Designers

Aura Headpieces, by Carolina Chammas

Aura Headpieces, by Carolina Chammas


Lebanese designer Carolina Chammas is the creative dynamo behind Aura Headpieces. Her fashion credentials are impeccable: fashion design and journalism at London’s prestigious Central Saint Martin’s School of Art and a Master’s degree in Fashion Marketing at the renowned Istituto Marangoni. After working for high-end brands such as Dolce & Gabbana and Marc Jacobs, Chammas joined Elle magazine as a Senior Editor for the pan-Arab region. In August 2012, she launched her own accessories line, and her signature boho-chic headpieces quickly created a buzz in the fashion world. Sarah Jessica Parker, Naomi Campbell, and Rachel Zoe are all fans, and the high priestess of fashion, Anna Dello Russo, has also been photographed wearing designs by Chammas.



‘By Sophie’, by Joumana Haj Ali

‘By Sophie’, by Joumana Haj Ali


Born and raised in Lebanon, By Sophie founder Joumana Haj Ali pursued a successful business career working in media, hospitality and sales before turning her hand to jewelry design. What started out as a hobby inspired by the antique jewelry and vintage watches that she and her husband collect, rapidly became a commercial venture. In 2006, she launched her own brand, By Sophie, named after Haj Ali’s “most precious jewel”, her daughter Sophia. Her playful “classic with a contemporary twist” designs are influenced by the rich history and folklore of the Middle East, and are now firmly on fashionistas’ radars.



Madiso

Madiso by Madiha Muzaffar


Arriving in Dubai from Islamabad in 2001, Madiha Muzaffar spent the next twelve years in this stimulating multicultural society developing her skills across a variety of artistic disciplines. Inspired by the organic shapes found in nature, Muzaffar set up her label, Madiso, rapidly gaining a name for exquisitely handcrafted, totally unique designs. Drawing on a vast range of materials individually sourced for each and every piece, the Madiso look is opulent and intricate. Comprising crystals, semi-precious stones, acrylic, metal, mesh, pearls, chains, and much more besides, every detail is a personal design expression painstakingly created by hand, with no two pieces alike.



Poupee Couture

Poupée Couture by Roula Ghalayini


With a background that includes a degree in graphic design, followed by an early career in advertising as an art director at Leo Burnett and creative manager at MTV, Poupée Couture’s Roula Ghalayini certainly understands the importance of a strong brand identity. Born in Lebanon and raised in Canada, both cultures are reflected in her statement bags, jewelry, and home accessories. Characterized by a distinctive element of surprise, striking color, and bold geometric forms, these are handmade items for “independent, multi-layered women who appreciate novelty in design”. Along with media attention from the likes of Instyle UK and Cosmopolitan India, Poupée Couture is the first Arab accessories brand to feature in Vogue’s Best Bags list in 2012, and then in the US TV drama series, The Carrie Diaries, in 2013.



Sarah’s Bags, by Sarah Beydoun

Sarah’s Bags, by Sarah Beydoun


The founder and creative director of Sarah’s Bags, Sarah Beydoun, was born and raised in Lebanon. With a degree in Sociology, it was while she was writing her Master’s thesis on prostitution in Lebanon that she worked at a local charity, helping to rehabilitate former prostitutes and ex-prisoners. Combining her love of fashion with her desire to empower underprivileged women, Beydoun launched her own accessories line in 2000. Her quirky, playful designs are made by female prisoners and ex-prisoners trained by Beydoun, herself. From a collection of twelve beaded handbags that sold out at a craft fair, Sarah’s Bags has expanded into an international social enterprise that has attracted the attention of stylish women from Beirut to Tokyo, and Caracas to Paris.



Vanina, by Tatiana Fayad & Joanne Hayek

Vanina, by Tatiana Fayad & Joanne Hayek


Childhood friends Tatiana Fayad and Joanne Hayek started designing jewelry for their associates while they were college students. The enterprising duo quickly discovered a wider market for their work, and in 2007, aged nineteen, they launched their own jewelry line, Vanina. The witty and audacious designs miraculously turn trash into treasure by recycling and upcycling random, discarded objects including coins and keys, CDs and plastic bags. From its modest beginnings in their family bedrooms, the business has expanded into an atelier in north Beirut that employees five people, with links to highly skilled craftsmen across Lebanon, and over seventy retail outlets worldwide.