Suha Jarmakani: dressing women with spirit
By Sabine Alphonse Chalhoub
November 18, 2004
Since the Sacrosanct boutique opened its doors in Beirut five years ago, word about Suha Jarmakani, its founder and creative designer, has spread at lightning speed. She has earned the reputation of a woman with style and this is reflected in the clothes she offers. Her couture label focuses on delivering the ultimate in luxury and exclusivity.
When British-Lebanese Jarmakani first established herself in Lebanon, she introduced a range of contemporary, high-quality prêt-à-porter fashion. Her designs ranged from casual daywear to hand-beaded eveningwear all in premium fabrics, the common element in every design being the emphasis on supreme craftsmanship and unerring attention to detail. With a philosophy like this, Jarmakani couldn’t go wrong. And she didn’t.
Today, Jarmakani’s boutique is synonymous with originality, style and creativity and this is exactly what the Sacrosanct woman defines. “Every single one of my clients,” she said, “no matter how calm she thinks she is, when she walks through my door, eventually I’ll find out that there’s something inside of her that is a little bit wild. My clients are full of spirit and they’re all unique individuals.”
Like the women for whom she designs, Jarmakani can go from jeans during the day to a fully beaded ensemble in the evening with ease and comfort. “We can all be such chameleons. Sometimes we wake up and we want to be serene, docile and very elegant; other times we want to be funky, crazy, interesting and colorful,” she enthused. Whatever the mood, women will always find their uniqueness in her designs. They like the fact that they’re wearing something really special… that they’re going to stand out wherever they go, and no one is going to be wearing the same thing.
The hallmark of a classic item is its endurance, and Jarmakani’s designs are created to last. These are the pieces you’ll always make room for in the closet. “It is very important to me that nothing is so commercial that after six months you think, ‘how did I buy that?’ The most important thing to me is that whatever you get, even if it’s a little bit different, it will be something you’ll love -- always -- and you’ll be able to wear always.”
Jarmakani’s sketchpad is a designing tool with a touch of personality. A little bit of her is reflected in her designs while simultaneously catering to the different needs and tastes of her clientele. “I think more of how I see different women,” she said. She then incorporates that with her own style with an emphasis on quality, fabric, color and detail. Every season, she tries to create something very special, something that is a little bit different.
Jarmakani’s inspiration knows no limits. “When you live and open up your eyes you can find your inspiration anywhere; in people, flowers, moods, sunsets… sometimes I fall in love with a detail and I build an entire collection around that detail.”
Fascination with wonderful fabrics also plays a big role in Jarmakani’s creative process. She usually picks out a fabric without having any idea what to do with it, “but then the fabric just tells me what it wants to be,” she said. A really fabulous fabric can, in fact, be a determining factor in the shape a collection takes.
New season Sacrosanct
This season, Jarmakani’s collection is all about simplicity. Her designs include florals, chiffon and very soft designs with attention to detail. But to see them paraded on the catwalk is not her goal just yet. “I don’t think I’m ready,” she said. “Shows have become so common now; when it’s time for my show, I want the audience to be boutique owners, not just the public, a piece of advice I was given by my mentors in London.”
Jarmakani’s designs are available in the Sacrosanct boutique at the Mövenpick Hotel & Resort. Jarmakani has extended her line to include the Sacrosanct Kitty and these little furry friends will be available soon -- a great Christmas gift!
Jarmakani intends to return to her London office. Initially, her designs were available worldwide, but “as you get more experience, you learn,” she said “and today, I’d rather excel and focus on one region than do an acceptable job and be available everywhere.”
Nevertheless, Jarmakani hopes that in the future Sacrosanct will be on the international fashion scene. “I also hope that ten years from now I will be healthy, happy and still loving what I do,” she said.
What advice would the successful designer give to her clientele and to other women? “Be true to yourself. Be the individual that you are,” said Jarmakani. “Push yourself to grow and to excel in what you do, and don’t follow a certain trend in lifestyle just because others do!”