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Assyla is a clothing boutique run by designers Al Hareth Haidar and Najwa Al Rifaii Sinno. The two are noted for their dedication to traditional craftsmanship, and for putting a twist on time-tested designs
Assyla was born when the designers began collecting old clothes and old fabrics, and started working with the Bedouin community around Baalbek .Sinno, an artist with a penchant for painting and drawing and Haidar had grown up in households that prized tradition, and the skill of ancient craftsmanship.
Assyla, which means the "source" or "origin" in Arabic, is a fashion house devoted to keeping the ancient traditions and techniques of the region's textiles trade alive, by constantly recycling vintage fabrics and refreshing artisans' skills, and bringing the old into the new.
Haidar and Sinno are Assyla's chief designers, and they work with women in Baalbek. These women create the painstaking details on each garment - from cutting, sewing, and stitching to elaborate embroidery, meticulous beading, and labor-intensive needlework. The work that provides a much-needed source of income to an otherwise economically deprived area is done by hand and at home, where the women are able to spend time with their families while working and pass on their skills to the next generation while doing so.
The clothes at Assyla capture the very essence of couture; all resolutely unique, some requiring up to 20 days to produce by hand, each taking the richness of the region's heritage and giving it a contemporary edge.