Interview

Johnny Fadlallah, the godfather of fashion in Beirut

A unique perspective of fashion.
By Janine Ayoub
May 25, 2016

A charmer, an invincible fashion lover and a passionate of Beirut, Johnny Fadlallah is a key figure of the Lebanese fashion scene. In his life, fashion is a must. Johnny Fadlallah is also the man behind the Fashion Week in Beirut; he intends to make it one of the most important events in the industry of international fashion. Interview.

 

Who are the international designers participating at La Mode à Beyrouth?

National participants have already proven themselves internationally, such as Georges Chakra, Robert Abi Nader, Dany Atrash, Sigrid Freiha, Hussein Bazaza and Chadi Zeineddine. As for international guests, we have Just Cavalli, Elisabetta Franchi, Jeans Couture and Patrizia Pepe.

 

You're also hosting the competition "Beirut Young Fashion Designers", what do you have planned for us this year?

This edition is under the patronage of the International Lebanese designer Georges Chakra with a high quality jury, from Papou Lahoud to Annabella Hilal, Diala Makki... This competition sheds light on young designers that nobody has ever supported, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture. Last edition's winner, Aboud Jammal, will be opening the Fashion Week in Tunisia in April and will lead the Beirut Young Fashion Designers 2016 to present his collection specially designed for the event.

 

What does Beirut mean to you?

Throughout my career, I have received countless job offers overseas and I've always said no. It's true that we go through ups and downs, but I sincerely believe that what can be done in Beirut could never be done elsewhere. I strongly believe in this country and I raised my children in the same spirit. We want future generations to tell how we made Lebanon, the Switzerland of the Middle East, the capital of fashion.

 

What is your definition of luxury?

We're doing our very best to prove that luxury in Lebanon is better than luxury anywhere else and this is why we insist to expose our fashion activities, to show that luxury comes from within the country. It was born in us.

 

What is your perspective of fashion?

I make a living with this field and I dream of making it the most luxurious in Beirut and it has been that way for over 22 years. I've invested a lot of myself in this field. My two daughters have also inherited this passion, Samantha is a graphic designer and Cynthia is a fashion designer, they run the company with me. My wife, Zeina Salame Fadlallah, who has her own beauty salon, is the guardian angel behind my determination.

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