The red carpet fashion event is an official extension to the fashion weeks that are held across many western capitals, such as; New York, London, Milan and Paris. The event, managed by Maalouli International Group, aims to illustrate the real Lebanese identity, stimulate tourism and outline Beirut among one of the world's leading fashion capitals.
Describing the national and local climate of Lebanon during Beirut Fashion Week, Mouawad enthused, “[the] event is crowned by the presence of these positive vibes, the positive energy that empower the client to purchase, the media to create the buzz and the designer to be proud of his creation.”
Clearly, Lebanon is energised during the whole month as the country comes together to boast its talents.
Lebabon’s fashion tourism industry is also influencing the younger generations with Beirut Fashion Awards taking place usually during the month of November. Beirut Fashion Awards are hosted as an extension by Beirut Fashion Week Organisation, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, the governor of Beirut, Beirut Municipality, regional universities and European embassies. The awards’ objective is to provide international exposure for young fashion designers, and draws young fashion influencers to visit the country and experience the fashion dream.
Having said that, Lebanon’s fashion tourism is for all; people visit the country from different nationalities. Age or gender have no affect over the matter. To be exact, the country provides fashion-related activities for all ages and features clothing brands that are applicable to both genders.
FASHION FORWARD LEBANON
Lebanon’s welcoming fashion culture, which involves all ages and genders, is evolving and taking the appropriate steps to enhance its fashion tourism sector.
Overall, the ministry of tourism’s management are very active when promoting Lebanon as a place to be for fashion, mentioned Mouawad. In fact, the ministry is promoting the country’s fashion culture across the wider Middle East region.
Initiatives include organising visits to renowned designer houses and planning appointments with image consultants and stylists. Such activities that have a fashion-related character help develop Lebanon’s fashion tourism beyond the relevant events and shopping facilities currently available.
The ministry is regularly highlighting the country’s fashion-related events and special occasions to attract tourists. To enhance the visitor experience, the relevant authorities are also organising specific tour packages to apply to different preferences. The growing options galvanise visitors to choose Lebanon as a destination which combines local fashion culture with leisure through an array of planned tours.
According to Riviera Hotel and Beach Lounge, Lebanon’s relevant authorities are most definitely prioritising fashion tourism. Through several international media campaigns and by dressing celebrity fashion icons, the country is well underway to becoming the centre of Middle Eastern cultural innovation, as emphasised by Flouty. The celebrity involvement and relevant marketing initiatives undertaken are indeed helping Lebanon cultivate a strong fashion industry presence.
Nowadays, the marketing world seems to involve more social media influencers. The ministry of tourism is capitalising on this by focussing on inviting fashion social media influencers to visit the country and promote its fashion sector to the millions of followers on their respective platforms. Through this initiative, travellers are becoming more aware of what the country has to offer in terms of fashion.
Lebanon regularly hosts international and local based designers who wish to exhibit their work in the country. Lebanese designers that have achieved international fame are representing the country’s fashion industry worldwide and LEBANONare thus helping to attract people to visit their homebase.
“Our fashion ambassadors – Elie Saab, Tony Ward, George Chakra, Zuhair Mrad, and Reem Acra, among others – became international fashion icons known to dress the most famous celebrities at huge events such as the Oscars,” analysed El Medawar.
Another initiative, undertaken to well-formulate the fashion tourism experience, involves engaging tourists with the country’s rich culture. Tourism stakeholders focus on promoting the country’s warm hospitality which is evident from hotel and restaurant services to welcoming hosted events.
“Our visitors will always have and feel Lebanese hospitality,” expands Mouawad. As a matter of fact, Lebanese hospitality is a prominent contribution to the country’s tourism. Mouawad states that the beautiful hospitality emanates from the heart. Visitors feel immediately welcome and this plays a key role in creating afashion tourism family, which is created through the country’s warm hospitality and annual events. It is at such events where the fashion elite meet and have thus created a tradition, cultivated from mouth to mouth association, and encourage constant visits from for all travellers seeking to be a part of the fashion world.
Lebanon’s ongoing goals have helped shape the country as a priority when it comes to fashion tourism. As the country’s stakeholders have promoted the message that Lebanon is the place to be for fashion, the quality of the country’s fashion industry is developing, exposing all of its potential.
Using its strengths, and proving its resilience over the years, Lebanon has been crowned the Middle East’s fashion capital. The travel and tourism industry is indeed keeping a close watch as to what this ever-evolving fashion destination will conjure up next.