A Cut Above: Fashion Talks with Designer Sandy Nour

by LBTAdmin
Soulful and sophisticated are two words that describe Sandy Nour and her exquisite gowns. The Lebanese fashion designer has remained rooted in Lebanon while establishing a name for herself in Dubai and beyond. We caught up with the entrepreneur at her Beirut atelier to learn more about her unique approach to fashion and what she has up her sleeve for 2025.

What can you tell us about your professional journey?

People might be surprised to learn that I studied business at LAU and then did my MBA. I opened my first shop in Kaslik, Lebanon, in 2003. Back then, I used to buy clothing from Italy and Paris and sell it.In 2004, I decided I wanted to go into fashion design. So, I applied to Instituto Marangoni in Milan and was accepted for a year of intensive master’s in fashion design. I then returned to Beirut to open my atelier. It was very small; I had around 30-40 dresses in my first collection. The Prêt à Porter Paris trade exhibition was a turning point. I was accepted and did very well in the show. Department stores would ask for my designs, so the operation was more wholesale.

In 2017, I decided I wanted to launch my own label. It was a very tough time. I opened my flagship store in Saifi, Beirut, in July 2019, but I only got to enjoy it for a few short months. The revolution started in October 2019, and the location of the boutique put us at the heart of the protests. Eventually, I took the decision to close and moved to Dubai. The pandemic ensued.

Finally, in 2021, I opened a showroom in Dubai Design District. That marked a huge shift in my career.

What inspires your designs?

Every season, before working on the collection, I head to Paris and go from one art gallery to another. Paris is my city; if one day I were to live somewhere else, it would be there. My soul is in Beirut and in Paris.

Why do you think Lebanese designers have enjoyed such success in the fashion world?

In my opinion, it’s the combination of European and Oriental influences. The largest market is the GCC, so this mix of both tastes gives Lebanese designers an advantage. Customers in the GCC always look for a little bit extra, and Lebanese designers are good at delivering. I have to say that Lebanese fashion is on the map because of Elie Saab. He paved the way for countless designers and elevated the name of Lebanon in the world of fashion.

What do you love most about Lebanon?

I love Lebanon’s soul. The charming spots, cozy restaurants and coffee shops, especially those in Gemmayze, are things I miss. There’s also something special about being in the mountains: the greenery and fresh air.

What can we look forward to from Sandy Nour in 2025?

We are expanding our operations. We are almost done with a cutting-edge factory in UAE. It will be one of the biggest factories of its kind in the region. Hopefully, we will be opening more boutiques next year. The showroom and atelier in Beirut will remain. Further ahead, we aim to expand in the GCC. It’s an exciting time.

If you enjoyed reading this article on Sandy Nour, check out our interview with fiber artist Adrian Pepe.


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