‘Hot sauce in my bag, swag:’ Beyoncé flaunts Lebanese chili-themed bag

The singer has performed all over the world in recent weeks, from South Africa to India. (File photo: AFP)
Updated 11 December 2018
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‘Hot sauce in my bag, swag:’ Beyoncé flaunts Lebanese chili-themed bag

DUBAI: “I got hot sauce in my bag, swag.”
It’s a lyrical line made famous in Beyoncé’s 2016 hit “Formation,” but now the superstar singer has taken to Instagram to take things one step further by showing off a chili pepper-themed bag by an up-and-coming Lebanese designer.
Beyoncé posted a photograph of herself on Instagram while she was in Johannesburg, South Africa, to perform at the Global Citizen Festival celebrating what would have been the 100th birthday of late international icon Nelson Mandela.
In the snap, she wears a boxy clutch by small Lebanese brand Sarah’s Bag and a pair of rounded Elie Saab sunglasses.

The Chili Marquetry clutch by Sarah’s Bag, which is helmed by creative director Sarah Beydoun, is from the brand’s Love Inked Collection and features a red-to-yellow ombre of spicy shades in a mixture of traditional patterns.
The bag was made using a centuries-old Levantine technique called wood marquetry, according to Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, in which small blocks of wood are aligned to create tessellated pattern work. The vibrant clutch is topped with a golden pepper clasp, making it a truly fiery fashion statement.

According to the brand, each of the bags is made by underprivileged women in Lebanon, including prisoners, ex-prisoners and women who are struggling financially.
“We are so happy to have our bag worn by an empowering, incredibly gifted artist like @beyonce, who is a once-in-a-generation talent. Beyoncé is one of our heroes and her mission mirrors ours: She wants to empower women and seeks to have a positive impact on the world through her art,” the brand captioned a re-posted version of the image on their Instagram page.
The sizzling handbag wasn’t the only Lebanese-designed accessory Queen Bey wore that day, however. The sunglasses she is seen wearing in the snap hail from Elie Saab’s eyewear collection and the brand was quick to pick up on the singer’s nod of approval.
“The incomparable @beyonce in Elie Saab eyewear while in South Africa,” the fashion house posted on Instagram.

The rounded shades feature pearl-like detailing on the rim of the lenses and match perfectly with Beyoncé’s layered necklaces.

 


Fashion capital New York considers banning sale of fur

Updated 17 April 2019
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Fashion capital New York considers banning sale of fur

  • Lawmakers are pushing a measure that would ban the sale of all new fur products in the city
  • “Cruelty should not be confused with economic development,” a sponsor of the legislation said

NEW YORK: A burgeoning movement to outlaw fur is seeking to make its biggest statement yet in the fashion mecca of New York City.
Lawmakers are pushing a measure that would ban the sale of all new fur products in the city where such garments were once common and style-setters including Marilyn Monroe, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Joe Namath and Sean “Diddy” Combs have all rocked furs over the years.
A similar measure in the state Capitol in Albany would impose a statewide ban on the sale of any items made with farmed fur and ban the manufacture of products made from trapped fur.
Whether this is good or bad depends on which side of the pelt you’re on. Members of the fur industry say such bans could put 1,100 people out of a job in the city alone. Supporters dismiss that and emphasize that the wearing of fur is barbaric and inhumane.
“Cruelty should not be confused with economic development,” said state Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, a Democrat from Manhattan, who is sponsoring the state legislation. “Fur relies on violence to innocent animals. That should be no one’s business.”
The fate of the proposals could be decided in the coming months, though supporters acknowledge New York City’s measure has a better chance of passage than the state legislation.
The fur trade is considered so important to New York’s development that two beavers adorn the city’s official seal, a reference to early Dutch and English settlers who traded in beaver pelts.
At the height of the fur business in the last century, New York City manufactured 80% of the fur coats made in the U.S, according to FUR NYC, a group representing 130 retailers and manufacturers in the city. The group says New York City remains the largest market for fur products in the country, with real fur still frequently used as trim on coats, jackets and other items.
If passed, New York would become the third major American city with such a ban, following San Francisco, where a ban takes effect this year, and Los Angeles, where a ban passed this year will take effect in 2021.
Elsewhere, Sao Paulo, Brazil, began its ban on the import and sale of fur in 2015. Fur farming was banned in the United Kingdom nearly 20 years ago, and last year London fashion week became the first major fashion event to go entirely fur-free.
Fur industry leaders warn that if the ban passes in New York, emboldened animal rights activists will want more.
“Everyone is watching this,” said Nancy Daigneault, vice president at the International Fur Federation, an industry group based in London. “If it starts here with fur, it’s going to go to wool, to leather, to meat.”
When asked what a fur ban would mean for him, Nick Pologeorgis was blunt: “I’m out of business.”
Pologeorgis’ father, who emigrated from Greece, started the fur design and sales business in the city’s “Fur District” nearly 60 years ago.
“My employees are nervous,” he said. “If you’re 55 or 50 and all you’ve trained to do is be a fur worker, what are you going to do?“
Supporters of the ban contend those employees could find jobs that don’t involve animal fur, noting that an increasing number of fashion designers and retailers now refuse to sell animal fur and that synthetic substitutes are every bit as convincing as the real thing.
They also argue that fur retailers and manufacturers represent just a small fraction of an estimated 180,000 people who work in the city’s fashion industry and that their skills can readily be transferred.
“There is a lot of room for job growth developing ethically and environmentally friendly materials,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who introduced the city measure.
New Yorkers asked about the ban this week came down on both sides, with some questioning if a law was really needed.
“It is a matter of personal choice. I don’t think it’s something that needs to be legislated,” said 44-year-old Janet Thompson. “There are lots of people wearing leather and suede and other animal hides out there. To pick on fur seems a little one-sided.”
Joshua Katcher, a Manhattan designer and author who has taught at the Parsons School of Design, says he believes the proposed bans reflect an increased desire to know where our products come from and for them to be ethical and sustainable.
“Fur is a relic,” he said.