Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What's With Sarah's Bag?

Fashion from Lebanon used to be seen as oxymoron due to its chaotic war-torn past.

But thanks to the likes of renowned haute couturier Elie Saab and glitzy fine departmental store Aïshti, Lebanon, especially its capital Beirut is starting to gain wide recognition from fashionistas around Middle East and the world as one of the best place to shop for the latest styles and accessories.

Besides the creative creations of Saab and Aïshti’s extensive posh fashion collection, another homegrown brand called Sarah’s Bag has been making headlines in fashion magazines around the region. Founded by Sarah Beydoun, Sarah Bag is way too far to be considered as just another label of designer bags. Instead, the ideal description to describe this Lebanese brand would definitely be “a designer bag label with a cause.”

Why it comes with a cause? That’s a good question. While studying for her Masters degree at Université Saint Joseph in Beirut, she made her thesis on prostitution and imprisoned women of Lebanon. Later, Sarah realized that by combining her flair and passion for fashion with her interest in improving the lives of these underprivileged women, it would create a brand that is not only creative and sought after, but also being socially responsible as well.

Calling her brand Sarah’s Bag, she roped in women who have served their time in prison as artisans and started creating innovative yet inviting series of bags. As a result, fashionistas love the bags and Sarah’s Bag became the talk of Lebanese fashionable society. Soon, another Sarah, Sarah Nahouli joined the team as the company expanded and by now the brand is carried by top-notch multi-brand boutiques around the Middle East region.

Taking a wide variety of materials as its inspiration, the bags are simply to die for. Paying tribute to Arab world’s illustrious performer of all time, the supremely talented late Umi Kalthoum, Sarah’s Bag immortalizes her fame and memory into a stunning frame clutch with Andy Warhol-ish Pop Art image print of the singer herself. Another unique or must-have bag from the über stylish Sarah’s Bag brand is the classic Safety Pin evening clutch.

The specialty of this bag lies in the design itself. Believe it or not, this bag is made from 1001 silver safety pins and that might have taken ages for one artisan to complete it. Absolutely gorgeous! But if safety pins would seem radical to you, then there are two more for you to choose – the cute nip tuck flowers in red or the lovey-dovey Jambo stitching clutch. Apart from that, Sarah’s Bag also created a number of exclusive bags for Dubai’s Boutique 1.

Sarah’s Bag is available now at selected stores worldwide, as well as Boutique 1 in Dubai.

*Photos courtesy of Sarah’s Bag

Boutique 1 – Emirates Towers Boulevard, Dubai, UAE.

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