Hussain Bazaza

Hussein Bazaza did not grow up wanting to be a fashion designer, although he has loved sketching dresses since he was a child. “Everyone who knew me thought I would be a great fashion designer, but I never wanted to be one,” he recalls, noting instead his interest in interior design or filmmaking. After finishing

Rami Kadi

From as far back as he can remember, Rami Kadi has been passionate about the art of embroidery and other traditional craft skills. This passion ultimately led him to choose fashion design as a career path and so he enrolled at ESMOD Beirut, graduating in 2008. Following his graduation, Kadi worked with Rabih Kayrouz and

Jean Louis Sabaji

Jean Louis’s father, Jean Sabaji, was a fashion designer who was most known for being the personal designer of the Saudi royal family. As such, Sabaji’s earliest memories were of being in his father’s atelier (which is his now that his father has passed) surrounded by fabrics and mannequins. “From when I was a child,

Sandra Mansour

Sandra Mansour says she has always been drawn to art and creation. So after completing her BA in business, she decided to go for a master’s degree in fashion design in Paris, and she has not looked back since. After completing her master’s degree, Mansour worked for Elie Saab before launching her own brand. She

Abed Mahfouz

In 1982, Abed Mahfouz starting working with his sister designing evening gowns and got his first taste of creating his own designs that way. In 1995, he decided to branch out with his own brand. While Mahfouz initially showcased his collections locally through fashions shows at venues such as the Al Bustan Hotel in Broummana,

Georges Chakra

Georges Chakra initially began his studies in interior design during the Lebanese Civil War, but decided to switch to fashion design because, he says, he wanted to do something “out of the ordinary.” Studying fashion design was uncommon at the time, and Chakra says even his parents were not very accepting of his choice. It was

Beirut a fashion capital

“It’s an exciting time to launch a fashion design program in Lebanon because of what is happening in design. Whether it’s Mar Mikhael’s little boutiques, or the designers who are just starting out with unpredictable, yet exciting futures ahead of them, or the young Lebanese designers whose names are shining abroad, there’s an energy and

Questions of design

Design is like Lebanese politics. These days, both are somehow involved in everything. And like good policy making, a dose of good design is needed in every nook and cranny of the Lebanese economy. As opposed to most things political, however, stakeholders in design since 2010 have made valiant efforts to nurture an ecosystem of

Growing pains

As they campaign for re-election, our politicians are trying to capitalize on the economic mess we’re in, which they created. We need growth, the leaders of various parties keep insisting. We need jobs. We need support for the youth. Seriously? Do they have a target based on a comprehensive economic policy? Have they devised key

The real estate bubble has burst

In the absence of hard data, anecdotes and speculation become the basis of analysis. Take, for example, the question of whether or not there is a real estate bubble in Lebanon. From the results of a Google search for the terms “Lebanon real estate bubble,” the sector seems like it is in real trouble. The

The big Lebanese thirst

Not many consumer product segments have steady year-on-year growth regardless of the economic environment. Nor are there many products that are the same price as they were a decade ago. But as the marketing saying goes, water is life, and there is plenty of competition for consumers of bottled water. “You can consider bottled water

Fit for Growth

Breaking out of stasis is neither easy nor instantaneous. Examples of temporarily suspended existence and reemergence in popular fiction range from space travel to medical miracles. Nobody has ever tried it of course, but in theory it makes sense to suspend a body in some sort of stasis for the duration of an interplanetary flight

Explaining Middle East Insecurity

The Middle East faces an increasingly complex and fragile security situation. The region (defined by authors Swain and Jägerskog to include all Arab countries in Asia, plus Egypt and Occupied Palestine — though I personally might also add Iran and Anatolia) suffers from strained water supplies and limited arable land, along with increasing populations, stagnant

C’est la vie

The decision in early June by the United States to withdraw from the Paris Accord, the latest global effort to combat climate change and adapt to its effects, sent shockwaves of uncertainty around the world. The agreement, which entered into force in November 2016, has the goal of limiting the global temperature rise to two

Sustaining Lebanon’s rural tourism

There is a growing local clientele in Lebanon hungry for a more “authentic” experience of the country. Through word of mouth and social media, rural activities, such as fruit picking and hiking, are slowly moving from small groups of connoisseurs to being embraced by a broader public. Guesthouses across the country, once informal, are becoming

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