A constant surprise. A passionate soul. A contagious spirit. These are the attributes that define the creative genius behind the handbag label Lala Queen. A self proclaimed nomad, Sally Sarieddine channels diversity and love into her designs to create totes for the explorers at heart. Sharon Carvalho speaks to her about transitions and the importance of sustainability
When did your journey with design begin?
It began in 2009 while I was in Beirut. I had just returned from my studies at Central Saint Martins in London. And while I had worked in various industries such as television, public relations and even advertising, once I took the leap to study fashion, there was no turning back.
You’ve transitioned through many job profiles but have always remained within creative spaces. What have you learnt from each aspect and how have the lessons worked their way into your designs and brand?
I always manage to connect the dots in everything that I do and weave a story that works for me. Through out my jobs, I have met a lot of people and learned skills from professionals in each industry. Applying these skills in different departments in the business has helped in bringing everything together.
At the time when I began designing, I decided to venture into bags because it was a challenge for me. And that’s what I enjoy the most, challenging myself.
How did you come up with the name?
The name is a build up of many stories. A part of it comes from my character and another part comes from working for around three months in an office space with two creative people. We would spend time brainstorming about different things, and one day, when I was in the car with a friend of mine the name just resonated in my head. It started as ‘LaLa the Queen’, and then we just dropped the ‘the’ and the rest is history.
What is your design process?
Initially, an idea inspires me and then I do some research and put different ideas and visuals together. I discuss it with my production team and we build a prototype. We then build on it until it ‘zings’.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I draw it from nature, people, geometry and stories.
Why is ethical fashion such an imperative part of your ethos?
It is important to me because I work from the heart. And taking responsibility is something that I feel very strongly about. I try to minimise waste where possible; the packaging is 100% recycled and the leather we source comes from Lebanese farms where we know the meat is going back to the meat industry. It’s important that as a home-grown brand, we give back to the community, support and empower local families in Lebanon.
Who is the LaLaQueen woman?
It could be any woman that connects and understands the brand.
What advice would you give to upcoming designers?
All I would say is do things from the heart, and be true to who you are.
A celebrity you would love to design a bag for
Amal Clooney. She has been a supporter of LaLaQueen and is often spotted with the Dr. Bag. I believe she embodies the progressive, intelligent and inspirational woman that the brand is targeted at.
The five things that are in your handbag
My keys, a perfume, my phone, my credit card holder and a notebook
Favourite ‘me time’ activity
Reading and listening to music