Along Gemmayze’s bars, old houses and mysterious stairs stand a handful of shops that add to the artistic and homey feel of the neighborhood. I had a blast doing my first neighborhood fashion tour and meeting the very welcoming shopkeepers. Below is a little map of what I found
Rana Salam – Graphic designer and art director, Rana has applied her imagination to prestigious projects from restaurants and stores to books and magazines as well as exhibitions in Europe or the Middle East. The space which is both her design studio and boutique is a glimpse into her world of pop with a touch of nostalgia for Beirut. You will find coveted home accessories displayed among found objects that by themselves already command a visit to her fabulous universe.
C by Cynthia – In a little space on Mar Maroun street, Cynthia displays her creations; urban handbags in acidulous colours. Her key model Lucy comes in large, small or micro size and resembles a delightful candy. Her little secret? Cynthia’s husband family business is a leather leader that has been in the trade for 60 years.
Garo Hakimian – Serge, the owner of this hardware store is passionate about vintage objects and decided to sell them along with the hardware (although he admits he has a hard time separating from them). Antique wall clocks, camcorders, trunks, telephones or sewing machines make up a unique space in the boutique that was founded by his father Garo in 1943.
Micha Melucha – funky clothes with a vintage vibe Micha Melucha couples finds from her travels with her own playful designs. Expect bohemian style dresses, shorts with colorful pearls or Mickey Mouse adorned jeans.
Klōk – This store adds an edge to the Beirut fashion scene! Avant-guarde yet casual and laid-back, Klōk holds a designer selection from Japan, Korea, Belgium, Italy, the US or UK. Sheer embroidered socks, daring handbags and clutches in unique shapes and materials or jackets with smooth fabric; every item is a unique find that you will make you go -oh wow!
Ginette – This concept store is one of the only in Beirut to propose a restaurant section coupled with a shopping area. In the polished stalls you will find beauty products, candles, tableware and plants to decorate your home.
Ideo Parfumeurs – Lebanon’s only perfume house has the scent of a Mediterranean love story. Orange Blossom, jasmine, rose or lavender, the delicate creations are composed by the wife Ludmila, the ‘nose’, along with her husband Antoine who infuses inspiration from his travels and overseas the business. The perfumes are produced in Grasse, the land of perfume, while soaps are made locally.
Gems Jewellery by Antoine Oueiss – A self-taught goldsmith since 1992, Antoine Oueiss mastered the techniques of jewelry making to better challenge them with his daring designs. He opened Gems boutique, a play of words with Gemmayze and precious stones, in 2006. He combines ancient styles such as byzantine inspirations with refined modern skills to create one of a kind pieces breaking the traditional codes: silver encrusted on gold, side diamond setting or even rings designed with coffee beans.
Deviations – A splash of colour welcomes you into the whimsical imagination of designer Danièle Kiridjian. A few years ago, she partnered with store owner Amer Jabali breathing her romantic inspiration in the Deviations collection. Dresses are infused with an elegant yet fantasy vibe to galvanize parties and weddings. And these fairy tales (dresses) are Made in Lebanon.
On May 27 to 29, the Cabriolet Film Festival will take over the St. Nicolas stairs with outdoor film projections.
Other cool stuff you can find in Gemmayze (mentioned in previous posts on the blog):
-Lara Khoury’s atelier
-Phil and Joe Barbers – grooming salon for men