H&M donates $100,000 to Lebanon as collection with Beirut's Sandra Mansour debuts

The high-street favourite made a sizeable contribution to the Lebanese Red Cross to celebrate its first collaboration with an Arab designer

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H&M's groundbreaking collection with its first Arab designer was set to be unveiled on August 6 – and then the explosion struck.

The devastating blast at Beirut's port on August 4, which claimed more than 170 lives and left thousands more injured and homeless, also put pause to the high-street retailer's collaboration with Sandra Mansour.

And now, weeks after the tragic incident, the Swiss-Lebanese designer's collection for the Swedish clothing giant has finally landed in stores and online.

To mark the occasion, and to pay tribute to Mansour's home city, H&M has donated $100,000 (Dh367,000) to the Lebanese Red Cross.

"As Lebanese, we are collectively and tirelessly working to rebuild our beautiful city and country," Mansour said on Instagram.

"We are profoundly touched by H&M and the entire team's support and understanding during these unprecedented times. Their generous donation of $100,000 will go to the Lebanese Red Cross to support first responders and victims of this tragic event.⁣ We are truly touched and thankful."

The Beirut atelier of Mansour, who established her eponymous label in 2010, was severely damaged by the explosion, with windows smashed, fabrics destroyed and debris strewn across workshops.

The couturier's 15-piece collection for H&M features delicate lace dresses, ultra-feminine ruffled tiers and romantic flowing silhouettes.

Mansour named the collection Fleur du Soleil after she became fascinated with the way a sunflower follows the sun from day into night. That inspiration can be seen in dot, floral and sunflower motifs throughout the designs.

In the past two decades, H&M has produced lines with the likes of Stella McCartney, Lanvin, Sonia Rykiel, Erdem, Versace and Alexander Wang, but its collaboration with Mansour marked the first collection helmed by a designer from the region.

"During these dark times, we are heartened by both H&M⁣ and the world's support for Lebanon," said Mansour in a separate Instagram post as the collaboration was launched.

"We believe in the power of light and spreading it."

Sandra Mansour's H&M collection is available online here