The Arab British Chamber of Commerce held the inaugural Lebanese Designers Exhibition in London, showcasing a range of locally made artisan clothes, jewelry, accessories, home décor, and artwork to honor the nation's culture and creatives. The event, which was sponsored by the Lebanese Embassy in London, took place in Mayfair from 1 to 4 December.
The ABCC was founded in 1975 with the intention of fostering business relations between the United Kingdom and Arab nations. The goal of this exhibition was to empower Lebanese women by giving them a venue to showcase their commerce in one of the most renowned shopping areas in the world.
The ambassador of Lebanon to the UK, Rami Mortada, called it “an event of endurance against all odds.” He said the designers demonstrated their value through “defiance against all the circumstances prevailing in our country, Lebanon, and determination to never allow these hardships to take away the soul of the Lebanese people, which is a soul soaked in ingenuity and imagination.”
The Saudi Cultural Attache Amal Fatani, the Algerian Ambassador to the UK Lounes Magramane, and the Kuwaiti Ambassador to the UK Bader Al-Awadi also attended the event.
A studio in Beirut called Nour Artisan caught the attention of visitors, showcasing a variety of hand-embroidered abayas that incorporate traditional designs and cater to diverse cultures. The outerwear was produced by women who work from home and provide for over 250 families in Lebanon. “The atmosphere is really nice. People are coming in and asking. They really like the history and the idea of keeping this heritage,” Nour Artisan Sales Representative Rima Rizk said.
The exhibit of LVNT, an online concept store that chooses goods steeped in Levantine tradition, showcased the finest of the region's handcraft. The Blatt Chaya coaster set, created by a Lebanese artisanal company employing tile-making techniques from the 1880s, and crochet purses made by Syrian refugees were among the items on sale.
A selection of home goods was also on display by the UK-based Lebanese organization Give a Child a Brighter Future, whose revenues will be used to build the nation's first pediatric cancer facility. The nonprofit has collected more than $6 million in donations since 1985.
Other exhibitors were Hala Gharib, the founder of Alaabi, who presented instructive children's games on Arabic language and culture, as well as Shirine Osseiran, an artist who offered prints of her abstract Arabic calligraphy series.