Watch out for Wazen: Lebanese blogger launches new eyewear line

Lebanese fashion blogger Karen B. Wazen just launched her very own range of edgy eyewear. (File photo: Getty Images)
Updated 05 December 2018

Watch out for Wazen: Lebanese blogger launches new eyewear line

DUBAI: Lebanese fashion blogger Karen B. Wazen just launched her very own range of edgy eyewear and it’s a collection you should keep an eye on. With 15 sunglasses, there is something for everyone.
‘The 80s’
Wazen’s collection is broken up into sets of three, with the first titled “The 80s.” This trio of straight-edged, rectangular eyewear comes in black, baby blue and rose-tinted lenses, which all offer UV protection and retail for $140 each.
‘The Cat-Like’
This trio of retro-style shades come in three color variants and are priced at $140 each. The sleek, futuristic glasses come with grey, black and violet lenses.
‘The Glamorous’
This set of classic eyewear, which retail at $135 each, is all about vintage glamor and wouldn’t look out of place in a 1950’s-themed photoshoot. The frames come in black, tortoiseshell and white variants.
‘The Retros’
The circular, John Lennon-style shades come with wire rims in black, green and brown. Each pair costs $145.
‘The Vision Style’
Gold, red and blue-tinted lenses make up this trio of 1970s-style rectangular frames. Each pair retails for $145.


Lebanese label Jessica K determined to ride out financial storm

Updated 01 July 2020

Lebanese label Jessica K determined to ride out financial storm

DUBAI: The whole fashion world has been impacted by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, but designers in Lebanon have also had to deal with the severe economic crisis besetting the country.

Jessica Khoueiri-Achkar, of the Jessica K brand, told Arab News that her team of six was now on half wages as she fought to keep her business alive and ride out the double whammy inflicted by the virus and the financial meltdown.

“It’s really bad. The most important thing right now is to survive. If you can break-even until the end of the year you are a king or queen,” said the designer from her home in Beirut where she is juggling nursing her newborn and keeping the business afloat.

The designer’s love of fashion started early and she credits her stylish mother as an inspiration. Supplied

Her designs, including eye-catching accessories, are particularly popular with women in their 30s who are looking for stylish clothes for work and socializing that do not break the bank. Her signature blazers, beautifully cut in striking colors, look good on all shapes and sizes, and her distinctive prints give a fresh, artistic note.

One ray of light is that with the Lebanese pound in freefall, some women who would normally buy couture are looking for a quality alternative.

“A Gucci dress worth $2,000 online is now double the price here in Lebanon. People are not buying like they used to, and they might start switching to Lebanese and local designers, which would be a good thing. There could be an opportunity for us,” she said.

Having studied at the Istituto Marangoni in London, followed by a stint with the Lebanese fashion designer Elie Saab, she understands what the top end of couture has to offer and has worked out her own style drawing on everything she has learnt from working with top players in the industry.

The designer studied at the Istituto Marangoni in London, followed by a stint with the Lebanese fashion designer Elie Saab. Supplied

“I took a lot of things from working for Elie Saab – such as how each department worked and the structure of the company. Of course, Jessica K is everyday-wear and not haute couture – my evening dresses are very dressy but affordable,” she added.

Khoueiri-Achkar’s love of fashion started early and she credits her stylish mother as an inspiration. Her business acumen, she said, came from her father who runs the Kababji restaurant chain. She thought she would join the family business, but her father observed her passion was for art and design and encouraged her to follow her heart.

Her designs, including eye-catching accessories, are particularly popular with women in their 30s. Supplied

“I thank him now for that advice,” she said.

She has enjoyed success and is determined to face the current challenges head on.

“All my production is in Beirut as I want to help our local industry as much as possible at this time. It is costing us four to five times more than it used to due to the present crisis in the country,” she added.

She admits that her planning has been thrown into disarray. “We are really late with the fashion schedule, but I am not worried about that because everyone is shifting their operation due to the global pandemic. It means that now we are actually seeing summer clothes in the stores in summer.”