The Story behind Orient 499
The latest fashion trends aren’t about a seasonal color or a must - have style in your closet: they’re all about the concept of sustainable fashion and ethical clothing. With time, brands and consumers alike are taking more and more interest in sustainability, as we’re seeing a surge in brands working diligently to help make a difference. As sustainable fashion is now gaining momentum, green has become the new black. However, Aida Kawas and Frank Luca, the creative minds behind Orient 499, have been doing it for years.
In 2006, Frank and Aida made a choice to address slow and sustainable fashion in every consumer closet. Ardent nature lovers, they chose to do their bit for the planet, one garment at a time. As firm believers in slow, sustainable and conscious living, with the launch of Orient 499 they wanted to promote this lifestyle through handcrafted artisanal products that represent a mindful Lebanon. From coppersmiths to glass artisans, soap makers, woodmen, embroiderers and couturiers, Orient 499 works with local artisans to delight customers with artistically handmade niche products that are unique in every way and exude a feel of innate luxury. Out of their firm belief that by promoting sustainable luxury, they’ll be supporting the disappearing sector of cultural handicrafts, Aida and Frank follow rigorous selection criteria in their choice of products and craftsmanship of each item, in sourcing the fabric, the origin and context of the products. The duo has a deep conviction that, in providing the much needed support for families, they’re also empowering the revival of crafts that are native to Lebanon.
“Our goal is to preserve and promote our Lebanese heritage by encouraging more craftsmen and women to pursue traditional Lebanese handicrafts so that they can be passed on for generations to come. In this way, we bring a modern touch to traditional local handicrafts, hopefully contributing to the longevity of the craft.”
Aida has extensive experience in the artisanal world. Nostalgic at heart, she has always been deeply interested in handmade items, and fascinated by handicrafts from around the world. As a fashion designer, Aida has been working for more than 30 years in this field, curating merchandise from artisans and designers, sharpness and elegance reflected in her taste and item selection.
As an initiator of Orient 499, Frank has a background in advertising and directs design, marketing and logistics departments with panache and his sharp sense of business. As he grew up with antique dealer parents, he was always surrounded by beauty - traveling around the world, and this has defined his taste and forged his passion for items that tell a story.