One of our fave brand based out of Beirut, LA TERRE EST FOLLE, finally made itself available to a global audience with a newly launched e-commerce platform. We invite you to dive into a bit of our interview with the label’s founder, Joe Arida, that we did when we first started JDEED back in 2017. Genuine, talented and thinking forward, Joe infuses LTF with his creativity and edge.
JDEED – February 2017:
Joe Arida: I’m going to start from the beginning. I was working in advertising and copy writing. Eventually I ended up working as an assistant set designer and we were fabricating these set pieces, furniture and accessories that we would throw away afterwards. That was very frustrating to me because they were nice pieces but made in cheap materials that could have been easily upgraded, sold and found their places in houses. I then started to meet the artisans who work wood, metal and these sort of things and I started making furniture. The first series I made included cushions. The fabric I used for these cushions intrigued me, I started wondering what it would look like on a t-shirt. So I made it and I started getting a few orders for this t-shirt and that’s it, I was contacted by STARCH foundation (a non-profit organization that helps launch Lebanese emerging designers).
I had to find a name for my brand and thought of what inspires me the most. The visual language of the different cultures and cultures in general, sub-cultures, just the way that people express themselves…the variety, the diversity of nature and the world itself whether it’s people, things that have happened that can be very horrible but very inspiring like the state of Post-War Beirut. I really enjoy those contrasts.
I felt like the world really is a mad place, so rich, so inspiring. And travel is the most enriching thing anyone can do in their life and I wanted to be that brand that collects all these little things from different places and translate them into beautiful things whether it’s for your wardrobe or your home. I had a list of names for the brand in mind and I was sitting with a really good friend of mine, reading those names to him while we were watching TV. We saw something nature-related that was so beautiful and I remember saying “la terre est folle” and my friend told me “that’s your name!’ and I thought it was ridiculous, too long, in French…and I kept reading the other names and he kept telling me I was an idiot. He insisted so much that it grew on me and I started thinking that people would maybe get intrigued by the meaning of the word in French.