In her pursuit of an independent and creative career, Joumana Dagher’s journey unfolds as a captivating odyssey. After immersing herself in graphic design and navigating the world of advertising agencies, she passionately redirected her artistic expression towards the world of fashion in 2013, launching her eponymous brand of handbags and accessories exclusively produced in Lebanon.
Since then, Joumana’s creations have managed to tell the story of emotional evolution, blending resilience and artistic fervor. Dividing her collection into two distinctive lines, she showcases her ingenuity in material selection.
The first line features signature waterproof fabric, repurposed from leftover sunshade curtains, with graphic, heritage, vintage, modern, or typographic patterns. In her second line, Joumana embraces ethical and eco-responsible leather goods, locally crafted in Lebanon using scraps of sleeping leather from Italian furniture, with patterns applied through a creative printing process.
This November marks the launch of her new collection, called MATRIX, inspired by the iconic movie. Given her precise attention to detail and uncompromising quality, you’ll see that Joumana Dagher’s creations are a testament to a mindful and purposeful approach, while managing to be truly chic!
We declare ourselves big fans of her, so we cannot wait to share our beautiful conversation with her, below. If you are roaming through Paris between the 13th and 25th of November, make sure to come and check her pop-up launch at Point Phisique!
Joumana, as always, you’ve outdone yourself! Matrix, your latest Winter 2023-2024 Collection, is here and it includes gorgeous must-have pieces. Tell us, what is the portrait of the woman you had in mind for these pieces? Who is this collection intended for?
The portrait of a woman who appreciates aesthetics, practicality, and elegance. Creating a bag with a Matrix-inspired theme can be an exciting and unique endeavor. Every stitch tells a story of modern sophistication.
At the intersection of aesthetics, practicality, and elegance, my brand is a celebration of the contemporary woman—bold, dynamic, and unapologetically individual, crafted with a meticulous eye for design, drawing inspiration from the mesmerizing allure of the Matrix universe. Our signature with the plexiglass signature style creates a collection that resonates with the futuristic yet timeless essence of the modern woman.
I believe that elegance should never compromise practicality. Every bag in my collection is thoughtfully designed to meet the demands of today’s dynamic lifestyle. From smart compartments to tech-friendly features, each detail serves a purpose, ensuring that your Joumana Dagher bag is as functional as it is stylish.
Elegance is not just a visual appeal; it’s an experience. Joumana Dagher bags exude an understated luxury through the use of premium materials and a commitment to craftsmanship. Our bags seamlessly transition from day to night, from boardroom to social gathering, enhancing your every moment with an effortless touch of sophistication.
The brand is a statement of empowerment. Each piece is a reflection of the strength, versatility, and resilience that define the modern woman of today.
Experience exclusivity with our limited edition collections, where each bag is a wearable work of art. We use leftover furnishing leather from Italy so we maintain our commitment to sustainable fashion, sometimes we make one bag from a leftover leather skin.
What unique design elements or materials did you incorporate in this collection that set it apart from your previous work?
“The Matrix” is indeed known for its futuristic visuals, groundbreaking special effects, and a storyline that explores complex themes of reality, perception, and rebellion. The rebellious and transformative aspects of the movie took another aspect of a normal vision, the idea that everything should be aligned like a MATRIX:
Aesthetics DESIGN: I wanted my bag to have a futuristic design element, first I considered incorporating geometric shapes, then I thought of an innovative material that evoked a sense of the movie’s futuristic setting. This is when the plexiglass came into the process! Using leftover Plexiglas sewn onto leather showcases a unique approach. This method combines modern materials, Plexiglas with traditional leatherwork, resulting in appealing artwork on the bag. The fusion of these elements adds both texture and a contemporary touch to the overall design, making the bag stand out in terms of both style and innovation.
Color Palette: The movie often uses a distinctive green tint that I incorporated into my collection’s color palette. And for the first time, we used green vintage leather.
Technology Integration: one of the bags is called 3d ALL IN, I wanted to Explore ways to integrate technology into this bags, so we added a pouch inside to fit your phone tablet. And innovative closures, an interactive element that enhances the user experience.
The balance… the inspiration… with practicality, ensured that my bags remained functional and met the needs of the client. The fusion of a futuristic concept with real-world functionality made my Matrix bags collection both visually striking and highly marketable.
Do you have a specific creative process? What puts you in the mood to create?
As a designer, the creative process behind crafting bags is a fascinating journey. The development of each piece involves a combination of inspiration, technical skill, and a deep understanding of the intended audience.
Embracing the influence of my emotions on my creative process can lead to a more authentic and personal body of work, especially nature, adds a unique and organic touch to your creations. Nature has a way of offering endless beauty, textures, and colors that can be translated into stunning designs.
My emotions too play a significant role in the creative process. The Matrix movie is such an iconic and visually captivating series. The Matrix is known for its futuristic and avant-garde aesthetic, with a blend of sleek lines, cyberpunk elements, and a distinct color palette.
It’s truly intriguing to explore how emotional elements from The Matrix, such as the quest for freedom, have influenced the mood and feel of my bag collection. Delving into the emotional resonance of my designs adds a layer of depth and personal connection for those who engage with my creations.
It’s astonishing to think how much work you put into your brand! Tell us how a typical day looks for you.
Each bag is a testament to my commitment to marrying aesthetics. A typical day in my creative realm unfolds with a dedication to the artistry of design. From the first light of day, I embark on a ritual that nurtures my creative spirit, setting the stage for a day brimming with innovation. Within the confines of my design studio, a dynamic space pulsating with creativity, I work alongside a devoted team, translating ideas into tangible expressions of style and individuality. Material selection is a meticulous process, where the touch of each fabric and the hue of every color are carefully considered to encapsulate the essence of my inspiration. Collaborations and industry engagements punctuate the day, adding a layer of dynamism to the creative process. As the day concludes, reflection becomes a vital part of my routine, ensuring that each bag not only speaks volumes in design but also resonates with the unique narratives of empowerment and liberation that define my brand.
If you were to choose one bag from your new collection, which one would be your favorite go-to right now?
Tic Toc Matrix Volume is definitely my favorite!
What advice do you have for women who are still struggling to find their own style?
Embrace the evolution of your personal aesthetic with open arms. Style is an ever-changing canvas, and the beauty lies in the freedom to explore and experiment. Allow your intuition to guide you, and don’t be afraid to infuse your wardrobe with pieces that genuinely resonate with your spirit. Trust the process of uncovering what makes you feel empowered and authentic. It’s not about adhering to trends, but rather, about curating a collection that tells your unique story. Take the time to understand the colors, textures, and silhouettes that make you feel radiant and confident. Remember, fashion is a form of self-expression, a celebration of your individuality. So, step into each day with the courage to embrace your evolving style journey—it’s a reflection of the beautiful complexity that makes you, you.
In times of uncertainty and conflict, artists often find unique sources of inspiration. Do you think that the last few years in the Middle East have pushed you to explore new themes and ideas in your work?
As a Lebanese woman and a bag designer, the recent years in the Middle East have profoundly influenced my creative journey. Rather than succumbing to the challenges, I see them as catalysts for exploration and innovation in my work. The resilience and tenacity of the people amidst adversity, the intricate dance of cultures, and the profound stories etched into the fabric of my homeland have become pivotal themes in my designs.
These trying times have propelled me to delve deeper, seek new narratives, and infuse my creations with a sense of hope and strength. Each bag becomes not just an accessory but a testament to the enduring spirit that thrives amid uncertainty. In the face of challenges, my art becomes a channel for expressing the beauty and resilience that persist in the heart of the Middle East.