In the music video accompanying their latest single WAP, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion don two beautiful designs created by Beirut-based designer, Nicolas Jebran. Following the video’s release on August 7, the famed designer took to Instagram to share a poignant message of grief, and suffering, but also of hope. Alongside a picture of his sketch, nestled between rubble and debris, the designer wrote, “Today, we were supposed to be excited! To celebrate a project in which we defied Covid19 to achieve!” Referencing the devastating blast of August 4, he continued “However, our country is mourning and our faces can’t even smile!” “Among the wreckage, the broken glass, and shattered offices lie the glowing colors of hope.” “For better tomorrows, we pray, we hope, we aspire,” the caption concluded.
Showcasing two designs, each comprising a corsetted bodice accompanied by a semi-detached train, Jebran’s photo provides an insight into his creative process, which came to life last week following the release of the music video. Shrouded by broken glass and the fallout from windows and ceilings, it also provides a particularly chilling insight into the reality of last week’s explosion— and the lives, homes, and livelihoods that have been destroyed in its wake. While hopeful, Jebran’s message has been applauded by fans and followers alike, many of whom have commended the power of fashion and art in the face of Beirut’s grief-stricken incident. One such comment by @kayishak reads, “Keep creating for Lebanon [and] show the world the mega might of the Lebanese people. Keep going, love and prayers to you all.”
With an expansive portfolio of collections ranging from capsules to evening wear, Jebran is well-renowned both in the Arab world and beyond. Having dressed a number of celebrities, including Normani, Zendaya, and his current muse, Cardi B at the Pre-Grammy Gala in January, and the BET Awards in August last year, the designer is revered for creating themed outfits that can both tell, and complete a story. Inspired by nature, architecture, and the phenomenon of futurism, the Lebanese designer believes that fashion “is a matter of perspective, admiring the greatness of culture, and acquiring traits that keep you moving.”