“My weakness is the colour black,” fashion designer Lama Jouni tells Bazaar. “I always wear it, and my latest obsession is layering black on black – I think it’s a timeless look.” She describes her style as “minimalist with a twist” listing designers such as Haider Ackermann, Olivier Rousteing, Alexander Wang and Riccardo Tisci as her favourites. Comfort is an important factor for Lama, especially when she’s in her Dubai atelier, and her biggest pet hates when it comes to style are “shoes that are too big, ill-fitting clothing and heavily branded pieces.”
Living in Paris for eight years before moving to Dubai had a substantial effect on her personal style. “Moving to Paris really shaped me as a person and that has been reflected in my personal style. After spending eight years there I feel connected to the city and feel like my style is a combination of my experience there and my Lebanese roots.” She cites Caroline de Maigret as her style icon as “she is the definition of the style I most relate to: Parisian, minimal and cool,” and credits her parents for allowing her to find her own unique sense of style. “I grew up freely choosing what I did and didn’t like so I was able to create my own style and fashion sense without any restraints. My father told me to always be myself and I have followed this advice throughout my whole life – and now it is the ethos of my brand and my designs.”
As one of the region’s rising names, Lama, who was recently selected to showcase at London Fashion Week, wishes that the style set in the Middle East were more open to the labels that are born out of the region. “If I could change anything it would be for people to be more aware of emerging designers and to shy away from the larger brands; to find uniqueness in the Middle Eastern style,” she explains.
With a new year just starting, the possibilities for the year ahead are endless and Lama is undeterred in her pursuit of success. “I am a dreamer, and love to create. I am also very simple and passionate about life – I love music, movies and art, anything that stimulates my imagination. I believe I am a visionary and I will not stop working until I achieve my goal.”
Lama Jouni wears Gucci bomber jacket at Ounass.com. Lama Jouni trousers; Lanvin earrings, both her own. Photography: Richard Hall. Styling: Samah Elmeri. Words: Maddison Glendinning. Hair & make-up: Blowout & Go. Location: Rixos The Palm