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Creative Space Beirut is the Free Fashion School That Gives Underprivileged Arab Designers a Chance

Creative Space Beirut class. Courtesy of Creative Space Beirut

Creative Space Beirut (CSB), a non-profit, free fashion school founded in 2011 by Parsons grad Sarah Hermez and former Parsons professor Caroline Simonelli, is hosting its annual live fashion show tonight at 7pm (9pm UAE). The show will showcase the final thesis collections of the school’s graduating class, as well as designs by some of the first and second year alumni. Following the students’ runway shows, which will feature a soundtrack by local musician Jawad Nawfal, the collections will then be exhibited and sold at Creative Space’s new studios in Beirut Souks. All proceeds will be reinvested in the school.

“Creative Space is for those who didn’t get the chance to show their talent. I wanted to give them this chance to sharpen their skills,” Hermez tells Vogue Arabia. The fashion school is among many of the platforms sprouting up across the region that aim to spotlight and nurture up-and-coming Arab design talent. The free fashion design school takes in students from all points of the Middle East, including those from Palestinian refugee camps and Lebanese towns such as Saida, Chouf, Tripoli, and Damour (where Elie Saab was born), who might not have the financial means to pursue their passion. “Our students come from different countries, religious backgrounds, and cultures, but one thing that unites us is our shared passion for fashion and design,” she adds.

Fatima Nourelddine. Photo by Tarek Moukaddem. Courtesy of Creative Space Beirut

Creative Space Beirut offers a three-year program, in which students are provided with comprehensive fashion training, before they begin to design their own garments, which are then displayed during an annual fashion show and made available for purchase to the public. “I studied fashion for a good reason. After graduation, I wanted my life to revolve around others.”

The annual live fashion show will take place in Foch Square, Foch St., Downtown on Thursday November 23. Doors open at 7pm. Fashion show begins at 8pm.

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