Hania Rayess: For creative and committed youth

Prestige issue 256, November 2014

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© Archives Hania Rayess

Why did you choose this industry? I always dreamed of having my own brand of bags created for young adolescents. More than love, it’s a passion. It is in this spirit that Smartiz& Co. began in 2004, a project that has two components. On one hand, there is our own collection of bags on display in our showroom in Beirut Souks, and on the other hand, I introduced a new concept that still inspires youth. How? Smartiz & Co. works each season to highlight and promote young fashion designer, giving her the chance to create for Smartiz & Co., to exhibit and sell her own line of smart-models.

What are the selection criteria? The designer must be Lebanese, because all of our products are proudly «Made in Lebanon». She should also be passionate about her work, bringing her own creative touch, and have confidence in herself and her abilities. Out of the five models she exhibits, one of them must be in the spirit of a charity of her choice, and she will support them by donating the proceeds from the sale of its model. This is what I call «the Awareness for Teens», or the awareness of teenagers to social cause.

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© Archives Hania Rayess

You target young people. Is that why you chose a brand that recalls the colorful chocolate candy? Yes, indeed. The brand is primarily aimed at teenagers, and I wanted to keep the delicious taste of SmartiZ on the tip of everyone’s tongue.

What characterizes your brand? The two very important objectives of combining the useful and the pleasant. On one hand, I launch the project developer and his products, and on the other hand, I shed the light on a non-governmental organization chosen by young designers. Thus, young girls learn to make their entry into the world of fashion, but also to reach out to a cause. A commitment to social activity.

What are your future prospects? I consider that there are a lot of creative talents in Lebanon. This is a plus. So as we work to launch young designers, and to combine beauty and goodness, the future will be flourishing.