Her designs are fabulously whimsical and beautifully inspired by art and poetry. She is an entrepreneur who bravely ventured into the fashion industry in 2010 and taken it by storm ever since. We speak to the incredibly gifted designer Sandra Mansour to learn more about her process, her inspirations, and just how the strange year of 2020 has changed her perspective.
Your designs are quirky, whimsical and unique. What are your main influences?
So many things, but I would say mainly paintings, painters, and writing. I love poetry and I love reading novels. I love escaping in these two very different realities, which permit me the opportunity to dream! These are both integral in my thought process, in both my day-to-day and when I want to be inspired.
If you had to choose a certain fashion era to travel back in time to, which would it be and why?
The 80’s. However, when creating my collections, I’m never really limited to what inspires me. I think all that surrounds me is a source of inspiration. I love immersing myself in paintings, and poetry always evokes a thought process I was never off.
What were the greatest obstacles you faced when you first started out? How did you overcome them?
Venturing out on my own for 10 years, but it was a way of expression, and I was able to combine two passions of mine: art and fabric.
I always wanted to be a painter, but I also always felt there was something missing, fashion design combined it all.
Lebanon has witnessed plenty of difficult moments the past couple of years. How do socio-political shifts influence the fashion industry in your opinion?
I think every drastic event causes a ripple effect of change, whether we want it or not.
I also think COVID-19 gave people the chance to reflect, and realize that the fast-paced beat of our world, and the fashion world to be precise, needed to take a step back.
Be it in ways of how we should be more sustainable and responsible as an industry, I do believe fashion and all industries will steer towards some sort of newness.
How has the fashion industry changed since you started out in 2010 and until now?
We are slowing down, for the better.
To create more consciously driven collections is imperative. We need to give back and consider our planet.
In your opinion, how can inspiring female entrepreneurs such as yourself motivate the younger generation of girls to follow their dreams?
I think this year has taught us how unexpected forces can come into play, and influence our lives in ways we never thought possible. For that, we need to be open to newness and change, and remember to change, no matter how difficult new opportunities prosper, and new visions come to life. Move forward with an open mind.
This has been a difficult year for the fashion industry. How has 2020 changed the way you work?
2020 broke our comfort zone! It made us want to revive our lives all over again.
What are your future plans?
It’s a surprise!