Sally Sareiddine is the creator of LaLaQueen– a contemporary fashion label that specialises in handcrafted leather handbags. LaLaQueen ultimately aims to provide a trend setting and sustainable brand that compliments the global demand on maintaining and protecting natural resources by targeting progressive women who are influential in making a difference in today’s changing market.
Timeless, sophisticated and a handful of surprise: LalaQueen is specifically inspired by the meticulous work of master craftsmen with an exceptional regard for exquisite, ethically sourced local materials, Sarieddine’s vision gave life to the bespoke, retro-chic handbag label in 2009. Launching her online boutique via LaLaQueen.com, she subsequently became one of the first designer-owned online stores in the Middle East.
Her Dr. Bag has been an incredible success and been worn by Amal Clooney among other global celebrities. We caught up with Sally for a cup of coffee on her visit to Dubai to tell you, dear Velveteers, a bit more about yet another wonderful talented woman that has taken the fashion industry by storm.
What’s the story behind the name?
The name is fun and easy to remember, however when I was a kid people would tell me that I was in my own LaLa land. So for a while I spent a long time trying not to be in the LaLa land. Eventually I gave up and embraced the aspect of being different; I’ve accepted it and try to encourage others to be unique on their own individual level.
LaLa Queen leather is ethically sourced. Could you tell us more about it?
The leather is ethically sourced, which is locally produced and locally tanned, this way I am able to track down where the leather is coming from and whether the meat is used by the meat industry rather than being discarded. There are farms in Lebanon where the animals are treated better than in the bigger industries. The dyes that I use are natural and limit the chemical produce, due to the use of the natural materials in the dying process. I do my best to be as conscious as possible.
What’s your opinion on fashion being overtaken by the digital space?
Going digital is a double-edged sword. It highly depends on how the designer uses that space. I feel that it is very positive for my brand because the customers nowadays prefer to be connected with the designer directly. It is as if the design house becomes a news room where the stories and work is broadcasted to the customer directly. If it is used properly it is a huge advantage for the brand as it increases our interaction with the customer and translates into higher sales. Plus, as a customer, if you know exactly what you want, it is very convenient for them to just shop online and have it delivered to their door.
Do you think this behaviour changes depending on the region?
Online shopping originated in the West and it is only just now spreading into the market. I have noticed that more and more people from the countries such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE are shopping online. It is much easier for people to shop online nowadays and people are starting to trust this model more. I have started an online store four-five years ago and it was challenge because I had a concept that I had to convert and adjust to the digital space. Now we are opening a physical, actual space in Beirut that is not a store but more of an experience.
What is a muse behind your collections?
There is a story behind each and every collection. A story would inspire me and I do my best to channel it in an artistic and fun way. I hope to inspire others to look at the story, bring awareness. For example, Dr. Bag was inspired by a vintage doctor bag from Italy and I wanted to bring back friendliness, niceness to the world of today. You can still be cool with everything that you want and be whatever you want. Fashion is a lifestyle, it expresses your surroundings and that is unique.