Lebanese designer behind Harithand, Harith Hashim expresses that for Fall 2021, he wanted to create something easy-to-wear in keeping with the brand’s fluid identity, but even more light with a sense of liberty and romance. Suiting and dresses take on elongated shapes, there is no nostalgia here, rather hope grounded in earthy hues. Hashim, who recently dressed actor Angelina Jolie, reflects on lessons and inspirations from Beirut and the new strides the brand is taking.
Like everyone in Beirut, you experienced deep trauma from the blast. Were you able to rest and take some time for yourself this summer?
It was a very hard year for all of us, losing my house, the office, many garments—everything. To top it off, the economic crisis and the revolution, all together, it felt like a never-ending nightmare. We didn’t have the option to rest. We launched our online website, we had to fulfill clients’ orders on time. This was a way to escape reality and focus on work. Being a creative director in Lebanon, at these times, is definitely hard work. We have to keep the same exact level and standards. The situation is not ideal, but I always remain optimistic, and I believe the beautiful days of Beirut are coming back.
With the collection preparations and between photoshoots, I haven’t really gotten much time for myself. Even with all this, I feel that I finally get to express myself in my designs with complete freedom, without the fear of ”not being suitable” for the market. Today, my designs really reflect how I see the world and how I envision the everyday woman.
What changes have you made to your production following August?
We recently moved into a new atelier, a beautiful traditional Lebanese space in Gemmayze, where we produced most of the collection. The good news, which I am very excited about, is that we are producing some specic garments in Milan, working with the best local craftsmanship. For the first time in our brand history, we have begun creating denim pants and belts sourced from premium leather and made in Italy. It’s definitely an exciting venture for us.
What inspires you today?
I am inspired by people’s drive to live and enjoy life again, this passion is giving me inspiration to design and work for a better tomorrow. To me, Beirut creates diamonds—the amount of pressure around you drives you to succeed. I find it as my way of escaping reality and this collection to me means a lot as it reflects the romance and beauty that Beirut needs to return to. The chaos and beauty of this country drives my inspiration!