H&M has an impressive designer collaboration history, with the likes of Stella McCartney, Versace, Alexander Wang, Moschino and Giambattista Valli creating collections for the high street giant. However, the Swedish retailer’s newest partnership with Sandra Mansour is seen as extra special for those from the region as it is the first time its decision-makers have chosen to work with an Arab designer.
Elated, honoured and proud to represent her country and region, Mansour, who hails from Lebanon, took to Instagram to share her feelings about collaborating with an industry powerhouse.
“To say this is emotional, is to say the least. This campaign and collaboration coming into fruition and my ability to share it with all of you, is beyond measure,” Mansour, who is based in Beirut, a city that constantly inspires her, shared. The Swiss-born designer, who interned at Elie Saab for one summer, has also said she wants to “talk to women around the world by sending a message of hope, something we really need right now.”
With its floral and sunflower motifs, it’s clear Mansour was inspired by nature for her “Fleur du Soleil” collection. The creative, who has an MA in Fashion Design from Istituto Marangoni, was particularly focused on the sunflower and the way it follows the sun from day into night. As Mansour explained on Instagram, the yellow flower represents “hope and light” during these turbulent times.
The sun and other natural elements also played a part in the making of the collection. Mansour, who aspired to be an artist, has a passion and notable knowledge when it comes to paintings, so it isn’t surprising that she usually references painters in her collections, a choice that allows her to communicate some surrealism. For this range, she turned to poets and four female artists, Toyen, Dorothea Tanning, Lena Leclercq and Bibi Zogbé, another Lebanese, when picking fabrics like embroidered organza, dark laces, jacquards and point d’esprit tulle.
The effortless pieces, which come in a palette of neutral coloured hues (think shades of black, ivory and gentle greys) are extremely versatile, can be crossed over from day to night and are perfect for just about any occasion. Feminine and dreamy pieces range from ruffled skirts, tulle tiered dresses and a short wrap dress to a breezy kaftan and blouses, while a printed T-shirt and hoodie, tailored blazer and chunky pair of boots are available for those who prefer an androgynous look. And the accessories, which include rings and earrings, are a great way to highlight the pieces.
The “Fleur du Soleil” collection will be available in selective shops worldwide and online from August 6.
About Sandra Mansour
Sandra Mansour started her eponymous label in 2010. She is known for an ethereal, simple and romantic aesthetic that comes with an edgy, daring and modern twist. Mansour is also in demand for her bespoke bridalwear, which often features hand and thread embroidery. While Mansour’s designs are available internationally, all her high-end pieces are crafted in her atelier in Beirut.