Hardly able to leave my black clothes, here I am wearing the Wrap Dress, the Rosa Maria Jewellery diamond/sapphire “occhio” necklace, and the Johnny Farah “sierra leone” bag
With a vibrant ecosystem that blossomed long before the ones of the gulf region, how distasteful is it to use such titles…
What about the seniors, the pioneers of the Lebanese fashion and jewelry scene? The concept stores? The small haberdasheries? The artisans? The factories? Not enough glamorous? They don’t deserve to be on that list? Is it really a proper time for shallow fashion rankings?
Nicole is my oldest friend. We’ve met in the garden of our building in France over 30 years ago, and we’ve remained friends ever since.
She was my muse when I debuted my brand, and she’s the one that modeled for my first collection photoshoot.
A beautiful person in every sense of the word.
Thanks to her uplifting spirit and motivation, we have setup a crowdfunding page to raise funds for the the victims of the Beirut Blast.
All donations will be given to @beitelbaraka , an NGO that is setting up a home rehabilitation program to repair as many affected homes as possible, along with providing food and medicine.
No amount is too small <3
Crowdfunding for the people of Beirut: Our Friendship has no frontiers, let’s help Beirut
We are Nicole and Nadine, we met over 30 years ago in the garden of our building block in the Paris suburbs.
My Irish mum had married a French man and Nadine’s parents had fled the war in Lebanon.
We became great friends immediately and remained close ever since.
Nadine and her family are back living in Beirut, and when I heard about the blasts on August 4th, I needed to know straight away that she was safe.
As a human being, as a friend, I cannot just be watching from Paris and not do anything…
Which is why we’ve jointly decided to set up this crowdfunding page.
All your donations will be sent to Beit El Baraka, an NGO that aims to set up an emergency home rehabilitation program and repair as many homes as possible in the devastated areas around the Beirut harbour, and also to provide food and medicine. Beit El Baraka’s founder, Maya Ibrahimchah, was among the NGOs representatives to have met with President Macron during his last visit to Lebanon on August 6th.
We thank you all for reading us, spreading the word and helping Beirut in any way possible.
From the bottom of our hearts and our friendship we thank you in advance for the help you will bring to rebuild Beirut.
Nadine and Nicole.
Walking inside ABC mall towards my corner, and seeing the shops shattered to pieces, I couldn’t, and still cannot process how it must have been for the shoppers, innocently strolling and enjoying a day of free-movement before another corona-lockdown. Just like the people driving nearby the port on their way back home from work, or the people enjoying their drinks outside in Mar Mikhael, and so on …I was at home when it happened, which is only 3km away from the explosion site. I feel extremely lucky to have pulled through in one piece, with only shattered windows in the house.
The Beirut blast has caused severe destruction to ABC mall. I’m now left with only my online store to continue selling, and this for an undetermined period.
However I do feel very lucky to be able to work from home, designing – cutting – sewing garments, and I want to believe that I will be able to sustain my brand for which I have dedicated 10 years of my life so far.
The country has been in turmoil since October 2019, going through an economic and financial crisis, followed by the coronavirus. And now this tragedy….destroying lives, families, businesses, everybody and everything.
As a wish to contribute to the organizations working on the ground, I have decided to donate 25$ to the Lebanese Red Cross Emergency Fund from every purchase made via my online shop, whether it’s a garment or a gift card , and this amount can be topped off at the checkout page if you wish to add more money to the 25$.
For transparency sake, every time you make a purchase, I’ll issue the online donation in your name and you’ll receive the donation receipt from the Lebanese Red Cross to your email inbox.
May justice prevail,
Browsing through old pics and realizing that it’ll be a long time before I can travel again and take part in international popups made me kinda sad #gocoronago
This video was taken in 2018 in Dubai by the lively @assafmayssa at a popup organized by @daretoweardubai
And because I want to sustain the joy I get from spontaneous client chats, I have setup the possibility to book for a one-to-one styling session at ABC – or a virtual styling session via Zoom – for anybody who wishes to get to know more about the collection and receive my styling advice.
So if you’ve had your eyes on my piece(s) but you’re not sure which shape/color/size would fit you best, all you have to do now is book the styling service appointment here ! Pick the day and time and let’s meet 🕺🏻
As a humble contribution in these difficult times, I have prepared a small video tutorial showing how to hand-sew a face mask. The same steps can be done with a sewing machine if available !
It is strongly advised to follow WHO recommendations to avoid getting contaminated or transmitting the coronavirus.
To make a mask you will need to download and print the face mask pattern below, as well as :
- fabric scissors
- paper scissors
- a needle
- some thread
- a safety pin
- some pins
- a tape measure ( not mandatory but helpful!)
- some elastic or ribbon, around 60-70cm
- soft cotton canvas, around 40 x 40 cm
Tag me in your insta-story or post @nadine_mneimneh, I’d love to see and share your masks !
#staysafe #stayinside <3
There is a question that is being raised quite recurrently these days.
Is it somehow OK to resume posting on social media about our brand / our work / our store?
The first weeks of the #thawra were prone to a general silence, with brands muting their communication or solely posting about the thawra as a collective wish to hold its momentum.
Everybody is concerned and affected as individuals but also as business entities by thirty years of restless ongoing corruption.
And as much as we may share different views of how this needs to be addressed (my motto remains كلّن_يعني_كلَن#) the reality is that 24 days of disrupted activities is not easy to handle.
Local fashion brands who are based in #Lebanon are generally B2C-oriented, most of the time with majority of local customers instead foreign, and they mainly market their products through social media.
They employ local workers (sales assistants, stock keepers, delivery/drivers, seamstresses…), get their supplies from local shops, and also outsource their packaging, their graphic design work and photography also locally, not mention other services such fabric embroidery, printing, etc, from local factories…
Lebanese designers are usually micro/small/medium size companies whose activities involve people from various socio economical backgrounds, it is not a blogger-fashionista bubble.
Businesses who are trying to benefit from the thawra by promoting “thawra-themed” products whether apparel or other commodities are perpetuating the concept of overdose-milking an occasion like it’s usually done in Lebanon, when it’s valentine’s day or fathers’ day or any special occasion. I personally don’t like it, I think it’s bad taste.
But to disrespect or bully local designers or the stores that sell local designs because they need to maintain some sort of activity to survive, it’s NOT OK.
It’s NOT OK to bully anyone.
If you have the means to buy local fashion instead of imported, then you should do it. If you don’t want to, it’s OK, but don’t demean people who have started honest businesses in Lebanon and who are currently hoping they’ll survive just like everybody else.
I’ve never been keen on drawing or illustrating. During my time in fashion school, I would get very lazy at detailing the hands, the nose, the hair, or eye makeup of my figurine sketches. I couldn’t wait to go to the cutting table, lay that thin paper and start drafting the pattern.
During a job interview soon after graduation, I was asked by the designer’s assistant how much I could sell a dress for to a client, based on a sketch only. I remember looking at my portfolio and looking back again at the sketch he had presented me, with glitter spread all over the drawn dress, mimicking the sequins and Swarovski stones embellishments, and thinking to myself how difficult it would be for me to find a fashion house in Lebanon to fit in and gain experience from .
It was 2009, at that time couture was the bread and butter of the fashion industry in Lebanon. At that time, and in order to be “successful”, a Lebanese designer had to prove him/herself abroad first , in order to gain value in the eye of the Lebanese consumers.
The general mindset was that Lebanese-made ready-to-wear was not really worth the price, only couture dresses were worth spending money on. Retailers were neither keen on buying wholesale from local designers, fearing it might devalue their store image.
I remember being at a meeting with a local boutique owner along with other designers. One of the designers asked if he would sell local designers fashion, to which he answered “I sell only one Lebanese brand, it’s because she (the designer) is Brazilian-Lebanese and lives in Brazil”. To this day, retailers would rather place the merchandise on consignment instead of giving it a chance and actually buy the collection wholesale.
But luckily things change, the consumers’ mindset has changed a lot, this is why new brands are burgeoning, each one having something to say, whether it’s about aesthetics, sustainability, supporting the local community, preserving the craft, voicing the youth, and ultimately being this great vehicle for all the Lebanese culture there is to share through its people, its diaspora, and its history.