“My mother owned a beauty salon in Jeddah, and from a very young age, I started working and assisting her”, Says 30 year-old Dubai-based Lebanese designer Lama Jouni before adding, “I recall being very observant and thinking how I could re-dress the women that came to see her”. Now twenty years later, Jouni is setting the tone with her celebrity-approved eponymous brand.
“Dubai felt like the perfect place to launch Lama Jouni, as I want to be a part of the creative effervescence the city has recently been witnessing and still be open to the rest of the world”, she says, while refusing to label her brand as a home-grown regional label (despite growing up in Jeddah, and having spent a couple of years in Beirut, the Paris-educated designer has never felt comfortable with defining Lama Jouni as Arab). “I don’t want to confine to a region; I want Lama Jouni to be global and to speak to women of the entire world, who appreciate both luxury and streetwear, while struggling to fit in to a single identity”.
Her obvious fierceness and audacity is translated into her refined but super-wearable clothes, designed to be both androgynous as well as feminine. Her A/W 2018 collection was inspired by her love of hip-hop, by paying homage to rap pioneers Biggie and Tupac. With her denim pieces and graphic suits, Jouni reconciles the West and the East coasts with a collection that brings together the two rap icons. “They have both inspired me to pursue my passion, so this collection celebrates all of those who, despite their differences, believe in dreaming”, she says.
Music plays a huge role in Jouni’s creative process. In fact, her pieces are what she describes as a translation of music. “I associate songs with attitudes, and because I always have to listen to music when I design, each outfit is basically a fashion interpretation of the soundtracks to my life”.
Lama Jouni will be available online from August