Buro 24/7 Exclusive Preview: Sarah’s Bag Mexican Collection
The Lebanese designer reveals her latest creations
Born and raised in Lebanon, Sarah Beydoun is the creative brain behind the label, Sarah's Bag. She belongs to a generation of Beirut-based designers who came of age during the country's 16-year civil war and are now contributing to rebuilding the city's cultural life through their creative passion.
After studying sociology at the American University of Beirut, Beydoun earned her master's degree from the Université Saint Joseph. Soon after, she launched Sarah's Bag and opened her atelier in the city in 2000, bringing together her love of design and fashion with her desire to empower and work with underprivileged women. Her line of handmade handbags and accessories is designed around the skills of prisoners and ex-prisoners she has personally trained and worked with for the past thirteen years.
Today, over 150 artisans form the backbone of Sarah's Bag, making it one of the most successful social entrepreneurship brands in the region. Buro 24/7 speaks to the creative talent to find out more...
What inspired this particular collection?
I travelled to Mexico in October of 2012 with my mother and stepfather and it was a trip I will never forget. It's an incredible country with a rich, vibrant history and culture, and I was inspired everywhere I went. We visited Mexico City and its market, and it was during the time of Dia de los Meurtos (Day of the Dead) where people remember their loved ones who passed away. The costumes and aesthetic associated with the celebration are stunning, as is Mexico's beautiful and haunting religious iconography. I also loved Oaxaca and its market with all the traditional crafts and handwork that the Mexicans excel in.
What is your favourite piece?
I adore the 'Mini-Straight Mexican' clutch which is made with traditional hand-woven fabric of fuchsia roses on a black background, and a riot of colourful beads in sunshine yellow, orange and sky blue. I am also very partial to the 'Chilli Pepper' box clutches! What I love about the whole collection is the sheer amount of colour and detail in it.
What was the biggest challenge in designing this collection?
Actually, the 'Chilli Pepper' box clutches were a challenge. The clasp is essentially shaped like a gold-plated chilli pepper and we had to create a mould to make them - which wasn't easy as the peppers are curved. A mould had to be carved especially for those red-hot chilli peppers!
Who would you most love to see in your designs?
Any woman who knows how to wear them well is my kind of woman! I love women who do not belong to the typical fashion tribe, such as Iris Apfel, who I think is a bold fashion icon for women of all ages. My favourite women are those who see my bags as a way to express themselves, who wear them as statement pieces and don't simply match them to their outfits.
What exciting things can we expect from Sarah's Bag in 2014?
One of our first major events of this year is tonight's at o'de rose in Dubai. On the heels of that we are showing our Autumn/Winter 14 collection in Paris, and then we have a couple of trunk shows in the region, in Kuwait City and Abu Dhabi. We are also participating in Season 3 of Fashion Forward in Dubai in April, and this summer we have a lovely collection inspired by Lichtenstein and pop art. So lots to look forward to!
The latest collection by Sarah's Bag can be found at o'de rose