The Lebanese fashion designer, currently on a trip to West Africa, shows us her first tableware collection. Discover the 7 questions we asked the fashion designer, Sara Melki.
Hello Sara, you are well known in Beirut as well as in Paris as a fashion designer, can you tell us a little more about your background?
I was born on April 18th 1986 in Lebanon. Since childhood, I have been immersed in the eclectic atmosphere of a family business focused on decoration and furnishings. I was imbued with this aesthetic environment and over the years I developed a strong taste for the plastic arts. In 2004, I joined the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA). Sculpture, painting, mosaic, ceramics, photography... everything goes! Let's say that I am a jack-of-all-trades! My bulimia and my passion for artistic fields naturally lead me to take an introductory course in a fashion workshop which proved to be a real trigger. And so in 2008, I left for Paris to do four years of training at the prestigious Studio Bercot, a place that has seen the great ones of today such as Isabelle Marant or Martine Sitbon. In parallel to my academic training, I refined my skills through various internships at the heart of major fashion houses, notably in the workshops of Malhia Kent, exclusive weavers for Chanel, where I learned the rigor and French know-how of the weaving trade. But it is in New York, at the famous Proenza Schouler duo, that I will hone my style, made of urban spirit and a clever mix of genres and materials (mix and match). In April 2012, I returned to Beirut to launch my first collection and opened my first showroom at Espace M, a concept store located in the Horch Tabet area, just a few minutes from the heart of the capital. In May 2016, I moved my boutique to Mar Mikhael, the Hub district in the heart of Beirut.
When did you decide to get into tableware and why?
I decided to launch my own tableware business in January 2020, after my trip to Dakar where I fell in love with their perfect, ethnic, eclectic art with such original and lively colors. I wanted to broaden my vision and provide my customers with a unique range of plates to decorate their tables and walls. It's up to them to make their own choice!
The names of your first tableware collections are "Je rêve donc je suis" and "Handmade" why ?
Since the age of 16 I have been dreaming and without dreaming I would not have been able to go on with my life. I have always written this phrase on my wall, on my schoolbag, on my phone... everywhere... and since then people recognise me thanks to this slogan. I sent Ibrahim (the artist I work with) my plates, my cartoon photo with my slogan, and the different colours I wanted to use and that was it!
This was my first theme for this collection of plates which are handmade with love, hence the word "handmade".
What impact has combining fashion and tableware had on your customers?
My customers are like me and always expect new and unique things from me. They were satisfied and happy to see a beautiful continuity of the Sara Melki brand that could accompany them at the table, which for me is the most important moment of the day, "gourmand" I am!
What does the ideal table look like according to you?
The table that is generously furnished, full of colour, life, and pleasure is the ideal table for me.
What were your sources of inspiration for these collections?
"I dream therefore I am" because without dreams life is useless! Pizzas are my guilty pleasure, corn is a unique taste that accompanies every meal, and burgers are a universal language!
Why did you agree to answer our questions?
Answering your questions was a real pleasure, because the founder, Marina Yrime Djedjemel, had confidence in our work, and she wanted to dream with us, by selecting some plates from our collection which will be available on her gallery in a few days.