Category Archives: Fashion

Lebanese Sarah Beydoun, Founder of Sarah’s Bag, Receives The 2016 Oslo Business for Peace Award

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Sarah [Photo Credits]

The Oslo-based foundation “Business for Peace” grants every year the Oslo Business for Peace Award to up to seven honourees “in recognition of their individual and outstanding business-worthy contribution to the building of trust, stability and peace”. The honourees are selected by previous Peace and Economics Nobel prize winners.

This year, Sarah Beydoun, the founder and creative director of Sarah’s bag, was granted this prestigious award and became the first honoree from the fashion industry. Sarah started her business in 2000 and has created a line of luxurious bags and accessories handmade by underprivileged women, prisoners and former female prisoners under the name “Sarah’s bag”.

Here’s what Business For Peace said about Ms. Beydoun:

Ms Sarah Beydoun, Lebanon: Ms Beydoun is the founder and creative director of Sarah’s Bag. This internationally successful company has a business model that includes social rehabilitation for underprivileged women who learn valuable skills and earn an income as well as a sense of dignity and empowerment. By following her heart – both for fashion and women at risk – Ms Beydoun has created a robust business despite the difficult circumstances in the region.

[Barakabits] spoke more in details about Sarah’s business and this award.

And here’s more about the Business For Peace foundation:

The Business for Peace is an Oslo-based foundation that works to redefine the notion of success in business and to promote an evolved form of capitalism. This endeavour is manifested by recognising exceptional individuals who exemplify the concept of being businessworthy. That is, applying one’s business energy ethically and responsibly to create value for all. An independent committee of Nobel laureates in peace and economics selects the Honourees from a pool of nominees put forward by our global partners in the United Nations and the International Chamber of Commerce. By facilitating this process and promoting these individuals, the vision is to unlock the positive power that lays in business to the benefit of peace and prosperity. [Source]

Jennifer Nkuene Riria of Kenya andTore Lærdal of Norway were also named the 2016 Business for Peace Honourees. This year’s Oslo Business For Peace Summit theme will be “The Opportunities for Business to Act as a Problem Solver in Society”.

Caravan Beirut: Lebanese Designers Taking Over Georgetown Park, Washington D.C

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More than 40 established and emerging Lebanese designers are flying all the way to Washington DC to take part in the Caravan Beirut pop-up store and showcase their talent and collections at the 4-day event (April 8-11). Caravan Beirut is a pop-up store in Washington organized by Nour Khoury and Mariana Wehbe in partnership with the American Lebanese Chamber of Commerce. The initiative is also supported by the Ministry of Tourism and US Ambassador to Lebanon Richard Jones who was present at the press conference last week, which I attended.

Just to give you a small brief on Nour & Mariana, Nour Khoury is the founder of Bucolik, an online digital platform for emerging Lebanese and Middle Eastern designers while Mariana Wehbe heads MW Communication, a boutique PR Agency specializing in luxury brands, fundraising & NGO Auctions.

Mariana Nour via Jamalouki

All the designers were personally handpicked by Mariana & Nour and products will vary from fashion to cooking, jewelry to handicrafts, to photography, home ware, architecture, and other marvels. The aim is to expose Lebanon’s treasures to a brand new market, empower Lebanese designers around the world, create more job opportunities, open a new trade route to the United States and more importantly give a brighter image of Lebanon.

Beirut House of Paisley

The venue in Washington will be conceptualized by famous Lebanese architect Rabih Geha and the food during the opening event will be offered by Kamal Mouzawak of the renowned food market Souk el Tayeb.

As for the designers taking part, they include jewelers such as “the Mukhi Sisters, André Marcha, Selim Mouzannar, Rania Farsoun, Bil Arabi, Nada Le Cavelier, and Madame Rêve. Photographers such as Patrick Baz, Emile Issa, Roger Moukarzel and Amin Sammakieh; and fashion designers such as Karoline Lang, Jessica K, Milia M, House of Paisley, Nour Hammour, La La Rose, Mojo Beach, Sarah’s Bag and Little Bluffers will also exhibit their work. Stationery from Choux à la Crème, artists like Michel Karsouny, and HR Design will present the best Lebanon has to offer, alongside home ware designers such as Bokja, Maison Tarazi, Nalbandian Carpets, Senteurs d’Orient, Rasha Ceramics, and Kanzaman”.

PS: A portion of Caravan Beirut’s proceeds will be donated to Skoun, a Lebanese non-profit organization that offers prevention and treatment to drug users.

mukhi Mukhi Sisters – Beirut Souks

I love the initiative and it would be great to see this concept travel around other American cities and different countries in the future. If you live in Washington DC, make sure to pass by and check out some of Beirut’s most talented and creative designers & artists.

Opening night: April 8, 6pm-9pm
Pop-up shop hours: April 9-11, 10am-7pm
Closing night: April 12, 6pm-8pm

Virtual visitors are also welcome to stop by Caravan Beirut online at

You can check out further info on the event [here].

A New Movement Is Joining The Beirut Protests: #Badna_BALMAIN_Ya_Man

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A group of Lebanese male fashionistas, also known as instainfluenzee7omneldarebanistas, were outraged after BALMAIN X H&M launched its collection today for ladies only and they decided to start a new movement in protest. An urgent meeting will take place tonight at Martyrs Square to decide on the official hashtag but you can use those for now:


We could not reach any of the ladies who stormed the shop as they are still fighting over few items.

PS: In case you missed what happened earlier today at ABC, enjoy 🙂


On Being Fashionably Responsible: Lebanon’s VEA Turning Tires Into Handbags And Accessories

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Paula A special VEA line signed and endorsed by Ms. Paula Yacoubian. The Paula by Vea collection’s profits went to serve causes of her choosing.

A single tire contains about the equivalent of two U.S. gallons (7.5 liters) of oil. If burned, it produces highly toxic gases that pollute the environment even further and releases many toxins, some of which can settle in your lungs. Unfortunately, thousands of tires are either disposed of as waste or burned in Lebanon every year, and it has become a trend to block roads by burning tires during protests thereby causing further pollution. Needless to say, the government hasn’t done anything to tackle this problem but VEA, a Lebanese-based business, has decided to recycle these tires (inner tire tubes) and turn them into fashionable rubber-made bags. The aim is to build and develop awareness about up-cycling in our society, and encourage other initiatives to help preserve the environment, and leave this planet in a better shape for our children.

VEA has already produced handmade rubber bags, wallets, belts and accessories that were all designed by talented Lebanese fashion designers, and also kicked off a special line signed and endorsed by Ms. Paula Yacoubian. Right now they’re looking to expand to a new line of items that includes home decor and accessories and they are crowd-funding the project on Zoomal. The aim is to raise further awareness among Lebanese by asking them to contribute to this great initiative and help up-cycle over 1,000 Kilograms of rubber during 2015.

For as little as $10, you can contribute and make a difference. The amount needed is $10,000 and all the cool items that will be produced will act as a reward for the generous contributors. There are 15 days left, so let’s fund this project and make it happen!



RIP Basil Soda

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Lebanon lost today one of its renowned fashion designers Basil Soda. Soda unfortunately lost his battle against cancer after a couple of years and died today aged 47 only. I don’t know much about the man or about fashion in general but I remember he designed one of our friend’s wedding dress few years back and how it was a big deal back then. Also, I used to notice Lana (From L’armoire de Lana) posing in his dresses and it didn’t take a fashion expert to notice how gifted he was. Basil Soda’s brand is found in major international cities, including New York, Washington, Cannes, Toronto, Vienna, Moscow, Dubai, Beirut, all the way to Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. Some of the celebrities that wore his dresses included Katy Perry, Emily Blunt, Marion Cotillard, Jiang Yiyan, Morena Baccarin, and Giuliana Rancic.

Here’s how Basil Soda’s page announced his death today:

We are sorry to announce the loss of Basil Soda, the great international designer, he who built his company single handedly from the ground up. A great man who will always be remembered for his craft and beautiful soul.

And the beautiful testimonials posted by my friends Lana and Samar.



Sincere condolences to his family.

Miss Lebanon National Costume From 2011 Till 2014 At Miss Universe

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It won’t be easy for Miss Lebanon to win Miss Universe anytime soon but since we have all these world renowned Lebanese fashion designers, it shouldn’t be hard to come up with a nicer national costume and have a chance at winning the Best National Costume award.

Sally Jreij’s costume was way too simple when compared to the [extravagant costumes] other Misses wore. Maybe we should let Madonna design the national costume for next year lol!



Here’s a sample of what other national costumes looked like:


Isn’t That The Old Elie Saab Logo?

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I first thought it was Elie Saab until I re-read and noticed it’s Saba not Saab. However, I’m almost sure Elie Saab had the same logo with the same font and different thickness for the first and family name. Too bad I couldn’t find it online to compare the two as it must have be long time ago.

Spotted in Zahle.

Christian Louboutin Visiting Beirut And Loving Elissa’s Soft Singing Lips

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Louboutin at le gray

I spotted a picture of Christian Louboutin on Le Gray Beirut’s Facebook page. I don’t know what he’s doing here exactly but he posted a picture of Elissa kissing him and complimenting her “soft singing” lips. I wish he had asked her what the hell happened to those lips? Specially the upper lip?

Elissa via ChristianLouboutin