Why Do My Favourite Dress Designers Have a Beirut Connection?

I’ve been pinning fashion on Pinterest for almost a year now. During this time, I’ve definitely found some favourite women’s fashion designers whose work I adore from the many pins of theirs that I have pinned. My favourite five dress designers are, in no exact order:

Links are to a big Pinterest board of their work that someone else has collected. I have mine organized by garment types and/or styles.

As someone who is analytical by nature, I’m always trying to find out commonalities, trends and such. One thing that occurred to me was that many of these designers were either from, or had spent over a decade in, Beirut.


Paris, New York, or some other fashion capital of the world would not have surprised me, but Beirut???

Alexander McQueen, who is deceased, and the current head designer for his line, Sarah Burton, were the exception. But that still left 4 of the 5, with Abed Mahfouz also from Beirut being among my favourite dress designers.

So the burning question I have is, what is it about Beirut that has led it to be associated with most of my favourite dress designers?

I can’t tell, to be honest. Their styles are not that similar. What I like about each of their styles is not similar. Maybe I just happen to like some elements that when mixed together, they happen to do well. I love some of their use of lace. Some sexy and creative cuts. Some sleek colour blocking and schemes. Definitely use of asymmetry. But did that link to Beirut influence them in some way in common? And why would many designers from elsewhere not have been able to do the same?

Or maybe ask it in reverse, why do I like fashion from Beirut influenced designers? I’m Vietnamese born and grew up in Eastern Canada. I have nothing of Middle Eastern influence. Didn’t study it, have friends from there or such.

Either way, I don’t have anything close to an answer. Do you? Offer me something to start a theory on!

Why do so many of my favourite dress designers have Bei-roots?

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