Through a new creative film, Lebanese designer Nicolas Jebran has shared a message of hope for his country as it undergoes unprecedented turmoil. As one of the designers whose atelier was destroyed by the blasts in Beirut on August 4 that claimed the lives of thousands, Jebran’s message comes from a place of personal pain and seeks to encourage positivity.
The film by Lebanese director Elie Fahed shows a few of Jebran’s revisited pieces along with some from his capsule collections in vibrant shades of green, pink, and blue punctuated with scenes of similar colors being hand-painted on a blank canvas. In the video, the designer’s message is as vivid as the hues themselves: “More colors in the middle of the dark.”
Speaking to Vogue Arabia, Jebran described the damage his atelier and work suffered. “The atelier was a mess; shattered glass everywhere. Dresses ruined and partially destroyed,” shared the designer. He added: “We thank God at every moment that all of our staff is safe. We are used to the material damage — it is not our first experience. We have seen it before in the Verdun explosion; our showroom and atelier were destroyed in 2007… The emotional effect this time, however, was severe. Something still aches and we are trying our best to get out of it while lifting our people up as well. We are not used to being quitters and we never will be!”
According to Jebran’s team, the designer had been working on a couture winter collection at the time of the blasts. Although emotionally and inspirationally affected by the disaster, Jebran’s unwavering commitment to his craft will result in the collection’s release in about ten days. “We have never lost hope,” said the designer’s team. “He [Nicolas Jebran] has many projects in mind and is working hard on putting them into action,” they continued. “We look forward to an end to all the trouble we are going through,” they said referring to the issues in the fashion industry, both local and global, due to Covid-19. “We pray things will get better soon…”
As for the upcoming fashion weeks, which are going ahead with a combined format of physical and digital, Jebran’s participation is uncertain for now. “It all depends on the global situation and our priorities,” shared the designer’s team. “We have to set things straight in terms of recovering the atelier and getting back on track. Such participations require emotional fitness and ease of mind to keep the standard we have set. So let’s hope for the best.”