03 August 2020
It all started at the age of six. On a day just like any ordinary day, Sandra Mansour was walking back from school. When she stepped into her house, she found her mother wearing a beautiful long emerald dress. “Something magical happened that day. I was captivated by her and by what she was wearing. That’s a memory I will never forget.”
Sandra started making garments for her dolls; tiny little dresses made from whatever scrap of fabrics she could find. The years went by, and Sandra fell in love with painting. She went to art school, got her degree — but she always felt that something was missing. She realized that she could combine her passion for drawing and textures into creating wearable designs. In 2010, the womenswear brand Sandra Mansour was born.
The fashion house is known for its dreamy and daring aesthetic — always with a modern coolness to it. Sandra’s attention to detail and craftsmanship, mixed with inspiration from art and her surroundings in Beirut, shines through in all of her designs. For the Sandra Mansour x H&M collection, she draws inspiration from elements of nature and female artists such as Toyen, Dorothea Tanning, Lena Leclercq and Bibi Zoghé. The result is a feminine and strong range of dresses, blouses and skirts. There’s even a tailored blazer and a printed T-shirt and hoodie. Fit-and-flare shapes and ruffled hems are mixed with volume and statement details in an earthy colour palette of mushroom greys, ivory and black.
Ahead of the collection launch, we video chatted with Sandra (and her two cats Edgar and Paulina!) from her home and atelier in Beirut.
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SOURCE OF INSPIRATION?
“I mostly look into paintings and books; I love literature. But I also find inspiration in dreams. I dream a lot and always keep a notebook beside my bed so that I can write what my subconscious is telling me.”
HAVE YOU ADOPTED ANY DAILY ROUTINES DURING THESE EXTRAORDINARY TIMES?
“I’ve started running, something I never did before the pandemic. First, on a treadmill at home and then outside, once it was allowed. It’s liberating and removes all my tension. Listening to my breath gives me some kind of relief.”
WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL?
“My mother. She has always taught me how to be independent and how to believe in myself. She gave me a sense of courage.”
IN WHAT PLACE ARE YOU THE HAPPIEST?
“For me, it’s more of a state of mind. But if I have to choose one place — somewhere where I’m surrounded by nature. And sunflowers!”
The Sandra Mansour x H&M collection will be available online as well as in selected stores worldwide from 6 August.