‘Fashion industry not glamorous,’ Creative Space Beirut founder warns designers

Sarah Hermez is the founder of Creative Space Beirut. (Getty)
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Updated 16 March 2020

‘Fashion industry not glamorous,’ Creative Space Beirut founder warns designers

BEIRUT: Beirut is often seen as the center of the Middle East’s fashion scene and is home to old-hand couturiers like Elie Saab as well as fresh streetwear designers like Roni Helou, which begs the question: Who is educating the new generation of designers?

Creative Space Beirut has made a name for itself as one of the only free design schools in the city to provide fashion education for a select number of talented individuals — just 11 students have graduated since it opened its doors in 2011 —  and Arab News caught up with its founder to learn more about what makes the school such a unique learning environment.

“The idea of Creative Space Beirut came about in 2010. I was trying to find a way to merge my passions, which is creativity and social justice,” founder Sarah Hermez told Arab News.

“We’ve graduated 11 students so far. Each year, we accept between five to seven so, it’s a very intensive, very intimate type of program and that’s because after the students graduate through our recommendations, we help them with jobs opportunities or collaborations as much as we can,” she added.

One of those designers is streetwear aficionado Roni Helou, who debuted his first collection at the 2017 edition of Fashion Forward Dubai.

The self-proclaimed animal rights, human rights and environmental activist is known for tailored trousers, separates and versatile pieces that can be worn in different ways and are made primarily from recycled materials.

“During my three years at Creative Space I was exposed to a lot of people like a lot of important people in the industry and I learnt a lot of things (that) maybe in other schools, with a different curriculum, I wouldn’t have learned,” he told Arab News of the school’s three-year program which focuses heavily on experiential learning rather than traditional compartmentalized classes.

According to Hermez, fashion lovers should think twice before applying to the school.

“Often times, when people… before they go to fashion school they think, just because they like to go shopping that they want to be a fashion designer,” she said. “But then soon after they realize that it has nothing to do with that. The fashion industry is not a glamorous industry. It’s a super hard-working industry. It’s about passion, it’s about talent and commitment.”

Missing your salon? How to care for your hair while you #StayHome

We speak to a hair expert on the dos and don’ts of at-home hair care. (File/Instagram)
Updated 30 March 2020

Missing your salon? How to care for your hair while you #StayHome

DUBAI: As salon-goers face the closure of spas, salons and barbershops, we speak to Haneen Odeh, founder of UAE’s Snob salon for her take on the dos and don’ts of at-home hair care.

Many men and women who rely on salon visits to keep their lengths healthy could be left wondering what to do between now and their next visit to a professional hair stylist. But just as important is what not to do (read: DIY trim job) to avoid ruining your hair and having to impose your own personal period of self-isolation once the pandemic is over due to a ruined haircut you tried to pull off in the bathroom mirror.

Don’t bleach your own hair
“For those who usually go to the salon to dye their lengths blonde, roots may be starting to show now. And while it might be tempting, I would strongly urge to not bleach your own roots. Lightening dark hair is a very complex multi-step process that requires years of experience and professional grade products only available at salons. Bleaching your hair incorrectly might result in burning and damaging your hair. Instead, opt for a root spray such as the L'Oreal Paris Magic Root Cover Up Concealer Spray. Otherwise, you can always conceal your dark roots with a headband or try wrapping your hair up with a scarf.” 

Do deep conditioning treatments
“Use this time to nourish your hair with a deep conditioning treatment. A lot of people simply apply it in the shower on wet hair for a few minutes and call it a day, but that way means that your lengths aren’t getting the full benefits of the product. Think of hair like a sponge, when it’s wet, it’s already full of water and cannot absorb anything more. So to make sure the product is fully absorbed into your locks, towel dry your hair after shampooing and then apply the treatment. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes and then rinse. You’ll see a huge difference.” May we suggest The Let It Go Circle hair mask from Davines, which is designed to boost hydration and revitalize dry and brittle strands?  

Don’t pick up the scissors
“When you’re bored, it might be tempting to pick up the scissors but, and I can’t stress this enough, don’t trim your own bangs or make any big changes to your hair cut on your own. It will inevitably go wrong and you will end up paying more to get it fixed in the long run. Try out some new hairstyles instead. There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube so experiment a little and get your hair professionally cut once it’s safe to do so.”

 Don’t over wash
“The more you wash your strands, the more you strip the scalp of its natural oils, and that in turn makes the scalp produce even more oil, which causes you to wash your hair more often — and the cycle goes on and on. Now is the perfect opportunity to give your lengths a break and cut down on the washing. Your hair might get oily, but once the adjustment period is over, you will notice that it will require less frequent washing.”

Do try scalp treatments
“Too often, we pay attention to the lengths of our hair and give our scalp no attention. But caring for your scalp improves the overall health of your tresses, stimulates hair growth and gets rid of dandruff due to product buildup. Scalp treatments range from serums to salt scrubs, so pick a product that suits your hair needs. Le Labo's basil-scented Scrub Shampoo uses black sea salt and menthol to clear away dirt and cool scalps down.”