LONDON: The Arab British Chamber of Commerce hosted the first Lebanese Designers Exhibition in London, celebrating the country’s culture and creatives with a variety of locally handcrafted artisan jewelry, clothing and art.
Organized in partnership with the Lebanese Embassy in London, the event ran from Dec. 1 to Dec. 4 in Mayfair.
The ABCC, established in 1975, aims to promote trade and investment between Britain and Arab countries.
This exhibition focused on empowering Lebanese women by providing them with a platform to display their entrepreneurship in one of the world’s most famous shopping districts.
Rami Mortada, the Lebanese ambassador to the UK, described it as “an event of endurance against all odds.”
Mortada said the designers displayed their worth with “defiance against all the circumstances prevailing in our country, Lebanon, and determination to never allow these hardships to take away the soul of the Lebanese people, which is a soul soaked in ingenuity and imagination.”
Kuwaiti Ambassador to the UK Bader Al-Awadi, Algerian Ambassador to the UK Lounes Magramane and Saudi Arabian Cultural Attache Amal Fatani also attended the launch.
Catching the eye of visitors was the display of LVNT, an online concept store curating products immersed in Levantine heritage and representing the best of the region’s handicraft.
Among the products on sale included the Blatt Chaya coaster set, designed by a Lebanese artisanal firm using tile-making methods dating to the 1880s, and crochet bags hand-knitted by Syrian refugees.
An LVNT representative said the firm was “really happy with the exhibition. We’ve seen a mix of cultures coming in from all over the world that are very interested in learning more about products, how they’re made and trying them.”
Nour Artisan, a Beirut-based atelier, displayed a range of hand-embroidered abayas that embraced traditional styles while marketing to both eastern and western cultures.
The garments were made by women who work from home, whose work supports around 250 families in Lebanon.
“The atmosphere is really nice. People are coming in and asking. They really like the history and the idea of keeping this heritage,” Nour Artisan Sales Representative Rima Rizk said.
UK-Based Lebanese charity Give a Child a Brighter Future also exhibited a variety of homeware, with proceeds going toward the construction of the country's first pediatric oncology unit in the country’s south governorate. Since 1985, the charity has raised more than $6 million.
Other exhibitors included artist Shirine Osseiran, who sold prints of Arabic calligraphy abstract series, and Hala Gharib, the founder of Alaabi who displayed educational children’s games on Arabic language and culture.