Fashion designer Yassmin Saleh’s work inspired by Lebanon’s political, economic situation


DUBAI: From making outfits out of her dad’s tailored suits and her mom’s preppy pieces, Lebanese fashion designer Yassmin Saleh now has an established brand, under her name, that uses art to raise awareness on psychological and sociological issues.

Speaking to Arab News about her latest DWELLER spring-summer 2020 pieces, Saleh said: “Every collection starts with a story.

For the label’s latest release, Saleh, and her sister Farah – the cofounder of the label – were inspired by the political and economic situation in Lebanon.

“The collection tells the story of a population wishing for a blank slate,” Saleh said. “They no longer want to abide by the rules and feel as though they were Bedouins.”

To balance opposing facets, her pieces portrayed the “desert dwellers’” sentiments through draped and oversize cuts, with earthy tones, while the “corrupt keepers,” she said, are shown through classic shapes and tailored pieces.

Not only do Saleh’s designs hold a message, but they also resemble forms of art, through her Tattoo Series, that trigger conversations with the public.

This “form of wearable art,” she said, has become a signature of her brand. “Each collection carries a Tattoo Series that reflect the brand’s commitment to the issues of our time,” the 26-year-old designer added.

Touching on the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Saleh, who studied fashion design, said the ongoing global health crisis had positives and negatives for the future of the industry.

“On one hand, the virus has forced us to slow down. On the other hand, we must recognize that the world is suffering economically and there will be tough times to come, especially for emerging brands,” the Beirut-based designer said.

The challenging times have allowed Saleh and her sister to come up with creative strategies to keep their brand alive. “We have realized that it’s not so bad after all.

Despite being a sustainable brand already, the current situation has inspired the duo to create a 100 percent sustainable, limited-edition line that is expected to launch soon.