24.7.12

1% Lebanese designers.


I went to Lebanon, and as I mentioned in my last post, I was going with a positive attitude to enjoy my whole vacation because I needed it. And I did, it was the best vacation I ever spent over there...between my friends' pub in jbeil - The best rock bar ever where we had our Extra Gathering - and my friends and family, it was great...nothing more to say. Only one thing caught my attention and I couldn't stop myself from writing about it ...

We went once to ABC Dbayeh - the whole concept of ABC dbayeh makes me want to puke by the way - the VIP cinema, the valet parking, the lips, the boobs, the chest hair and the cigars...but what triggered my anger was the "Lebanese designers" corner. I was curious to check out the work and encourage the designers by purchasing something from their collection, I grabbed a nice bag and asked the salesperson about the price. She said 250 $. I must have reacted with a weird facial expression as she told me " if you want something cheaper, you can check out these wallets, they are for 150 $ " Double weird expression, I thanked her and left...

I couldn't stop myself from thinking about the outrageous prices of the items in this section. Who are they selling them to? 99 % of the Lebanese population cannot afford these bags, and I mean some of the stuff are not even their designs, and I am sure the production costs are not that extravagant...

I would love to encourage the Lebanese designers but I won't pay for something quintuple it's value! Buying couches from "Souk el ahad" and selling them for 2000 $ is unacceptable. Putting a street name on a bag and selling it for 250 $ is not tolerated.

Instead of having affordable prices to empower the Lebanese production and the Lebanese artisans, well let's aim for the elite and to hell with the other 99% .
Too Bad !

14 comments:

  1. you know what i love about this blog is the fact that it speaks my mind
    really you said i always go to lebanese designers exhibitions and store and i can't imagine the prices, disregarding concepts that i won't be highlighting the prices are not affordable at all, starting from sarah's bag to earings made out of 50 lira and other stuff thank you for this post and i hope you start a new affordable product design
    peace

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    1. I have a startup idea about a cheap product design, well i hope so...Thank you for the comment Yara, I couldn't agree more :)

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  2. I couldn't agree with you more. As an artist myself (I do collage) I believe that art should be affordable to a everyone, or at least to a large portion of people. Unfortunately, we, in Lebanon, like the show-off and our "prestige" doesn't allow us to buy affordable designed pieces.

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    1. I am sure if these products are not that expensive, they would not be cool enought to buy. Too bad some people prefer buying the price instead of buying the product. Thank you for the comment Nisrine.

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  3. Spot on! It's disgusting how you can't even afford local production any more! bullshit!

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    1. Thank you for the comment Racha, i agree with you.

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  4. So let me get this straight, what makes you angry is that a limited production bag, which by your judgment is nice, (and probably handmade and designed by an internationally renowned fashion designer), is half the price of mass produced European brand made in China. But hey, if it's Lebanese it should be low quality sou2 2ahad thing right? and should be priced to match? after all we are renowned for cheap labor.
    The issue with all these blogs is that most of them are ran by expats, and while it's nice to get an external perspective on things, a month in Dubai is hardly qualified. i bet your first salary abroad went on to pay for a brand new maid for your mom...but wait that's so Lebanese nyakk....you don't need to go abroad to bitch about the important stuff that matter...but it's sad when bitching about your country becomes the cool thing to do.

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    1. Dear Anonymous, I wish my life abroad was only one month in Dubai, My mom never had a maid and never will, not because its so lebanese, but because it's Slavery. So first don't talk about something you don't know. Second,internationally renowned fashion designer, I doubt, please research your information before posting comments.
      Third, Our blog is 1/3 Expat, i think it's the first time you read Toom Extra, we don't bitch about lebanon, we talk about what everyone else is scared or too lazy to say...and most of my posts are about my love and loyalty to Lebanon, maybe you should check them before posting an irrational comment.

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    2. Actually, i don't think the point of the blog post was to undermine lebanese production and say that it's of poor quality ( but still, some lebanese designers do buy a lot of items from souk ahad, don' bother changing anything in them and then sell them)..the point was, when you're an up and coming designer, whether local or international, you should respect the fact that you need to climb up the ladder - whether that of price or fame- slowly but surely. now, the lebanese designers corner, though it has very promising designers that can reach international heights, is not there yet. so yes, a 250 $ bag from a promising lebanese designer, in these times of economic downturn, is ridiculous. first, because you don't have the import taxes and all the rip-offs that come with importing anything from overseas. second, because that's the price of a mid-to-high end brand bag. i'm sure a moschino bag is of just about the same quality as one by a lebanese designer, but it's a brand name, and from a marketing perspective, it costs more by default (i don't agree with this but that's how it functions for any luxury product). they shouldn't cost the same because if so, i can think of a million things, lebanese or not, that shouldn't be so expensive. Since we're being so blatantly ripped off by mass producers in china, at least our lebanese designers should empathize with the 99% of the population that can't afford overly priced items. this is too small of a market for the lebanese designers to target the rich niche. international brands do it because they have economies of scale, and they know that people will buy a Louis Vuitton no matter what. but they will think twice before investing big amounts in names they don't know.

      And bitching about Lebanon is pretty darn easy :).

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  5. Artistic talent and business skills are two traits that are rarely found in the same person!
    If they are able to find a buyer at this price then good for them else they will go out of business soon.

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    1. I only wish the best for them, my point is that the prices are very expensive and not affordable to more than 95 % of the lebanese population.

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    2. Thank you for your constructive comment Antoine.

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  6. All of this is insanely stupid, it feels like Lebanese people are unfortunately hypnotized; and that's not bitching about Lebanon, it is simply stating the facts.
    Why would anyone pay 4000 LL for someone to park his car 2 meters away from where he stands?? Or pay a fortune for a bag, local or not, while knowing that the cost is 10% of the price paid??
    It brings to my mind something:
    "لا تجعل ثيابك أغلى شيءٍ فيك، حتى لا تجد نفسك يوماً أرخص ممّا ترتدي"
    جبران خليل جبران

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  7. Hi I'm Reema and I design and execute handmade accessories. here's my answer for you:
    Because if you go for normal prices without technically putting high ranked prices people would go like :"are you intending to do another collection with higher prices?, because i want to get a gift for my cousin." And i was like:" yea sure i can do it if you enjoy being cheated on.."
    Unfortunately these are the Lebanese designers who are being able to put their items in the malls and in stores. whereas if you are a truly creative person who does not steal ideas and designs and whom your items' price range is affordable, 99% of the people will think your stuff are cheap and their quality is poor and no shop will accept to put your items for sale at its place.
    Now above all this, my accessories price are still very affordable and i'm so satisfied even though its not growing very fast. but i'd rather be honest with myself and with people then be a millionaire in 5 years because i'm a good cheater :)

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