Tunisian-born haute couture designer, Lamia Latrous shared her journey with us on our last Tunis visit.
Born female under Islamic regime poses strict parameters for a society to operate under religious Law; more concerning in rural areas dominated by men in the Arab world. Though Latrous admits she never felt disparity in her school years nor as a female student at college. On my personal visit to the capital of
Tunis, I was welcomed into the homes of Muslim women and observed their families. I saw vibrantly strong women pursuing family, domestic needs, married life and business. These are the kind of women that would stand in the middle of an airport and quite audibly, without the need for a megaphone, request that all eyes be on her and listen to her request for help. And so it happened, on my first visit to Northern Africa.
Since the 2010 revolution, there have been changes to Law under the Islamic regime, however women only constitute 28% of the workforce. The ‘marry-your-rapist’ Act was finally abolished in 2017. Though with the minor (yet triumphant) improvements, Tunisian feminists such as Fawzia Zouari and Munjiyah al-Sawaihi are worried that the Tunisian revolution might follow the past examples of Algeria and Iran where women who played active roles during the revolutionary period lost their voice and ability to
participate in the public sphere when the new regimes established strict Sharia Law.
Of the 15,000 female entrepreneurs in Tunisia, Lamia took her time to establish her haute couture label. Working first as a Banking Consultant, she first began introducing her works to colleagues and clients. And so, among Muslim women and from the support of women, it came to pass some years later, Lamia left the Bank and established her eponymous label.
Located in Aryanah, Tunis, Latrous oversees a workshop of female artisans who intricately sew yards of Swarovski crystals that adorn every gown. Her embellished gowns with their collars, trains and capes take anywhere from 3 to 5 months to complete. Deservedly, wearable art of this calibre is invited to showcase at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Surely it is just a matter of time.
Today, in an economy known for its craftspersons and suppliers, Lamia Latrous has been heralded one of Tunisia’s great haute couturiers and business women. She exports bridal gowns to private clients from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, to Moscow and Monte Carlo, and has presented exclusive collections at Haute Couture Week in Paris and in 2019 hosted the closing of the Arab Fashion Awards in London.
While her fashion maison is a destination for global bridal clientele, and there is no shortage of impeccable artisans in her workshop, Lamia will continue to benefit from exposure and cross promotional activations – marketing being more a nuance in a developing Northern Africa. ONE30M supports opportunities and welcomes expressions of interest for collaboration, editorial and red carpet showings for international film awards.
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Before the age of 10, Bethanie was already developing as an artist with writing classes, illustration, dance, theatre and piano. Later, clients from fashion, real estate and corporate sectors rounded her creative, technical and social media writing skills. Naturally, her artistic interests transposed onto film and production. Today, Bethanie hosts and produces interviews with international lifestyle brands and contributes to SNEZNY travel magazine.