Specialising in handmade leather handbags, LaLaQueen have launched their online boutique in conjunction with their new collection. We speak to the designer behind the brand, Sally Sarieddine…
What’s the inspiration behind LalaQueen?
LaLaQueen is a contemporary fashion label that specialises in handcrafted leather handbags. Alongside this I aim to create a trend setting, authentic and sustainable brand that complements the global focus on maintaining and protecting natural resources.
Where did the label start? Take us from the beginning.
It started as a hobby after I completed fashion design courses in Central Saint Martins in London. In 2010 I designed and produced a collection of bags with the help of my friend at the time, Lana Chbaro, which were then noticed by my friend Nouf Al Saud, who invited me to Saudi to exhibit my collection. After selling out the collection at the exhibition I decided to focus my attention on starting a handbag label. My life coach at the time, Michelle Chedotal, helped me unify my vision whilst Narimane Kurdi, a luxury marketing consultant guided my business decisions.
What would you say is your design philosophy?
Being mindful in designing timeless and durable pieces that are unique and simple.
Tell us about the iconic Dr. Bag design – what inspired it?
There is a story in everything that we design. The design for the Dr.Bag stems from a little personal story; I was inspired by a vintage bag that I spotted in an old marketplace, in a little vintage boutique, in Florence during one of my travels to Italy. The bag belonged to a doctor in a village in Florence. I came up with my own interpretation and, today, the Dr.Bag is our best-seller.
You are an advocate of ethical sourcing. Why is this important to you?
Because the fashion industry causes a lot of pollution, so being mindful about the process and making choices that little by little can make a difference. I remain mindful about where I source all materials to create timeless pieces which can be enjoyed for a very long time. I do my best to minimise waste where possible, LaLaQueen packaging is 100% recycled and the leather we source is from Lebanon. Our handbags are assembled by highly skilled local artisans who operate under healthy working conditions and we are committed to maintaining strong relationships with our suppliers and their employees. It’s important that as a home-grown brand, we ensure we give back to the community to support the local families of Lebanon. As LaLaQueen continues to grow, so will our focus on sustainability.
What is your process of creating a customised and sustainable bag? How long does it take?
Once we get a customised order we get personal with our client. Sometimes the customisation is only in colours and little details of names and initials, then I brief the production team with the order. Sometimes the customer asks for something very specific, that can take a longer time to process. So in terms of time it depends on the order, and the client – the process can take between three weeks and three months.
What does sustainability in fashion mean to you? How has it made a difference in the world around you?
Sustainability, responsibility and ethical trade are mindful ways to do things. And I think it’s time for the world to step into the “Mindful Age.” To live in a way where we respect and genuinely care about our environment. By talking about it we spread awareness and plant seeds and with practice we can shift business dynamics to a much kinder and better place for all.
What can consumers do to support sustainability?
You can do so much, recycle! Ask where you can recycle your empty make-up cases, and bottles. Give away things that you no longer need. Don’t use a plastic bag every time you buy something from a supermarket. Use environmental friendly products, decrease waste, And also Invest in products and brands that choose sustainability in their business module by becoming a regular customer.
Amal Alamuddin has used the bag – how did that feel to see her wearing it?
It was amazing! Amal Alamuddin is an inspiration and is the progressive, modern and strong woman that the LaLaQueen brand is geared towards.
Getting To Know Sally…
Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired by books, interesting people, and travel.
Which are the must-have bags in a woman’s
A classical and timeless piece for sure.
What is the next step for your brand?
We are opening our first flagship store in Beirut which we are very excited about!
What has designing taught you about
yourself? What has it taught you about life?
Design has taught me a lot of things. The most important is to know when to be ‘stubborn’, and yes, everything that I do influences what I feel for life. I am still in the process of learning new things every day, so as a designer I am always open to learning and exploring more about the world.
LalaQueen is available at House of Fraser, Yas Mall,