Fabulous and for Goodwill, What More Do You Want from a Bag?

By Fatmé Fahda – Spring 2015 Lebanese designer Sarah Beydoun founded Sarah’s Bag in 2000. Sarah, among other Lebanese designers who came of age during the country’s seventeen-year civil war and are now rebuilding their country’s cultural life through their work in fashion, design, art and music is what inspired Sarah’s Bag to come to life.

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Image Courtesy of businessoffashion.com – Sarah’s Bag Showroom in Lebanon

During her studies, Sarah worked with a local NGO, House of Hope, which helps rehabilitate former prostitutes and ex-prisoners. Sarah was then moved to combine her work with underprivileged women with her love of fashion. Sarah’s Bag employs over 200 female prisoners and ex-prisoners in Lebanon and trains them as skilled artisans – its aesthetic gets more intricate and stronger with each collection. The women loved the plan, especially the upfront payment they received regardless of whether Beydoun sold the item. But everything sold.

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Image Courtesy of thebrander.com

 “The trick Sarah’s Bag pulled off was evolving from cause to legitimate fashion brand, and that was only ultimately possible by putting the story second and the fashion first.” – Business of Fashion

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Image Courtesy of thebrander.com – Iconic Sarah’s Bag clutch

Sarah’s bag proved that social entrepreneurship can be stylish and women across the Arab world acquired a taste for accessories that are unique, handmade and a celebration of Arab culture. The company’s success has reached Dubai, Kuwait, Amman, Jeddah, Cairo, and Riyadh. Through the long reach of Lebanese Diaspora, every year new points of sale for Sarah’s Bag sprung up in cities such as Los Angeles, London, Paris, and Marrakech.

Image Courtesy of: @Sarahsbag Instagram

Image Courtesy of @SarahsBag Instagram – Amal Clooney

As a brand renowned for its unique structure, every season, Sarah’s Bag seems to outdo itself. The spring designs feature vibrantly colored clutches and leather bags made with exquisite beadwork and woodwork, some of them adorned with tropical birds, fruits, and landscapes.

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Image Courtesy of @SarahsBag Instagram – Spring Summer 2015 Collection

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Image Courtesy of @SarahsBag Instagram – Spring Summer 2015 Collection

Sarah’s Bag is available online at http://shop.sarahsbag.com. Prices range from $15 to $950, though most items are between $100 and $300.

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The Modern Muse: Celebrity Culture?

Kendall Jenner D&G Runway SS15

Kendall Jenner walking for Dolce & Gabbana, SS15

Stephanie Christofferson, Spring 2015

While the rare supermodel may still exist, increasingly she is becoming irrelevant. Brands today are finding more success with using celebrities not only in their ad campaigns, but on the runway. To much acclaim, a couple of notorious characters from the Hollywood hit film Zoolander strutted the runway at the Valentino show this March at Paris Fashion Week; to a bit more mixed acclaim, Kendall Jenner of the Kardashian clan has begun to steal the spotlight in shows such as Chanel, Marc Jacobs, and Oscar de la Renta (to name a few). And celebrities aren’t just walking the runway; many are attempting to dominate it with lines of their own – from Victoria Beckham’s successful line to Kanye West’s decidedly more controversial one. We are living in the age of the actor slash singer slash model slash designer. While advertising has long been taken over by celebrity culture, now some of the tabloid’s most notorious faces are not only taking front row seats at fashion shows, but jumping out of their chairs onto the runway and behind the scenes.

Fashion, or hype? A look from Kanye West x Adidas Original Fall 2015 RTW

Fashion, or hype? A look from Kanye West x Adidas Originals Fall 2015 RTW

This marriage of celebrity culture and the fashion world is controversial, to say the least. While some fear it to be a dangerous mix that may dilute the authenticity of fashion, others believe it to be a collaborative meeting of great artistic minds. Whether it is good or bad for the quality and integrity of fashion, one thing is for sure, it’s marketing genius. Slapping a celebrity’s image onto your brand was always a lucrative move, but now PR agencies are getting more creative. Having the next viral video revolve around your line seems possible only with the help of some very well-known faces, as the Valentino house seemed to know before anyone else.

Miley Cyrus & mom Trish sitting front row at Rachel Zoe's Fall 2013 runway show (image via MyDaily)

Miley Cyrus & mom Trish sitting front row at Rachel Zoe’s Fall 2013 runway show (image via MyDaily)

The Age of Fashion

by Stephanie Christofferson

Joan Didion for Céline, 2015

Joan Didion for Céline, 2015

Fashion is an art that constantly lives in the future. Even as the snow melts away to reveal spring in February and March, young models strut the catwalks at fashion week wearing next fall’s looks. Muses and models start working as preteens, and feel like old ladies by the time they hit 30. But fashion’s relationship with age might be shifting. While there is nothing better than Continue reading