For Lebanese Fashion Designers, Couture Must Go On – Refinery29

The country wasn’t always like this. After Lebanon gained independence from France, it was known as the Paris of the Middle East, and both Europeans and other Arabs flocked there for holidays. The capital, Beirut, in the 1950s, ‘60s, and ‘70s, with its Monte Carloesque sea-lined shopping streets, looked like a different city — and Lebanon as a whole was the beacon of fashion and culture in the Middle East. This Mediterranean-kissed coastal nation was the It place to come to and enjoy life, buy the latest designs, and party. Fashion for the region was headquartered in Lebanon, not in Dubai, where it is today. But, for the past 40 years, Lebanon’s attraction has been declining for tourists. The end of its 15-year civil war marked the beginning of rampant corruption inside the country, and that, coupled with complicated sectarianism, has stifled the Lebanon that was.

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