In early modern Europe, embroidery was an essential part of the elite lifestyle and transmitted from generation to generation. This art was traditionally regarded as a means of preparing noble young women for married life.
Weaving women’s’ empowerment
Formerly considered as a frivolous feminine art, embroidered works may have been throughout centuries a vehicle for women’s support and self‐determination.
Closer to us, Aida Kawas and Frank Luca, founders of Orient 499, are promoting Lebanese heritage through their 100% Lebanese high fashion garment line that proudly reflects on sustainable luxury.
The beautiful patterns, adorning Orient 499 garment line and passionately made by skilled women using beads and silk threads, are an embroidered promise to perpetuate traditional Lebanese handicrafts among future generations.
Aside from embroideries done in the atelier, Orient 499 also works with talented sewers and craftswomen from the Bekaa Valley and more particularly in Baalbeck, who use the native and endemic Tareq Embroidery technique. It is women who predominantly practice Tareq and the art is proudly passed on from one generation to the next. The technique consists of using flat gold or silver metal threads of two millimeters. These threads are passed through a triangular shaped needle.
By encouraging this valuable cultural craft and showing it to the world, the brand is consciously empowering Lebanese artisans and specifically women while supporting at the same local economy and shedding the light on traditional handicrafts.
Meaningful high fashion is indeed, the brand’s motto. Every stitch embroidered by women is one further step towards their right to weave their own future.