Beirut Fashion Week back for spring 2013

BEIRUT: Trend watchers and fashion fanatics still buzzing from a month of international fashion weeks have something more to look forward to next spring than bandeau tops and jumpsuits. Beirut will resurrect its international fashion week from a seven-year hiatus to draw some of the world’s biggest names in the industry in March 2013.

The fashion week will unite worldwide trendsetters of Lebanese origin as well as European fashion houses with designers of more regional and local renown, said Rania Bou Rjeily, spokesperson for organizers Maalouli International Group.

Beirut Fashion Week will run from March 10-14 to present designers’ spring-summer 2013 haute couture lines. Haute couture presentations mean many of the duds to grace Beirut’s catwalk will come from unrestricted budgets and will be packed with personality to dazzle showgoers.

The week will include a multi-designer showcase of big names in the industry – though the names have yet to be released. The following days will feature individual shows by Beirut-based designers as well as designers from Turkey, Brazil and elsewhere.

The primary organizer and owner of the Beirut Fashion Week trademark Maalouli International Group last held the event in April 2006, in a five-day show at Buddha Bar in Downtown.

The July War that year put a temporary end to the annual events, which had in the past drawn collaborators such as supermodels Eva Herzigova, Naomi Campbell and Claudia Schiffer.

This year’s collaborators include Dutch supermodel Brenda Noort, upmarket department store Harvey Nichols and organizers of Milan Fashion Week Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, Bou Rjeily said.

Beirut Fashion Week’s primary purpose seeks to promote Lebanese and other regionally renowned designers from around the world. Organizers will supply international makeup artists, buyers and other industry professionals to help brands break into larger markets.

Lebanese designers who cannot afford to host their own show will be able to show their work in displays at the event location, Bou Rjeily said. Organizers are still negotiating a location, though it will certainly be in the heart of Beirut, Bou Rjeily added.

In a city with a reputation for the region’s most well-kempt and style-conscious inhabitants, giving Beirut Fashion Week international allure can still prove tough, event organizers said.

They lamented that Lebanese-born big-name designers are reluctant to show outside the fashion front lines in Europe. But designing for the cause of children’s charity was able to draw them all back for March show.

The central event will feature these homegrown designers, now the object of smitten fashion hawks the world over, in addition to huge European names, as part of a charity event that will kick off Beirut Fashion Week.

Fashion houses, such as those high-end shops that dot Solidere’s souks, will each design four unique looks for the fashion showcase. Proceeds from the sale will go to charity, she added.

Organizers haven’t yet settled on a particular children’s charity.

“This opening ceremony will invite all the VIP people, the media, the magazines, the international TV like CNN, we are also talking BBC, to cover this event,” Bou Rjeily said.

To get involved in Beirut Fashion Week, visit their website at

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on October 10, 2012, on page 2.




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