RIMA CHERFANE, whose innovative use of craftmanship is broadening the definition of couture, talks to Trend Privé Magazine about her mission to expand the label worldwide and outside boundaries of couture by combining tradition and craftsmanship; handwork and modern fabrics.
From T-shirt to Bride, from bedroom to evening,”RIMA CHERFANE“ is a label that is addressed to the passionate modern women of today. The label is designed to have it all: it will take the woman that wears it through different occasions on a high level of style created to give her a statement appearance and have her remembered anywhere she goes. From Resort to Streetwear couture, from Athleisure to Red Carpet up to Bridal, RIMA CHERFANE, is a bubble that you will enjoy being in.
Interview with fashion designer Rima Cherfane
When did you first realize you wanted to become a fashion designer?
I was seven years old as I watched my first fashion show on tv. Until now, I can still remember my profound feeling of awe, as I watched the models walk on the runway.
Define sustainable concept nowadays in fashion industry in five words .
Sustainable is : clever, long-lasting, beautiful, inspiring and affordable.
If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career what would it be?
I would tell myself not to be too involved in my bosses dreams and forgetting your own. It is great to be an example employee that gives its best to the job, but I would say it took me more than it should to call it quits and starting my own label. I would tell me just stop in order to begin, when you believe you have learned enough.
What was the biggest rookie mistake you made when just starting out?
Every fashion designer rookie mistake is probably the same while starting out in this industry, thinking its easy and glamorous. It is surely glamorous but its definitely not easy.
What is one thing you look at the models for your campaigns?
I look for character, without character, a fashion picture gives no inspiration and has no soul.
What role do you think social media plays in fashion today?
Social media is very important, it gives the label a voice.
What is your favorite and NON-favorite part about being part of the fashion industry?
My favorite part is being surrounded by beauty , the non-favorite part has to be the stress that comes with it. But they are inseparable, it’s like one coin with two sides.
How do you want people to feel when wearing your clothes?
That’s the question I ask myself every time I design, and the answer is always, special, unique, unstoppable, inspiring, and unforgettable.
Can you tell us how your brand makes a difference in fashion industry?
My brand is a made-to-order label. I produce it in my workshop, under my own eyes and quality control and I want it to be purchased by love. One just need to fall in love with the item and live the designing process, otherwise it would be like any other label that is there in the market, ready to be sold and make its way into your wardrobe.
What do you think is the biggest challenge for a fashion designer?
Passion! To have passion for this industry is very challenging. If you don’t have it , you won’t survive it, nor your product would. No matter how hard you market your product, if it lacks passion it won’t last. And passion is not for granted, that is why it always end up being the most valued.
There is one important person, in your life, who pushes and motivates you to believe in yourself?
It used to be my late father before I became a mother. But now it is my daughter. She’s the critic I would never dare to be for myself. She’s a good critic and I trust her judgement. It’s very genuine and I love it when she is thrilled with what I do. Her bewilderment makes me happy to go forward.
How do you think a big brand should motivate their collaborators and team members?
A big brand is a modest brand in the workshop. It’s nothing without its collaborators and team members. Absolutely nothing. It would be like a head without a body. Completely powerless.
How do you think sustainable can play an important role in fashion industry?
Sustainable labels were like a niche market in the industry of fashion before the COVID19 pandemic. Now it feels like a solution after the business of fashion suffered greatly from the discontinuity in the production cycle. It is true that producing cheaper and in larger quantities helps with generating profits. But it also weakens the product itself.
”I love my label to be “made in Lebanon”, it carries the energy of my team, the energy of my workshop, the passion of the product cycle. It’s a whole vibe. A very defined personality. Very peculiar of my label.”
And in times of crisis like the one we are in now, because of the pandemic, sustainable labels are the least to have been affected because of their orientation into the quality of the designing process not the depersonalization of it.
Describe us you as a designer and how your feelings influence the creativity process?
Well I am a female fashion designer so feelings are most probably everywhere and in every step of the way. However once i enter my workshop, the pattern making and fabric implementing brings me down to mathematics and proportions, so it offers me a kind of a buffer zone as a designer. As a result of it, designing becomes a fine equilibrium between the heart and the mind.
Would you like to involve other accessories designers in your future projects?
I wouldn’t mind at all, because accessories are also a piece of art and they can complement your design.
What do you think is the main mission of the CO-BRANDING concept ?
Co-branding is a very nice approach as long as both personalities of the brand involved are strong and well defined.