Rami Kadi vows to donate proceeds from couture dress to help rebuild Beirut: 'We’re all in this together'

The designer pledged to give money raised from sales to an organisation fixing windows and doors in residents' home

Rami Kadi will donate proceeds from sales of this couture gown to Lebanese organisation Bebw’shebbek. Courtesy Rami Kadi
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Their ateliers and offices may have been shattered by this month's devastating explosion in Beirut, but the resolve of the city's designers is unshakeable.

Following the tragic blast on August 4, which killed at least 177 people and left thousands more injured or homeless, many of Lebanon's couturiers have found ways to support those affected.

From Zuhair Murad creating a limited-edition T-shirt to Marzook pledging to donate a portion of profits, a number of labels around the country have come up with initiatives to benefit charities working on the ground.

The latest is Rami Kadi, the Lebanese designer whose eponymous label has been worn by Kendall Jenner, Rachel McAdams and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.

The Esmod-trained designer has announced proceeds from sales of a couture dress will go towards Bebw’shebbek, an organisation focused on rebuilding the doors and windows of some 80,000 homes in Beirut.

A pale-blue, ornately embroidered gown from Kadi's autumn / winter 2020 collection has been reduced from $16,000 (Dh58,770) to $12,000 (Dh44,078), with the designer vowing 100 per cent of proceeds will go to the charity.

Couture is process by which designs are crafted entirely by hand, hence the high price tags attached to collections.

Womenswear label Mira Mikati has also pledged to donate 100 per cent of profits from its spring / summer 2020 collection to Bebw’shebbek.

This week, Kadi gave a glimpse of his Clemenceau showroom, revealing the boutique's broken windows, with glass and debris strewn across the floor.

"Fall down seven times, get up eight," the designer captioned the video.

"Beirut was destroyed seven times and rebuilt, we will build it again. We’re all in this together, hand in hand."

The designer is one of a number of Beiruti couturiers whose ateliers were affected by the explosion.

Zuhair Murad's 11-storey office was devastated, claiming the designer's archives and collections, while Elie Saab's home and office were wrecked.

Design duo Azzi & Osta's atelier was ripped open by the blast, leaving the building's facade with gaping holes. Couturier Rabih Kayrouz, meanwhile, suffered a small brain haemorrhage and two clots as a result of the blast, as well as needing 22 stitches.

Kayrouz's atelier was fewer than 900 metres from the site of the blast.

"Words are not enough. We will not forget. We will judge. We will rebuild ... And we will dance," the designer wrote in a poignant social media post following the disaster.