April 10, 2012 12:00 AM | by The Fustany Team
Getting to Know Sarah Beydoun
We couldn’t help but be completely drawn to the creations of Sarah’s
Bag! Founder, Creative Director and Arab Fashion Designer, Sarah Beydoun, tells us about
herself and the brand that combines women empowerment with fashion.
Who is Sarah Beydoun?
I always think of two things when I’m asked this question. Should I just answer by saying I’m the creative Director and founder of Sarah’s Bag, or should I just say I’m a Lebanese woman who believes in doing what she loves and loving what she does.
What inspired you to start Sarah’s Bag?
It all started when I was preparing my thesis about women in prison, for my masters program in sociology at Universite Saint Joseph. As I discovered more about these women behind bars, I felt the need to contribute in improving their lives and helping them maintain their dignity and self esteem and mostly have an aim in their life. So, I thought of offering them a chance to use their handcraft talent that would help them earn their way out of prison and start a new productive life. That’s how I started creating designs that they could work on. One bag led to another, and this is how Sarah’s Bag started.
How has your Middle Eastern upbringing affect your designs?
I believe that the Middle Eastern culture has a lot to offer and a lot to inspire. Growing up drinking Bonjus in a pyramid box, and listening to the songs of Sabah and the poetry of the Rahabni’s or even the proverbs of our grandmothers and their passion for crochet, this by itself is an inspiration and a culture that I feel I have a duty to transmit through every woman in the Arab world.
Who is the Sarah’s Bag girl?
She’s a woman who believes in fashion with a statement; a woman who loves to project her personality in everything she wears and carries. Any woman who loves buying a unique, stylish, modern and yet thoroughly Arab product that is making a positive contribution to its community.
How did Sarah’s Bag become arm candy to celebrities and royalty?
Queen Rania, herself, has become an icon representing the Arab woman of today. The bag she wore was a gift ordered for her, carrying the national statement of the kingdom of Jordan that we handcrafted using Arabic Calligraphy. Nadine Labaki is our star and she’s become in a way the ambassador of our Lebanese culture and the inspiration to every woman in Lebanon and the Arab world. She wore Sarah’s Bag on many occasions and festivals. When Catherine Deneuve came to Beirut, she also wore a Sarah’s Bag.
Tell us more about your personal style…
Hmmm, what’s my personal style? I love accessories; I am never out without my earrings, a shawl, and sometimes a hat. I believe in pieces that stand the test of time… that are more stylish than trendy. I believe that clothes are a great way to express ones mood. Recently I am in a Technicolor mood.
Favorite Sarah’s Bag piece…
It is hard to favor one design; it will be like favoring one child to another. However, mainly it is always the design that I am working on that I am drawn to the most.
Favorite fashion designers…
I love Dries Van Noten and Martin Margiela. I also love Rabih Keyrouz.
Choose the job you love and you do not have to work a single day in your life.
An advice to entrepreneurs?
People in the region look up to Lebanese designers who create, produce and expand against all odds. They are setting a trend of hope mixed with style. When you come from a country with a story, your mission holds a great deal of value, especially in Europe. My advice for them is to stay unique and love what they do.
What’s next for Sarah’s Bag?