Renaissance is a new local fashion brand in Beirut.
It's the birth child of Cynthia Merhej: an illustrator, photographer, graphic designer, oh, and part-time DJ.
Her transition to 'fashion designer' was not a random stumble. Fashion design was something she'd been thinking about for a long time. She grew up in her mom's own atelier as a child, so she was well aware that getting into fashion was something that she could only do when she was truly ready.
She wanted to experience working in different fields, she wanted to try a 9-5 job. She curated exhibitions, she worked with furniture at Bokja. She wanted to learn how build a brand, and not just how make clothes.
At the end of the day, she knew all the experience she gained would lead to her own fashion label.
Discover the Collection
Cynthia photographed a number of features for Raghunter, so we know her quite well. When we learned that she launched Renaissance, we couldn't wait to see it. She came over to our offices one day, clothes and camera in hand.
She wanted to shoot us wearing the clothes in our surrounding neighbourhood. She brought a film camera, giving the shots a rustic vintage feel.
We're so happy and proud to help promote her work.
"Renaissance is something between a luxury brand and an indie brand. Each collection has a story and a concept. I things that are more transient, it's about the now."
"The kind of woman I'd like to dress would be a modern day renaissance woman. Multifaceted, doing many things in her life. I don't like to see women as stereotypes. I think a woman can be sexy and cute at the same time."
"I get a lot of my inspiration from history, and the Renaissance period was all about forward-thinking. I like being rooted and understanding the past, but utilizing it to keep moving forward."
"This collection has an affiliation with Lebanon, I'm based in Beirut. The starting point for this collection came from my DJing experience here, you know, where the electricity cuts in the middle of the set. It's a very strange experience so I appropriated the logo of Electricite du Liban. There's an awkward chaotic detail in the clothes. It comes from the fact that when the electricity cuts, something funny or unexpected can happen in the darkness."
"This is most fulfilling way I could live my life because on a personal level fashion design combines everything i'm interested in under one umbrella. I love the immediacy of fashion. On a bigger level i think making clothes is a noble profession. When I was growing up I saw how good clothes can empower women and can impact her life."
"The 5-year dream would be for the brand to have a global outreach. I want to take experiential moments and collections and do them differently all over the world. The space design, the communication, and the clothes themselves are all part of the experience of my collections. I'd also want to go more into the digital world. Above all, I want to try to keep offering high quality clothes at reasonable prices."
Renaissance Instagram: @renaissance_renaissance
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