FASHION | H&M Collaborates With Sandra Mansour For Its First Collection With An Arab Designer

In H&M’s storied collaboration history, there has never been one with an Arab designer, until now. Enter Lebanese designer Sandra Mansour with her trailblazing new collection that is an empowering demonstration of hope and resilience even in the most turbulent of times.

Inspired by a quartet of powerful female artists, Mansour dares to dream of an aesthetic that is both classic yet modern, romantic but edgy. Drawing on the exquisite beauty of nature and incorporating motifs such as sunflowers and other floral varieties onto a palette of earth-colored hues, the Paris Fashion Week – regular brings to life a sense of artistic expression that is synonymous with the runway. Yet, with ruffled hems, delicate fabrics, and tailored silhouettes, each piece is also a combination of effortless versatility that can easily translate from day into night – a trait H&M champions with many of their own designs.

Ahead of the ‘Fleur du Soleil’ collection debut in August, we caught up with Mansour to discuss which Lebanese painter served as one of her sources of inspiration, what she envisions the future of fashion in a post – Covid-19 world, and how she feels representing the region in H&M’s first-ever collaboration with an Arab designer.

What Was The Inspiration Behind This Collection And How Does It Reflect In The Designs?

While creating The Fleur Du Soleil Collection, there were two constant themes: nature and surrealism derived and projected by The Sun & The Sunflower. These two elements were used to inspire hope and light in these very strange and turbulent times. Seen in the use of thread embroidery on organza, flowy point d’esprit tulle and jacquard, were fabrics that permitted this collection to come to life. With ethereal silhouettes and neutral color tones, this collaboration stood true to both brands.

How Does It Feel To Be The First Arab Designer To Collaborate With The Brand?

It is groundbreaking for me in every sense of the word. It has been an overwhelming sensation. I am honestly still quite speechless, but very honored. Being recognized as a Lebanese designer where local artisanship, craftsmanship, and creativity has been celebrated worldwide, I am very proud to represent my country, my region, and women in the first – ever H&M collaboration with an Arab designer.

What Are Some Of Your Favorite Pieces In The Collection?

It’s actually really hard for me to choose, each piece is somehow a favorite. When collaborating we really thought about pieces that translate from day to night for any occasion. Be it a tulle layered dress or a short wrap dress, each piece served a purpose – a beautiful marriage between my ready-to-wear evening dresses and H&M’s cool day wear. But I guess if someone asked which piece I could wear all the time, it would be the Caftan, with either the Sunflower earrings or the chunky asymmetrical ones. I also loved the hoodie and the blazer.

How And Where Do You Envision The Collection Being Styled And Worn?

Everywhere, as broad as the sounds. But you have to have fun with each piece. I styled Summer Shirt with out Union skirt during the day. I also wore the Amata wrap dress to an engagement, and then I styled out Wind Skirt with out Moon t-shirt to a lunch. All these outfit I, of course, adorned with the accessories.  Whether it’s the earrings or rings, they always tend to finish the look! There’s a lot of agility in this collection, which I think speaks volumes to our world today. Each piece can be worn and crossed over from day to night, which shows the importance of flexibility in our lives. Nothing is as it was, so to have pieces that can do both, makes the job a lot more fun.

How Do You Envision The Future Of Fashion Post-Covid-19?

This is a tough one, I am not really sure.  But I think every drastic event causes a ripple effect of change, whether we want it or not. I also think Covid-19 gave people the chance to reflect and realize that the fast-paced beat of our world, and the fashion world to be precise, needed to take a step back. Be it in ways of how we should be more sustainable as an industry and more responsible, I do believe fashion and all industries will steer towards some sort of newness.

What Kind Of A Woman Is This Collection Made For?

All sorts; I never really like limiting myself or others. I think anyone who sees a piece and loves it should wear it. This collection was made with a lot of love and dedication, and I just want that message to come across. So any women who finds herself in a piece that is both ethereal, cool, soft, and strong should be wearing one.

What About The Female Artists Toyen, Dorothea Tanning, Lena Leclerq And Bibi Zogbe Inspired You To Create The Collection?

In every collection, I try to reference painters as painting is always a source of inspiration to me. When it comes to Toyen and Dorothea Tanning, though their art and self-expression, they allow their audience to think and that thought process always guides me. It serves as an outline to my creation process. I also always try and reference poets  or writers; it’s a beautiful thing that words can evoke. One of the most recurring posts in this collaboration is Lena Leclerq. She has the ability to influence one’s reality through self-awareness while immersing yourself in her writings. Finally, one of my favorite artists –a pioneer worldwide and specifically in Lebanon – is Bibi Zogbe commemorates her homeland through her painting of flowers found in Lebanon. Her dreamy and romantic representation of home is an ode, with a constant ability to inspire. All this to reiterate what Ingrid Pfeiffer says:’After all, surrealism is a state of mind rather than a style’.

We also chatted with H&M’s head of womenswear design Maria Ostblom to understand what it was about Mansour’s eponymous Beirut-based brand that first caught her eye, how she would style her favorite pieces from the upcoming collection, and what impact his unprecedented collaboration  will have in continuing to uplift designers from the Arab onto an international stage.

Why Is Sandra Mansour The Ideal Designer For This Collaboration With H&M?

When we first came across Sandra Mansour, we fell in love with all the storytelling behind her designs – they’re like modern fairytales. She’s probably best known for her dresses and, at first glance, her work is light and sensitive, but it’s also dark and decadent. Sandra herself exudes a lot of self-confidence, balancing this femininity with edginess throughout her designs, and that made her ideal for a collaboration.

What Are Your Favorite Pieces From The Collection And Why?

I’m very much like the concept of the collaboration – I like to mix the beautiful dresses with the more streetwear – inspired pieces. But my personal favorite is probably her effortless signature dress, which is like a relaxed tunic with volume sleeves and higher neck. You can wear it for onscreen socializing, to fancy parties, at home with jeans, you can even sleep in it! It’s just so wearable and sophisticated. When going out, I’d pair it with chunky boots and the cool asymmetric earrings from the collaboration, which I really love.

What Role Does This Collaboration Play In Supporting Arab Designers?

We’re  very proud to have customers from all around the world and always strive to be as diverse as possible so we’re thrilled to have a designer that’s based in Lebanon and represents that part of the world for this collaboration. So while it’s important for us to be representative, the collaboration is also about the energy and expertise of Sandra Mansour as a designer. She really expresses this feminine power through her clothes and we’re so happy that more H&M customers will be able to experience that.


BREAKING NEWS | Trump Pardons Ex – Aide Bannon But Not Himself Or Family

U.S. President Donald Trump granted clemency to former White House aide Steve Bannon as part of a wave of pardons and commutations issued in his final hours in office, but did not pardon himself, members of his family or lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Trump leaves office on Wednesday, when Joe Biden is sworn in as the … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Trump Pardons Ex – Aide Bannon But Not Himself Or Family

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince Receives Phone Call From French President Macron

RIYADH – – Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has received a phone call from French President Emmanuel Macron in which they discussed bilateral relations. ‘During the call, they reviewed relations between the two countries and opportunities for joint cooperation. Regional and international developments were discussed, and a number of issues of common interest … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince Receives Phone Call From French President Macron

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi To Reopen Qatar Embassy In Coming Days – Saudi Minister

RIYADH – – Saudi Arabia expects to re-open its embassy in Qatar in the coming days, Saudi’s foreign minister said on Saturday, following a U.S.-backed détente last week in a three – year-old dispute between Arab states. It is just a matter a logistics, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan told journalists in Riyadh … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi To Reopen Qatar Embassy In Coming Days – Saudi Minister

SPORTS | Formula One Season Set To Start In Bahrain After Australian Grand Prix Postponement

MILAN – – The start of the Formula One season has been delayed after the Australian Grand Prix was postponed from March to November because of the COVID-19 pandemic.The Australian race in Melbourne has been rescheduled from March 21 to November 21. The Chinese GP has also been delayed but no new date has been … Continue reading SPORTS | Formula One Season Set To Start In Bahrain After Australian Grand Prix Postponement

BREAKING NEWS | Investments In Saudi Arabia’s Economy Will Reach Six Trillion Dollars: Crown Prince

AL ULA – – Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman says major investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia will amount to six trillion dollars over the next ten years, including 3 trillion dollars in investments in new projects, within the framework of the opportunities provided by Vision 2030, reported Saudi Press Agency. Saudi Arabia’s Crown … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Investments In Saudi Arabia’s Economy Will Reach Six Trillion Dollars: Crown Prince

TRAVEL | Saudi Arabia Warns Citizens Against Travel To 12 Countries Without Approval Over Virus Fears

RIYADH – – Saudi Arabia warned on Wednesday its citizens against travel without prior approval to 12 countries where the coronavirus pandemic is still not under control.The Interior Ministry said the countries were Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iran, Turkey, Somalia, Armenia, Congo, Afghanistan, Venezuela and Belarus.It added that the same permission applies to other countries … Continue reading TRAVEL | Saudi Arabia Warns Citizens Against Travel To 12 Countries Without Approval Over Virus Fears

ROYALS | Oman Sultan’s Eldest Son Dhi Yazan To Succeed Him, Becoming First Crown Prince

RIYADH – – Oman’s Sultan Haitham will be succeeded by his eldest son Dhi Yazan, according to a new basic law published on Tuesday that creates a new position of crown prince and established succession from ruler to the eldest son. Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al-Said has announced plans for the constitutional change on Monday, … Continue reading ROYALS | Oman Sultan’s Eldest Son Dhi Yazan To Succeed Him, Becoming First Crown Prince

SOCIAL MEDIA | YouTube Suspends Trump’s Channel After Violating Policy On Inciting Violence

Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube said on Tuesday it has suspended Donald Trump’s channel as it violated policies for inciting violence after last week’s assault on the U.S. Capitol by the president’s supporters. Online platforms and social media companies are distancing themselves from, and taking action against, those that encouraged or engaged in the violence in Washington, … Continue reading SOCIAL MEDIA | YouTube Suspends Trump’s Channel After Violating Policy On Inciting Violence

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince Congratulates Romanian PM, On Winning President, Parliament Confidence

RIYADH – – HRH Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, has sent a cable of congratulations to Prime Minister of Romanian Florin Citu on obtaining the confidence of the Romanian President as well as the parliament for the office of the prime minister.  HRH … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi Crown Prince Congratulates Romanian PM, On Winning President, Parliament Confidence

BREAKING NEWS | Saudi King Congratulates Romanian PM, on Winning President, Parliament Confidence

RIYADH — The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud sent a cable of congratulations to the Romanian Prime Minister Florin Citu, on obtaining the confidence of His Excellency Romanian President as well as the parliament for the office of the Prime Minister. In his cable, the King expressed sincere … Continue reading BREAKING NEWS | Saudi King Congratulates Romanian PM, on Winning President, Parliament Confidence

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s