Tell us about where your brand is now.
The Sandra Mansour team is getting bigger; we’re growing slowly but surely, with the promise of greater things to come.
It’s been almost two years since we first profiled you - what has changed and what is the same?
Nothing is quite the same, the changes have come in many forms. We have built an in-house creative team which is constantly thriving to produce signature Sandra Mansour prints and embroideries. We have also expanded to different markets, mainly North America and Europe, whilst creating capsule collections with specific retailers like Moda Operandi. In 2017 we will also be creating a contemporary bridal collection.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
In two words: Instinctive and understated.
Describe the woman who wears your clothes now.
The Sandra Mansour woman is boundless, confident and modern. She is versatile in her wardrobe; she is a strong woman with a great sense of who she is.
Bridal has become quite a big part of your business, tell us about some of the dresses you have created.
The bridalwear line is a bespoke service offered to the Sandra Mansour bride. We work with hand embroidery and thread embroidery, exclusive prints, and lace to name a few. We have had the pleasure to design dresses for brides all over the world. Every dress is a story of its own. We go on a journey with the bride-to-be, an intimate bond between the designer and bride to make her dreams come true from the initial sketch to the wedding day.
You began with a collection that focused on dresses, would you say that’s still what you’re known for?
Yes, our dresses are a big bulk of our collections, nonetheless we are expanding to ready-to-wear apparel.
Many designers are experimenting with the traditional fashion season set-up, where do you see yourself in the existing framework?
We have not reached the point at which we are expected to create six collections a year, therefore that allows us the luxury to stay creative and yet aligned with the ready-to-wear calendar.
How does being based in Lebanon change the way you interact with the industry’s structure if at all?
It does not change the way we interact, I am at home creating pieces with a wonderful team of craftsmen that have a passion for artistry, allowing me the ability to be more focused and creative.
Selling direct with the help of celebrities, influencers and Instagram has become an alternative to the traditional wholesale route – what’s your take on the sales landscape today?
I believe social media has had the biggest influence on sales today. It has an infinite audience all over the world allowing them to enquire about what they see and like, which has changed the sales of fashion and its attainability.
Your brand resides somewhere between ready-to-wear and couture, how do you walk that line and how does that balance help your business grow?
Our dresses are made to order, which means they are made like couture. We do have ready-to-wear pieces though, which are made differently than the hand-embroidered pieces. We work with clients for both bridal and evening wear, and are a very flexible brand that allows our clients that ability to alter certain designs making the experience more personal.