The Beirut blast on August 4 has left a legacy that will remain for years. More than 200 people have been killed, up to 300,000 people have lost their homes, and the city is left reeling from an estimated $15 billion (Dh55bn) worth of damage.
To help the people of Lebanon move forward, a sustained effort is required, and now regional designers are stepping forward to help offer support in the best way they know – by raising money through their work.
A number of designers and companies are creating pieces specifically for this disaster, or repurposing items that already exist in their collections, to help raise vital funds.
Below, we've rounded up some of the labels using their designs to raise awareness of the city's devastation, as well as money.
The menswear label founded by Sheikh Khalid Al Qasimi, the late son of the Ruler of Sharjah, has already been vocal about Lebanon in the past. As part of its autumn / winter 2017 collection it released a “Don’t Shoot” T shirt, with the words written in Arabic, French and English.
This motif was first used in Lebanon in 1982, during the Israeli-Lebanese war, and worn by journalists. Handed out to those covering the fighting, the hope was that the words would ensure the press were not shot at by any of the innumerable factions.
Now, with Beirut destroyed once again, the company, helmed by the founder's sister Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, has vowed to donate all proceeds of the sale of the T-shirt throughout August to the Lebanese Red Cross. The items is priced at £115 (Dh550).
2. Ali Cha’aban x Nuna Atelier
Lebanese artist Ali Cha’aban has teamed up with UAE ready-to-wear company Nuna Atelier to launch a T-shirt inscribed with the motif “4-8-2020”, chosen to represent the date of the explosion. The sale of the tops, which are priced at Dh200 each, will raise money for the Lebanese Red Cross.
“Following the recent incident in Beirut, we have collaborated with Saudi-based Lebanese artist Ali Cha’aban in a heartfelt initiative," Nuna Atelier wrote on its social media account. "The ‘4-8-2020’ Tee is a tribute to all the innocent martyrs who lost their lives in the explosion, and a token of hope to all those still fighting for justice. May God protect you and be with you always.”
Further afield in New York, Lebanese-Syrian twins Kelly and Mark Shami have created three items to raise money for those affected by the explosion. Through their eponymous jewellery line, Shami, the pair have designed a tote bag, baseball cap and T-shirt, emblazoned with Beirut, written in Arabic. With prices starting at $40 (Dh147), 100 per cent of proceeds will be donated to the Lebanese Red Cross.
On its social media page, the brand told its followers that “Lebanon needs our help".
"On top of an ongoing nationwide economic downfall, political crisis and pandemic, they have experienced a devastating explosion that currently has families torn apart. Hospitals are overcrowded and underfunded," the post read. "A nation on the brink of collapse needs us more than we know.”
The Beiruti handbag company is vowing to donate a percentage of all sales during August to the Kuwait Red Crescent Society, an NGO that is already on the ground in Beirut. Prices for clutches start at $715 (Dh2,625).
“In solidarity with our friends and family in Lebanon, we will be donating a percentage of our sales during August to all those affected in Lebanon’s devastating incident through KRCS,” the label said on its social media pages.
5. Talar Nina
Another Beiruti label, Talar Nina, has created a series of four tote bags to raise funds. All inspired by the city, these cotton bags vary in design from vintage 1960s Lebanese stamps to contemporary line drawings. Declaring itself as proudly “Beirut made", the label vows that money raised will go to Impact Lebanon and the Lebanese Food Bank.
Although launched just days ago, these have completely sold out already.
6. Also, Freedom
The Los Angeles clothing brand has committed to giving 100 per cent of proceeds from sales of three items to Beirut.
Founded in 2017 by former Dubai resident Dahlia Hage, the company 'Unify’ dress, ‘Baby Girl’ T-shirt, and 'Free Generation' T-shirt, which bears wording in Arabic, will raise funds for the stricken city. Prices start from $73 (Dh268).
7. Louis Vuitton
French house Louis Vuitton has vowed to donate $400,000 to Unicef’s work in Beirut. As part of a long-term commitment to the organisation, Vuitton has been selling the women’s silver Lockit necklace, which has recently been joined by the men's bracelet version, designed by Virgil Abloh.
Proceeds from the sale of both items support Unicef’s work, which has now shifted focus to help vulnerable children and families in Beirut. The necklace costs €620 (Dh2,686), of which €221 (Dh957) goes directly to Unicef.