Dubai / EMIRATES BUSINESS
Sally Sarieddine, Founder of LaLaQueen, firmly believes that being conscious and ethical is not just the hottest trend in the fashion right now, it is also non-negotiable. Timeless, versatile and full of surprises: LalaQueen is a contemporary, sustainable Middle Eastern handbag label based in Beirut and designed for the travelers, explorers and the boundary breakers. This is the love child of Sally Sarieddine, a Lebanese-born, UAE-raised, fashion designer and entrepreneur who is deeply passionate about bringing conscious fashion back to individual authenticity and self-expression.
Sustainable, or eco-friendly fashion, is no new concept. It refers to clothing that does not put undue strain on the environment right from the harvesting of raw materials to end use. The idea may sound rather simple, but the process is not. Creating any type of clothing sustainably involves farming, harvesting and processing materials without the use of harmful pesticides or toxic dyes, whilst being conscious about the working force behind the brand. The clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the world, after oil, and with this in mind, Sally has kept sustainability and conscientious fashion at the forefront of her design.
Inspired by the meticulous work of master craftsmen and an exceptional regard for exquisite, ethically sourced local materials, Sally’s vision gave life to the bespoke, retro-chic handbag label in 2009. Her designs target progressive women who are influential in making a difference in today’s changing market, the designer sees sustainability as a major focus as the company continues to go from strength to strength.
She says, “I am a strong advocate of sustainable design and remain mindful about where I source all materials from. This is why I create timeless pieces which can be enjoyed forever. I try to minimise waste where possible; LaLaQueen packaging is 100 percent recycled and the leather we source comes from Lebanese farms where we know the meat is going back to the meat industry.
“Our handbags are assembled by highly skilled local artisans who operate under healthy working conditions and we are committed to maintaining strong relationships with our suppliers and their employees. It’s important that as a home-grown brand, we give back to the community, support and empower local families in Lebanon. As LaLaQueen continues to grow, so will our focus on sustainability,” she explains.
Best known for the iconic Dr. Bag, Sally’s naturally-dyed leather designs feature color tones that are mixed together in different proportions to create a feeling of vibrancy and fun. Inspired by an authentic vintage Dr.Bag found on a treasure hunt in Florence, Sally’s LaLaQueen is a fusion of vintage and modern that is evident through all the collections.
Sally says, “The Dr. Bag collection was created with a vision to bring a sense of healing back into fashion and designed to complement progressive women with rich souls and magical hearts.”
A contemporary fashion label that specialises in handcrafted leather handbags, LaLaQueen strives to set trends and become a sustainable brand that compliments the global demand for maintaining and protecting natural resources. Sally works towards this by targeting progressive women who are influential in making a difference in today’s changing market.
“It is constant work to find this balance but no matter what I refuse to compromise on the quality of my work. Ultimately consumers are becoming more conscientious and want to contribute to the ‘greater good’. The likes of Amal Clooney, who is a big fan of LalaQueen, is a highly progressive woman of the world and human activist who is educating and inspiring generations of shoppers,” explains Sally.
There is no doubt that sustainable fashion and responsible innovation is now very much en vogue and trendier than ever, and with more celebrities donning their metaphorically green outfits LalaQueen continues to see active support in its quest for a more sustainable and conscientious world.
Sally graduated with a BA in Communications Arts (radio TV, Film) from the Lebanese American University, and during her years of study she focused much of her energy in theatre leading to a job as Assistant Director in a local Lebanese TV station before a move to Dubai.
In Dubai Sally landed a job in the satellite broadcasting industry. Eleven months later, another prospect was presented to work as a PR Executive in an investment company that led her to the fashion capital London where she completed her Masters in Marketing. Once graduated, Sally moved back to Dubai and secured a job in advertising and went on to undertake fashion design courses at the renowned Central Saint Martins in London.
Nurturing her creativity for design, Sally set out to create pieces of art, notably the Dr. Bag that embodies an expression of her personal message to the world.