Picture and words/Joy Saade
NATA studio is based in Beirut and was founded in 2018 by Nathalie Saad. The brand offers urban chic clothing for Women and Men. The inspiration behind each collection reflects a different side of our society and the problem we face in it; a twist of escapism and positivity is always added to the mix of the collection’s story. The vision behind NATA is to share her message and voice with everyone and to create a sense of unity. One of NATA’s signatures is her hand embroidery and printed illustrations that always express the message of the collection.
In the latest SS collection “Reverie” the current situation and chaos worldwide is the main subject.
The question tackled is: Facing all that uncertainty and chaos is complete order the answer? What would the world be if there was a perfect balance between order and chaos?
The distorted shirt has a hand embroidered back that illustrates the beauty in chaos. The Upcycled pants has one side made out of different cut up pieces of old fabrics found at the atelier. These pieces were randomly put together and the other side a completely white fabric, the two different side of the pants illustrate the merge of energy and calmness, chaos and order.
“Our brand is a ready to wear which is designed for all body types and sizes to let women feel comfortable and unique by wearing one color cloth either in the morning or the evening and letting them express their personalities in a pleasant and unique way through simplicity. Therefore, the main concept of my brand is the creation of every piece in its movement and simple details by using one fabric. The styles are based on modern and minimal designs.” says Patil Vartanian, the label founder.
Collection Two of Designer Men’s Sandals by HH – The Brand, launching this month
HH – The Brand is a luxury sandal label designed and manufactured by hand in Lebanon. Founded by Hazem Haddad in 2018, the company’s mission is to provide sandal footwear of the highest quality, style and comfort. Made from authentic cowhide and lambskin and handcrafted by expert cordwainers, each design is developed by the founder and takes 7-days to produce. Each pair is also subjected to rigorous quality control checks before reaching the consumer, to ensure satisfaction. With each pair, HH – The Brand’s promise is to offer sandals that are Timeless, Classic and Minimal.
Collection Two of the sandals come in a variety of designs and colours, inspired by the deep blues of the ocean. Made from premium cowhide and with finely knit threading and lambskin linings, the sandal designs range from slip-ons to adjustable sling backs. The colours of leathers and straps come in caviar grey, Gitanes blue, semi matte navy blue and matte black, while the crocodile skins are available in navy and black.
To create ultra-comfort, each sandal is constructed with leather footbeds and flexible rubber soles to prevent perspiration, slippage and discomfort.
They are made for the men who are looking for luxury, style and quality. With each piece taking 7-days to craft by hand, HH – The Brand promises to deliver care and a fashion-forward style with each pair. As a brand ethos, the sandals are strictly not to be categorized as beachwear due to its high-end craftmanship, offering an alternative into open footwear ranges.
Realizing a significant gap in the market, and a lover of sandals and trendy footwear, HH – The Brand was founded by Hazem Haddad, a communications expert with a passion for design. Spending over a year in research and development, Hazem is launching the refined version of this footwear series with Collection Two.
He explains, “I have always been a fan of open sandals and men’s footwear that are airy, and light and it is my go-to accessory that I can’t live without. While there are great sandals developed by major fashion brands, each are priced at about USD $700. On the other hand, high-street fashion brands are developing sandals retailing around the USD $70 mark but are made of very poor-quality elements that damage the feet. I wanted to create a collection of footwear that is Timeless, Classic and Minimal retailing from $170 to $190 per pair without compromising on the high grade of materials and craftsmanship. I am thrilled to share this collection with the stylish men of the region to experience luxury sandals designed and developed with them in mind”.
As for the inspiration behind the collection, the founder muses on his diving trips to El Gouna, Egypt in the past summer and reflects, “as I descended from the surface into the depths of the sea, my eyes were mesmerized with the different shades of colour, hues of blues transcending into greys and blacks. Underwater everything seems calm, zen and complete. This sensation is represented in Collection Two and is the inspiration defining the collection.”
You can shop the brand on their online store
Roni Helou: My name is Roni Helou, I am a luxury ready-to-wear designer from Lebanon. My fashion journey started when I was 10 or 11 years old, when I tried to make a garment by sewing together a couple of garbage bags. With my family’s encouragement to pursue my passion, I eventually attended Creative Space Beirut, a progressive fashion design institution that offers students free education. Upon graduating, I was supported by the school and by design incubator Starch Foundation for two seasons, which culminated in collection presentations at Fashion Forward Dubai. This led me to starting Roni Helou, the ready-to-wear brand, in 2017.
RH: We are so excited to have finally launched our online shop (ronihelou.com)! In fact, we had some obstacles along the way due to the crises that Lebanon has been experiencing and, of course, more recently, the pandemic. Confinement gave us a much-needed break from the fast pace of life and allowed us to explore new paths.
For the launch of the website we collaborated with Fouad Tadros, a photographer in Beirut, to shoot Syrine Barhoumi, a model in Tunisia, via webcam to highlight more sustainable ways for the industry to operate.
RH: I believe that being environmentally conscious, or “sustainable”, means taking actions that consider and try to positively affect the well-being of other humans, animals and the planet. Historically, fashion tended to neglect the environment and the delicate balance that sustains it. We have been so consumed by speed and growth that we have lost touch with the world around us. By going slow, we simply respect the harmony and balance of our planet. As a platform, fashion is extremely influential. Its reach is almost universal and it is part of our everyday lives whether we acknowledge it or not. Therefore, I think the industry has a responsibility to completely redefine itself and I am proud to be part of those that are leading the charge.
RH: My designs are directly influenced by the materials at my disposal. My process starts by sourcing limited amounts of vintage and dead stock fabrics, which I then assemble into a collection with little to no waste. My pieces often reflect a balanced contrast between structure and drapes and I always try to rethink the way we understand garments by making pieces that are modular and/or deconstructed. My collections are made for a proactive generation and the people I design for are assertive, gentle and boundary-pushing.
Raymond Essayan (Beirut, b.1990) creates sculptural neon-objects where scrap materials such as wood and metal collide/merge with new industrial production techniques. His current re-search focuses on ways to juxtapose and overlay sound, light and movement in order to create pieces that are a reflection of the times we are living in and within. His practices includes drawing, painting, light sculptures (Neon lights).
Raymond is also a self-taught musician. Curiosity with a hint of coordination and a passion for music lead him to become a multi-instrumentalist; electro-classical music, valse and ethnic music as well as African rhythms and french accordion all fuse in his compositions.
He studied mechanical engineering and theoretical physics at Notre Dame University, Lebanon. During his studies his passion for arts, crafts and music started to emerged. In 2015, after 7 years of scientific studies, he decided to seek a new route in a quest to find his inner self and the reflections of his environment on him. Being raised in a country facing heavy social and environmental problems shaped and encouraged him to call for action. By creating inspirational artworks carrying out messages to a wider public he found the right channel to address those problems. Luckily being part of a family of industrialists specialized in signage and lighting provided him with the right tools to create something using the machinery around his family’s factory and collecting old vintage signs in order to recreate industrial art and ideally make some useful artistic items.
“While Lebanon, my home country, has been passing through a garbage crisis amongst other crisis, I felt that reusing and making artistic industrial objects from a dumpster will somehow show the society the importance of recycling and how u can make a significant/useful object from nothing. Tons of plastic and metals piled in the factory’s junkyard, well that was my first inspiration. I spent days looking for interesting items, old letters, laser cut rests, etc.”
Vanessa Daher is a business innovation strategist and entrepreneur. After studying abroad, she decided to come back to her country and, against all odds, start her own business, which was inspired by her own personal experience navigating health struggles and food intolerances. There was nothing that meant more to her than helping individuals who were going through the same challenges. Bë.Root, which name was inspired by Beirut and going back to one’s roots, aims to provide easy on-the-go healthy alternatives to Vanessa’s love – coffee; while also ensuring it made life on-the-go more bearable. The main products include coconut creamer, coconut coffee capsules (BPA free and recyclable), instant coffee with coconut milk powder, and black coffee brew bags. All of the ingredients used are pure, vegan, organic, and free from gluten, dairy, added sugar, nuts, and grains; making them accessible to as many people as possible.
“At Potion Kitchen, we aim to nurture self-care rituals that empower people to embrace the beauty within. We are a conscious brand devoted to help individuals feeling good in their skin. Our mission is to create safe formulas rooted in science and respecting the environment.
Along with our strong beliefs in the powers of nature’s elements, we got inspired to create a clean beauty line using super foods & plant-based ingredients.
We commit to embrace simplicity & openness hence we handcraft all natural products free of harsh chemicals.”