One of Pal Zileri’s most important achievements last year was the opening of its Beirut boutique,
not only in terms of commercial success, but also because 2015 saw the launch of the new Aïshti Foundation, a cultural centre that’s the first of its kind in the region.
In recent years, Lebanon’s dynamic capital city has emerged as a modern-art hotspot. It now
has a number of eminent museums and galleries that proudly reflect its diverse culture and history.
One of the key players in its ever-changing landscape is Tony Salamé. He opened his first boutique, Aïshti, in 1990. Since then, his one modest shop has grown to become the city’s top luxury department store.
The mall’s striking exterior
An avid collector of art as well as an entrepreneur, Salamé wanted to establish a gallery dedicated to the work of both local and global contemporary artists. His gleaming new space, clad externally in red aluminium, spans 4,000sq m and makes quite a statement. The adjoining Aïshti by the Sea mall houses high-end shops and restaurants, a spa, and a rooftop bar. As one of the prime retailers, Pal Zileri took part in the three-day event that was held to mark the launch last October. Joining them were a number of international journalists, artists and curators.
The mall’s Pal Zileri store
The gallery’s opening exhibition, New Skin, was curated by the critic Massimiliano Gioni and features pieces from Salamé’s extensive personal collection. ‘After years of collecting and aspiring, to give back to the Lebanese community is a dream come true,’ Salamé said of the opening. ‘When I saw everything come together, it was quite an emotional moment.’
Aïshti by the Sea, Antelias, Beirut; aishti.com