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Fashion

Clothing brand El Salam aims to spread peace through fashion in Lebanon.

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Earlier this year, Ricardo Zgheib founded El Salam as a means of expressing his creativity while also supporting vulnerable families in Lebanon, susceptible to financial hardship due to the ongoing economic crisis of the country.

 

Now more than ever, the Lebanese people are suffering at the additional hands of the Covid-19 pandemic and recent explosion. El Salam hopes to establish an identity in the country of both hope and help, supporting local creatives as well as local communities. Sold out twice, the El Salam website showcases their debut drop – two oversized t-shirts, one white and one black, both with embroidered “سلام” in the middle of the chest.

The brand’s mission is to generate peace within the region, in particular in Lebanon. Their instagram (@elsalam.lb) is a beautiful display of the clothing collection amongst digital graphics all with a central focus: Lebanon. After the explosion, the team distributed food and water to those in need and assisted in the community clean up of the city.

 

 

By Olivia Melkonian

 

 

 

 

Can you describe why you decided to launch El Salam as a clothing brand, and how you are producing your designs?

 

Ricardo Zgheib (RZ): I decided to launch my clothing brand because I wanted to feel connected to home since I was somehow pushed away and robbed of building a future in my own country and that is why I created El Salam, meaning and relating to peace. Because we lack harmony in Lebanon, we were forced to build our dreams abroad. But I am hopeful. Now more than ever.

 

Following the explosion in Beirut, did you feel any more responsibility to support your local communities through your brand?

 

RZ: I never really felt responsible for my community since I felt like all the dreamers were leaving but ever since the revolution started last year I thought I needed to create something relating to home and after the 4th of August it became my personal duty to make sure I support my fellow locals, after all we all bleed the same color.

 

 

 

 

How do you use your donations to bring aid to those in need in Lebanon?

 

RZ: My donations will bring aid to those in need in Lebanon with 20% of the proceeds going towards food boxes to feed the hungry families especially now that Christmas is approaching.

 

Why do you feel it is important to work with a team made up of majority Lebanese artists?

 

RZ: To me it’s very important to feel connected to home, and I believe the Lebanese people are the most creative people I have ever met which is why I decided to team up with Lebanese stylist Chloe Beaine and her vintage style to create magic together. Having a Lebanese team shows and proves to the world that we are stronger and work better together.

 

 

 

“I believe a lot can happen especially when inspiration comes from a place of pain”

 

 

 
What have you learned through working with fashion for philanthropic efforts? Is there much momentum behind using fashion to promote and support charitable causes?

 

RZ: I believe a lot can happen especially when inspiration comes from a place of pain. It generates ideas and you work from the heart like never before. Being the reason someone smiles and is hopeful is something amazing.

 

 

 

 

The current collection looks so comfortable and it’s interesting how you decided to create one-size pieces. Where did you get the inspiration behind your designs?

 

RZ: To be honest I prefer the one size pieces because I tried to connect comfort and fashion within the same item and make it available to all types of body sizes worn by both genders and I feel like it symbolizes equality and I love that.

 

What can we expect from your next collection?

 

RZ: I haven’t managed to find a complete inspiration for my next collection however I will be collaborating with Lebanese artists for special items that will be limited edition and I cannot wait to show you!

 

 

You can shop the new collection, dropping today, here. Don’t miss out!