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Lebanese fashion label Sarah’s Bag teams up with Chloe on sustainable crochet design

by Jul 13, 2022Arab News, business

Luxury Lebanese handbag brand Sarah’s Bag has collaborated with French fashion house Chloe, transforming one of its famed designs into a handcrafted, eye-catching accessory.

The collaboration, which is expected to last a number of seasons, starts with Sarah’s Bag reimagining Chloe’s popular Woody tote; this time nano-sized and completely crocheted — an artisanal craft widely used in the Mediterranean.

“I’m very proud and very happy that after all these years we’re able to achieve this, especially in these hard times. It’s a milestone for the company,” Sarah’s Bag founder Sarah Beydountells The National. “It’s an achievement for the whole team, especially for the girls who worked with me on this collaboration.

“Chloe has wanted for a long time to focus on their sourcing and supply chain, so we’re now part of their sustainable producers,” she says. “Chloe wanted to work with us because our objectives, as companies, are both aligned: our vision of empowering women through crafts and sustainable fashion.”

Crochet was selected for its timeless use in the region, with a wealth of techniques to explore. Beydoun’s earliest collections looked at vintage Lebanese crochet and tried to reinvent the craft for modern fashion, research that was put to good use with Chloe.

The beige and brown tote captures a boho-chic aesthetic that screams summer parties, days at the beach and lazy afternoon strolls.

“It’s something that is very embedded into our culture and the Mediterranean. In every village, usually the grandma or the mother would create a trousseau for the young bride-to-be, and this would include mainly crochet for bed and table covers,” Beydoun says.

“When we started using it in our bags, it was like putting it back into fashion and we looked into different techniques of crochet. I think this is what Chloe liked about what we did, and they wanted to be part of it.”

Founded in 2000, Sarah’s Bag began as a social enterprise, working with women in prisons and former detainees to help provide them with skills to support themselves and find a place in society once more.

These women became a team of artisans, helping create meticulously embroidered and beaded bags designed by Beydoun and worn by the likes of Gigi Hadid, Queen Rania of Jordan and Beyonce. Now, a specialised team of 40 women are working exclusively on the Chloe collaboration.

With Lebanon still burdened by several crises, the process of creating the bag hasn’t been easy. In the past six months spent crafting the bag, petrol prices have skyrocketed, electricity is scarce and the basic living costs climb higher every day.

“We had a lot of difficulties. We had a shortage in petrol, so sometimes the girls didn’t arrive to the workshop to bring back the final product,” Beydoun says. “We don’t have electricity all the time, so a lot of girls had to work during the day, because there was no electricity at night.

“It’s been over two years in this situation and I think it started to weigh on people, especially when you’re under stress. We saw a lot of girls that were really struggling to stay positive or struggling mentally because they had been through so much,” she says.

“But they all knew that this was very, very important for us and they all put everything aside and worked really hard on the project. It’s a little bit like a support group when they work together, especially when you’re crocheting, it’s something very therapeutic.”

The next collaborative bag will be presented with Chloe’s autumn/winter collection later this year.

The Sarah's Bag x Chloe Woody tote reinvents the craft of crochet for modern fashion. Photo: Sarah's Bag/Chloe

A mock-up of the Sarah's Bag x Chloe bag collaboration. Photo: Sarah's Bag/Chloe



Sarah Beydoun, founder of Sarah's Bag. Photo: Sarah's Bag/Chloe

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