Lebanese designers fight coronavirus with fashion face masks

Lebanese designers fight coronavirus with fashion face masks
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Beirut-based designers Bokja, which specialized in making upholstered furniture and now are dedicating their time to sewing colorful silk face masks, are seen at an atelier in Beirut, Lebanon May 7, 2020. (Reuters/Mohamed Azakir)
Lebanese designers fight coronavirus with fashion face masks
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A worker sews silk face masks, at Bokja’s atelier, which specialized in making upholstered furniture and now is dedicating their time to sewing colorful silk face masks, in Beirut, Lebanon May 7, 2020. (Reuters/Mohamed Azakir)
Lebanese designers fight coronavirus with fashion face masks
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Reels of thread are seen at Bokja’s atelier, which specializes in making upholstered furniture and now is dedicating their time to sewing colorful silk face masks, in Beirut, Lebanon May 7, 2020. (Reuters/Mohamed Azakir)
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Updated 12 May 2020

Lebanese designers fight coronavirus with fashion face masks

Lebanese designers fight coronavirus with fashion face masks
  • Lebanon has been under lockdown since mid-March to curb an outbreak that has infected 859 people and killed 26
  • Safety rules at supermarkets, pharmacies and shops require people to wear masks

BEIRUT: Beirut-based designer Bokja specializes in making upholstered furniture with vintage fabric but the studio’s workers now dedicate their time to sewing colorful silk face masks to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.
Profits from the masks, costing about $35, go to nurses on the frontline of Lebanon’s fight against the disease, which has compounded woes in a country wrestling with economic meltdown.
“I saw a nurse from the Rafik Hariri Hospital crying on TV...so we decided that part of the proceeds will go to them,” said co-founder Huda Baroudi.
Baroudi’s business is one of several that have converted production of items like furniture and clothing to masks. She said nurses have even ordered some.
“They help boost morale” said Baroudi.
Lebanon has been under lockdown since mid-March to curb an outbreak that has infected 859 people and killed 26. Authorities are warning of a new wave after cases surged in recent days, as the government eased some curbs and allowed businesses to reopen.
Safety rules at supermarkets, pharmacies and shops require people to wear masks.
“Face masks are a sad thing but when we gave it this form, and each one is different, it took us back to Bokja’s ideology which is to find beauty in ugliness,” said Maria Hibri, the second founder of Bokja.
Although the high-end store and atelier were closed, staff received sewing machines and textiles to work from home.
Beirut residents like Mustafa Ali have welcomed the colorful masks. He said traders and pharmacies hiked the prices of medical masks, so he sought a reusable option. “I wear a color based on my mood,” he said through a green mask.
Other businesses have also begun to make masks, a rare opportunity as the pandemic hammers the collapsing economy. The local currency has plummeted and unemployment, inflation, and poverty have soared since last year.
Eric Mathieu Ritter, founder of Emergency Room upcycled clothes design company, began sewing face masks for his family.
“People started asking for them so I started selling them, he said. “The reaction was positive because of the prints, patterns. They’re bright. It allowed people to feel unique.”
Ritter said he sought to keep mask prices affordable, but still enough to pay his employees. They sell for around $5 based on the parallel market rate.
“They need to be able to live off of this work,” he said.


Arab Men’s Fashion Week to return as Dubai Design District partners with Arab Fashion Council

Arab Men’s Fashion Week to return as Dubai Design District partners with Arab Fashion Council
Powered by the Arab Fashion Council and d3, Arab Men’s Fashion Week Spring 2022 will get underway as a hybrid format. Supplied
Updated 23 June 2021

Arab Men’s Fashion Week to return as Dubai Design District partners with Arab Fashion Council

Arab Men’s Fashion Week to return as Dubai Design District partners with Arab Fashion Council

DUBAI: Following the successful launch of the inaugural Arab Men’s Fashion Week in January, it has been announced that the second edition of the fashion event will be held from June 28-30 in the creative hub of Dubai Design District (d3).

Powered by the Arab Fashion Council and d3, Arab Men’s Fashion Week Spring 2022 will get underway as a hybrid format much like the previous event.

Participants, which include regional and international designers such as Filipino couturier Amato, Lebanon’s Emergency Room and Lazoschmidl founded by German-Swedish design duo Josef Lazo and Andreas Schmidl among others, will premiere their Spring 2022 collections virtually via Facebook Live and Instagram Live.

Arab Men’s Fashion Week Spring 2022 will take place from June 28-30. Supplied

Additionally, as part of the ongoing partnership between the Arab Fashion Council and The Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, five emerging menswear designers from Paris, will present their collections during the two-day event, including Valette Studio, EGOnlab and Louis Gabriel Nouchi.

“Fashion is an extraordinary field of dialog and of experimentation. It is not just dressing. It expresses values, an identity. It connects people. A new generation of talents is bringing a new view and shaping a better future,” said Sege Carreira, Head of Emerging Brands Initiative at The Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode.

“They combine sustainability, respect and inclusivity with an incredible creativity in their collections. Their distinctive aesthetics accurately reflects the current need of poetry and emotion,” he added.

Meanwhile, d3, which is  an art and design-focused business district that is home to major fashion brands such as Dior and Burberry, will play host to exclusive physical activations during the two-day event.

The event is a strategic partnership between the Arab Fashion Council and Dubai Design District (pictured). Supplied

“As a global destination for creativity, art and design, we are delighted to partner with the Arab Fashion Council and bring the Arab Fashion Week to the local and regional design and fashion community,” said Khadija Al-Bastaki, executive director of d3, in a released statement.

“This strategic partnership is important for the sustainable growth and development of the region’s fashion and haute couture industries that, much like many other sectors, need to rethink the regular to thrive in the post-pandemic world. We all need to look at creativity from a new perspective and we believe the hybrid format of activations for Arab Fashion Week Men’s Spring Summer 2022 will encourage dialogue on the future of fashion. We look forward to hosting it as we gear up for a busy calendar of events in d3,” she added.

What’s more, the Arab Fashion Council and d3 have handpicked five Arab menswear designers to showcase their most recent collections in a showroom during Paris Fashion Week as part of the Arabs in Paris campaign that serves to promote and export Arab fashion talent to the world.

The selected designers are sustainable labels Roni Helou and Emergency Room Beirut, Zaid Farouki, Proud Angeles and 1886.

 


Rags to riches: Italian project launched to help refugees, migrants start fashion career

Rags to riches: Italian project launched to help refugees, migrants start fashion career
Updated 22 June 2021

Rags to riches: Italian project launched to help refugees, migrants start fashion career

Rags to riches: Italian project launched to help refugees, migrants start fashion career
  • “Fashion Deserves the World” is an initiative by the National Chamber of Italian Fashion (Camera della Moda)
  • Project will give the young refugees and migrants an opportunity to study fashion and find work in Italian companies

ROME: Fifteen young refugees and migrants living in Italy will be given the chance to launch a career in fashion.

The project, called “Fashion Deserves the World,” is an initiative by the National Chamber of Italian Fashion (Camera della Moda). 

It will give the young refugees and migrants an opportunity to study fashion and find work in Italian companies, giving them new lives from the places they fled. 

Camera della Moda has been given the patronage of the Ethical Fashion Initiative, a UN project on ethical fashion.

“Fashion Deserves the World” was introduced at the end of Milan Men’s Fashion Week as a part of the initiatives organized in Italy for World Refugee Day, in cooperation with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Mygrants, a startup that provides micro-learning programs in three languages to help migrants consolidate their knowledge and find a job.

“Giving an opportunity is an extraordinary opportunity,” said President of Camera della Moda Carlo Capasa in a press conference attended by Arab News.

“‘Fashion Deserves the World’ is not just an opportunity for refugees but also for Italian companies. With retirements scheduled to cover the next three to four years, we estimate that there will be nearly 40,000 vacant jobs in the Italian fashion sector,” Capasa added.

“A minimum of two years is necessary to train new professional figures in this field, and it would be a disaster if we lost the outstanding quality of our fashion craftsmen who will leave their jobs without heirs if we do not train somebody else so that their unique skills will not be lost.”

Talented migrants and refugees could continue the tradition of Italian fashion craftsmen. “In this sense migrants and refugees can be our assets, and fashion could be theirs,” Capasa said.

“We are starting with this small project, which we hope will soon become a big one. For the moment it is a stone in the pond, but we expect something bigger to come at some point,” he said, calling for “specific training paths set by the government with a preference for talented migrants and refugees.”

Laura Iucci, the head of private sector partnerships for UNHCR Italia, said: “In this operation, everybody wins. Companies need a turnover of well-trained and motivated people and, according to the latest macroeconomic studies, the diversity brought by migrants is an added value. The National Chamber of Italian Fashion is now forging a new path.”

Applications are open to migrants, refugees and stateless people with a good knowledge of the Italian language and a strong desire to work in the fashion sector.

The applications must be sent through the Mygrants website, where they will be examined by experts from the National Chamber of Italian Fashion in Milan.

The 15 finalists will attend training sessions and then start working at companies associated with the Camera della Moda across Italy.


Kylie Jenner flaunts custom-made ‘Kylie’ heels by Lebanon’s Andrea Wazen 

Kylie Jenner flaunts custom-made ‘Kylie’ heels by Lebanon’s Andrea Wazen 
Updated 22 June 2021

Kylie Jenner flaunts custom-made ‘Kylie’ heels by Lebanon’s Andrea Wazen 

Kylie Jenner flaunts custom-made ‘Kylie’ heels by Lebanon’s Andrea Wazen 

DUBAI: Kylie Jenner championed yet another Arab designer this month. 

The reality TV star and entrepreneur stepped out last week in a pair of heels by Lebanese footwear designer Andrea Wazen. 

Jenner wore the ‘Kylie’ pumps by Andrea Wazen to the 72nd Annual Parsons’s Benefit in New York City. The pumps featured a 10.5cm heel, PVC translucent upper and pointed-sole, with a shimmering olive green leather at the heel matching Jenner’s forest green dress. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kylie (@kyliejenner)

These shoes were created for the mother-of-one as a custom-style, and will be available to the public from August 2021 in a variety of colors on andreawazen.com.

The Kylie Cosmetics founder’s picture in Wazen’s design went viral because she posed alongside her on and off partner rapper Travis Scott and their three-year-old daughter Stormi. 

The pumps featured a 10.5cm heel, PVC translucent upper and pointed-sole, with a shimmering olive green leather at the heel matching Jenner’s forest green dress. (AFP)

Just last week, one of Jordanian-Romanian designer Amina Muaddi’s Instagram posts showed Jenner — carrying Stormi — stepping out in a pair of white boots by Muaddi called “the Pernille bootie.” 

The businesswoman also accessorized her look with the brand’s Pernille handbag from the designer’s newly launched line.  


Saudi label Hindamme presents ‘Driving Jacket’ at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum

Saudi label Hindamme presents ‘Driving Jacket’ at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum
Updated 21 June 2021

Saudi label Hindamme presents ‘Driving Jacket’ at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum

Saudi label Hindamme presents ‘Driving Jacket’ at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum

DUBAI: Saudi brand Hindamme, founded by designer Mohammed Khoja, is presenting its “Driving Jacket” at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. 

Khoja designed the black and green bomber jackets with the insignia “June 24, 2018, 10 Shawwal 1439” — the date when women in the Kingdom were allowed to drive.

The unisex design, which was created in 2018, features gold and black embroidery in comes in the colors of Saudi Arabia’s flag. 

The Victoria & Albert museum is exhibiting the green version of the jacket, which has become part of its permanent collection.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by HINDAMME (@hindamme)

 

In a previous interview with Arab News, Khoja said: “I was moved by the decision to lift the ban on women driving, because it seemed like something that would never happen. It is a symbolic gesture. The ban has always been held against us as Saudis.”

Khoja said he hoped his jacket would help fashion-conscious Saudis mark the event.

“Every country has historic days when things happen that shift the course of the future — and this is one of those dates. That was the inspiration. I thought, how can I, as a designer, pay tribute to this?

“I call it a driving jacket to commemorate the date.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by HINDAMME (@hindamme)

The designer said he was “super-proud” of the direction Saudi society was taking with this “progressive push.”

The exhibition showcases clothing, accessories, design, and cultural memorabilia.

Besides Hindamme’s jacket, the museum is also presenting a pair of shoes by Christian Louboutin, the Mae West Lips sofa designed by Salvador Dali, the 2015 Selfish book of selfies by Kim Kardashian and more. 


French-Algerian actress Sofia Boutella plays a protective parent in new ‘Settlers’ trailer

French-Algerian actress Sofia Boutella plays a protective parent in new ‘Settlers’ trailer
The trailer for ‘Settlers’ starring Sofia Boutella is finally here. File/AFP
Updated 21 June 2021

French-Algerian actress Sofia Boutella plays a protective parent in new ‘Settlers’ trailer

French-Algerian actress Sofia Boutella plays a protective parent in new ‘Settlers’ trailer

DUBAI: The trailer for the upcoming sci-fi film “Settlers” starring French-Algerian actress Sofia Boutella came out this week. 

IFC Midnight, an American film distribution company, released the two-and-a-half minute long trailer on Twitter, writing: “They left Earth for something more. They weren’t prepared for what they found. Watch the trailer for #SettlersMovie, in theaters and on demand July 23.”

Boutella stars alongside British-American actor Jonny Lee Miller, Puerto Rican actor Ismael Cruz Cordova and American child actress Brooklynn Prince.

“Settlers” is set on a remote homestead on Mars, where a refugee family from Earth clings to hope for a better life. 

The Algiers-born actress and Miller take on the role of parents to Remmy (Prince).

The film is set to debut this summer. Supplied

The trailer kicks off with the voice of Remmy saying: “There’s strangers nearby. I’m scared,” prompting her father to respond, “No, it’s just us, there’s nothing to be scared of. No one’s going to mess with you kid,” as he tucks her into bed. 

The 39-year-old features throughout the trailer tending to plants in a greenhouse and protecting her daughter from armed invaders.

The science fiction film set to premiere this year was directed by Wyatt Rockefeller, marking his feature narrative debut. 

Meanwhile, Julie Fabrizio, Joshua Horsfield and Johan Kruge all served as co-producers for the film.

Boutella is also set to star in “SAS: Rogue Heroes.” Supplied

Boutella is also set to star in “SAS: Rogue Heroes,” a new series from “Peaky Blinders” creator Steven Knight.

The dancer-turned-actress will feature in the series, currently being filmed, alongside Egyptian star Amir El-Masry.

The pair feature alongside a star-studded cast that includes English actor and model Connor Swindells, “Game of Thrones” actor Alfie Allen, and Dominic West from “The Affair.”

While character plots remain scarce, the cast names have been revealed with Boutella set to play the role of Eve.

Boutella is certainly one of Hollywood’s busiest stars. The “Atomic Blonde” actress is set to begin shooting sci-fi comedy “Alpha Gang” alongside an all-star cast that includes Andrea Riseborough, Jon Hamm, Nicholas Hoult, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Mackenzie Davis and Steven Yuen.

Meanwhile, her latest film, “Prisoners of the Ghostland” starring Nicolas Cage, made its world premiere at the virtual 2021 Sundance Film Festival in February to critical acclaim.