Whether it is the unique furniture, the welcoming designer or the cool clothes, clients and passers by that step into Boutique Hub in Sodeco want to know more about the concept, the designer and the story behind the pieces.
Cynthia Chamat, the dynamic lady behind the store concept, views it as a designer collaboration hub; a place where local designers can work together to create a complementary selection of quality, timeless pieces for a wardrobe. Since the boutique opening in 2014 she has collaborated with KinaMania, a Lebanese designer who proposes a line of artisan-crafted footwear. As of November 2015, another Lebanese designer brand will join at Boutique Hub, Second.st the socially conscious venture that has been revisiting the classic shirt.
Cynthia’s own brand of clothing, Urban Sense, plays with casual classics. You will find reversible capes, gilets that can be worn as tops and long floating dresses. The philosophy behind her brand is that it should cater to all shapes and sizes, and always ensure comfort. In fact, when trying on her clothes you can feel the softness of her fabrics, as she favors linen, merinos and cashmere. The designer will customize the clothes for each client. She cares to build trusting relationships with her customers who come back to her often to complete their wardrobes with her essential pieces. Next month, a selection of Men Clothing will also be available.
Looking back at the path that led Cynthia to create Urban Sense, the dots, which seem not connected, all actually make sense. She studied law in Paris then moved on to work as a Communication Consultant. This experience helped her take the leap into creating her own company when the need came and shaped the personalized approach she adopted in dealing with Boutique Hub’s clientele. Indeed, when Cynthia moved back to Lebanon in 2012 she started managing a couple of boutiques selling foreign merchandise. In Spring 2014, the merchandise she ordered did not arrive in Beirut. She found herself with an empty store. The story of Urban Sense began; Cynthia quickly set up to turn in a collection of her own selecting top quality fabrics and styles she had always been fond of. The collection was a success and Cynthia had found her calling.
Sodeco Sq. Block E, GF02
📞: +961 1 425240
📱: +961 3 272582
Personal styling appointments available
Price: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
From the streets of Gemmayze you can peep through the windows of Nafissa’s atelier. You will see dresses made of beige cloth hanging on metallic bars and piles of colorful, glittery or embroidered fabrics.
Inside the atelier, you can browse through more than 500 archived pieces. Nafissa’s style is ethnic modern, with a penchant for loosely fitted dresses, elegant vests, and sarouel pants. The concept is based on co-creation. Clients can select any of the linen prototype models. They can choose to make alterations such as add sleeves or change a round neck to V-neck. Then, they sit down with Nafissa and browse through fabrics’ books. Nafissa will make suggestions of textiles that fit together and clients can play with their garments, imagining checkered pockets, a silky interior and a velvet lining. The atelier team will then craft the garment conceived pairing the chosen style and fabrics. Nafissa also proposes a small selection of ready-made pieces in line with trends and seasonal color palettes for inspiration. Every season she hand picks top quality fabrics from the Première Vision fair in Paris that she combines with unique buttons and strings found in flea markets across the city.
Nafissa’s atelier story began during the Gulf War in 1990, in Kuwait. She fled the country with her son in search of a safe haven and settled in Paris for a while. In the City of Light, she found a place called La Droguerie, a make-your-own jewelry store offering multiple colors and shapes of beads. The peaceful pastime was a much-needed refuge in the midst of a tumultuous environment. She developed a taste for creation and when she moved back to Kuwait she started conceiving her own fantasy and semi-precious jewelry using beading and threading techniques. Her circle of clients grew and she moved to an atelier overlooking the Arabian Gulf. She began creating shawls using patchwork compositions of velvet and silk, and the clothes atelier concept started to grow in her mind. After several years of activity in Kuwait, she moved to her home country Lebanon in 2009 and her concept took life again in the delightful Gemmayze atelier. Her Kuwait clientele continues to visit her in Beirut and Nafissa also takes seasonal trips to present her selections in the country where it all started.
Zoghbi building, 2nd floor, Apt 6
Souk el Najjarine, Gemmayze
📱: +961 3 431105
Price: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆