of rivers and of waters. For these beasts live together in flocks, and love beasts of the same kind, and come together and cut rods and sticks with their teeth, and bring them home to their dens in a wonder wise, for they lay one of them upright on the ground, instead of a sled or of a dray, with his legs and feet reared upward, and lay and load the sticks and wood between his legs and thighs, and draw him home to their dens, and unlade and discharge him there, and make their dwelling places right strong by great subtlety of craft.”
Nature’s own lumberjacks, American beavers fell large trees using nothing more than their strong front teeth. The outstanding physical adaptations of this rodent and its determined spirit has made it the epitome of mental acuity and persistent effort in a lot of cultures but, particularly in North America’s native one.
Zuki’s Collections represent in shape, form and material what the beaver and Canada are about. Originally from Beirut, at his arrival to Canada, he got inspired by what was closest to his heart and made use of the plentiful, natural sources of the new country he encountered. He joined Betty, his wife, and together worked hard to give a name to a brand that, until today, has not stopped surprising us with colourful designs and innovative creations.
In 2015 Zuki and Betty decided to retire and hand over the reins to a young Canadian designer, Lesya Langevin. Both Betty and Zuki are working part time on demand with Lesya to reinvent new designs and insure a smooth transition for existing dealers and customers.
Using talented, resourceful and traditional craftsmanship his last collection continues showing us his love for creatures that appear to come out of La Fontaine’s animal fables. Zuki’s design also shows hints of inspiration from the Canadian nature and woods, overlapped with magical creatures in colourful tints.
Zuki Balaila, even though not being a born Canadian, has proved throughout his career what true love for the land means. Love to his wife, love and appreciation for what the land provides, love for hard work rewards. The intensity of his designs reflects his personality: a strong and powerful creative and resourceful mind who is not planning to stop. Resilient, solid and inexorable, like the beaver that swims in the Canadian rivers.
For more information and to see more of Zuki’s collection please visit: