Stéphanie Sayar and Charbel Garibeh, are an inseparable duo of Lebanese designers, in both life and art, where they tell of a childhood they have never left. They met at the Faculty of Architecture of the Lebanese University where they obtained, one after the other, their Master’s degrees in Interior Architecture. It was already a sign, this coming together of the two, this shared passion for the exploration of shapes and materials with no other ambition than to transform ceramics, wood, foam or yarn and fibers into objects that make sense, that arise in our world and find a place of their own.
The pair opened their studio, Sayar&Garibeh, in Beirut, in 2014, after developing their product design skills and exhibiting their work at a number of international fairs such as Aspen, Miami, NYC, Milan, Paris, London, Brussels, Beirut and Dubai. Beautifully balanced, full of wit and poetry, their creations were selected in 2015 and 2016 in the Best of Milan Design Week and highlighted in Best of Maison et Objet Paris in 2015. In 2020 they won the Emerging Talent prize from Architectural Digest Middle East.
When life changes, from the worst to the best
That year, 2020, on August 4, during the monstrous explosion at the port of Beirut, their lives changed. Both were seriously injured, Sayar had her face lacerated and Garibeh was riddled with shards of glass. Their workshop was destroyed, the trauma was deep. But strong in each other, they invested themselves doubly in their art, which became therapy.
The objects that resulted from their purely artisanal work were never marked by the sadness of that period. Joy, humor and a sense of childhood continued to characterize their works, against all odds. From these months of hard work, both painful and intense, a stone bench with funny fringes, in which we recognize from afar the shape of a broom, was born. A giant broom, all white, finally at rest after the frenzy of cleaning, tidying and reconstruction that took hold of Beirut the day after the explosion.
Then comes a call from the curator Federica Sala who announces to them, in the fall of 2021, that they have been selected among 9 other young designers from all over the world to collaborate on a collection of unique pieces as part of a mentorship program launched by Dolce&Gabbana Casa, called Dolce Gabbana Generation Designers. Their mission will be to work with Italian craftsmen to develop a unique work both inspired by the brand’s universe and characterized by their own style and identity.
Photos of stars
“We’re super honored to be part of Dolce&Gabbana project!!! Dolce&Gabbana International talent meets Italian craftsmanship. Last night’s @dolcegabbana_casa party at Metropol, Milan, launched the #DGGenD – Generation Designers, a mentorship program for 10 young designers to promote their innovative visions and their affinity to the values of the #DGDNA”, announced the duo on their Instagram account. In the photos, beside a cabinet lined with the signature Leopard print from the Dolce&Gabbana Casa collection, Sayar and Garibeh pose alternately with their colleagues from the DGGenD, like a couple of stars in a Hollywood setting. In the last photo, Sayar appears pregnant and one cannot help but see in the child to come a new creation by this extraordinary duo.
Dolce&Gabbana’s house line was launched in 2021, first through collaborations, notably with the household appliance brand Smeg and Castelbuono’s Fiasconaro pastry shop, an address renowned for the best panettone in Italy. But its official launch took place in June 2022 at the Milan Furniture Fair. For their new brand, Doce&Gabbana Casa, the most famous duo of the Italian and international fashion scene, highlighted its star print, the lively and cheerful Carretto, inspired by Sicilian traditions, as well as the Blu Mediterraneo inspired by traditional zellige, blue ceramic squares and leopard and zebra motifs.
We cannot wait to see what this talented pair produce with the support of one of the world’s leading fashion houses.