Remi Sabbah: The Wanderluster & Trendsetter
With her impeccable sense of style, the aura of elegance with which she carries herself, in addition to her hard work and strategic positioning, Rémi Sabbah is by all means an example to look up to of a successful, beautiful Lebanese woman.
Having already established a name of her own by earning a wide followers’ base, I am so pleased to share Rémi’s insights on some aspects of her life and her cutting-edge label Mlle Epaulette.
I’m personally in love with both her personal style and brand. Not only Rémi creates elegant cuts that make her pieces classic for every wardrobe, but also the hues and prints with which she works are always charming. And if you’re into a high dose of creative styling, traveling, beautiful scenery with conceptual fashion photography, make sure to check out her inspiring style and wanderlust blog Mlle Epaulette Girl; you will be hooked.
So here are Rémi’s own answers to my questions…
Tell us more about you; where are you from? Where did you go to school?
I was born and raised in Beirut. I attended a French school in Lebanon, then studied Public Relations and Radio/TV, where I got the chance to work as a journalist and reporter during my university days. Later on, I attended Fashion Design Schools in both Milan and Paris.
As for my work, you could call me a number of things such as stylist, designer, image consultant or art director, but I do not give much value to those labels, because I find them limiting. The scope of what I do is varied and blurred, since you can often find me working on an editorial for my collection and on designing new pieces at the same time. However, nowadays I seem to be spending more time than ever flying around the world, which enables me to maintain my inspiration, and to infuse these multicultural stimuli into all of my projects.
How did you decide you want to be a designer? Where did you study design?
I was practically born into fashion. My father used to be a window display designer for some of Beirut’s finest fashion boutiques and stores. He would bring home the latest fashion trends and designs for me to choose from -I guess you could say that I had my own personal stylist. I studied image consultancy and styling in Milano fashion school, I later studied fashion design in Paris and Cyprus.
Was your family supportive? How did you convince them?
My family completely supports my work. I never had to convince them that fashion was my call, after all it runs in the family. They told me that I was meant to follow the footsteps of my father and establish my brand in the fashion industry.
How did you come up with your brand name and logo?
I think it all started from my personal need to create my own style. My father was my stylist during my adolescence, but at one point I felt the need to create my own personal style. I guess I needed to feel independent and detach myself from my father’s taste. The name Mademoiselle Epaulette actually came to me in a dream; it encompasses my personal worldview that women have a strong powerful stance in society. The idea is to create a line that will empower women, and that will make them feel strong and beautiful.
What was the first design you ever sold?
It was a pink sequin jacket and it was purchased by a Saudi Arabian lady.
Which textures/material you like to use the most? Why?
Every season I use different materials, depending on what fabrics the suppliers bring to the latest fashion trade shows. The result is an inexhaustible variety of textures and designs; each collection is unique and completely different from the previous one. My all time favorite fabric would be lace, it is never out of fashion and it is worn in every season. There is endless capacity to lace, it is a unique fabric, glamorous, romantic, feminine and ultra chic.
What are your favorite colors to work with? Why?
I love pink, black and pastel colors. You will always find black in my creations but it is always used in a very different way, black is a timeless color, appropriate for any season and occasion. I think black expresses me in a way, I feel connected to this color. I think that every woman can relate to the alluring mysterious nature of black, it highlights femininity and has a fatal attribute that empowers women who chose to wear it.
Who are your favorite Arab, and international designer(s)?
My favorite Arab designers would be Elie Saab and Reem Acra, their designs are meticulously crafted to perfection. As for international designers I would choose Karl Lagerfeld, Jason Wu, Vera Wang, Tom Ford and Dolce & Gabbana.
What is “timeless” when it comes to fashion, in your opinion?
For me style is eternal while trends fade. It is your identity, your personal touch to how you carry yourself. Style goes beyond price and brands, it is an expression of individualism mixed with charisma!
What are the highlights of your latest collection?
My new collection is contemporary, feminine and edgy. The designs are flattering and glamorous. There is a sense of mystery and allure in the intricate lines and the lavishing details.
Who would you like to dress in Mlle Epaulette?
Ideally, I would like to dress a beautiful, fashionable strong woman whose personality would reinforce the spirit of the mademoiselle epaulette brand and community.
Where can we find your creations?
In our showroom in Cyprus, Limassol. You can also purchase any item online at my official webstore www.shop.mlleepaulette.com, and have the items delivered to you anywhere in the world. Alternatively, you can find Mlle Epaulette designs in selected boutiques and stores, such as Ambazour boutique Limassol. I am also working on international collaborations with some upscale stores in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Paris and London. All links will soon be available on our social media pages.
Where would you like to take your brand next?
I am very happy with where I am, I always look for more international collaborations, I constantly receive collaboration proposals from buyers, brand retailers and pr agencies so I am always looking out for a new business opportunity to invest in.
My personal style signifiers are high heels, black hats, fancy bags and tailored dresses.
The last thing I bought and loved was a pink Chanel bag.
And the thing I’m eying next is a pair of Balmain red leather pants.
The trends I’m totally fond of are structured bustiers with long kimonos and high waisted skinny trousers.
And the trend I just can’t feel I’ll ever embrace would be the androgynous style with chunky ankle boots.
My all-time favorite fashion idol is Anna Dello Russo.
The sights that inspire me are mostly beautiful natural sceneries like the beach but also architecture, paintings, interior design, vintage artifacts and edgy street style in cosmopolitan cities.
When I’m not working, I usually relax by the pool, hit the gym, take photos, play tennis, spend an afternoon laughing with friends, cook or read a book.
My favorite movie is “My Best Friend’s Wedding.”
The best thing about my job is that it’s fulfilling, it’s fun and creative, but also flexible, wherever I go I can take it with me.
If I wasn’t a fashion designer, I would be… Well since I already am a creative director, designer, stylist, makeover specialist, image consultant, blogger, and traveler I guess I would choose something fun such as a movie director or Rock Star.
The best gift I’ve received was a Porsche car on valentine’s day.
An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to…. Plenty of places come to mind but Santorini’s incredible view never escapes my mind.
The best souvenir I’ve brought home was my Grandma’s pearl handmade jacket.
In my fridge, you’ll always find cheese, wine, strawberries and all kinds of fruits.
An object I would never part with is my phone.
My dream dinner guest would be Audrey Hepburn.
To me, ‘ugliness’ is evil, war, stupidity, curiosity, obesity, closed minds, betrayal, discrimination and disrespect in all sort of ways.
And ‘beauty’ would be defined by simplicity, flowers, positive vibes, smiles, nature, weirdness, butterflies, Disney world, Paris, love, good energy, an old wise woman full of wisdom, an irresistible personality, intelligence, friendship and loyalty.