Stalked: Joe, Fashion Designer. La Terre Est Folle

22 June 2015

Joe Arida grew up in Beirut, following a career working in advertising and fashion, he decided to start his own brand in 2014, LA TERRE EST FOLLE. He specialises in unique furniture and fashion, with his debut clothing line which was shown at Fashion Forward Dubai Apr. 2015. The Label values polyvalence and function - LTF makes a bold contemporary statement with wardrobe staples.

I caught up with him over email from London to Beirut to find out more about his brand and what he has planned for the future.

How did you get into design and what do you love about it?

I always knew i would end up in a creative field. I got into design by mistake, having graduated with a business degree i worked as a copyrighter then an assistant set designer in advertising - we would build thing only to destroy them, which is where i started experimenting, first by using the same artisanal process and raw materials but blending in some more durable or noble ones to craft furniture pieces - after developing a line of cushions i sewed some fabric to sew into a t-shirt, and it got quite a bit of attention, so i was giving them out then taking orders, and thats how it started :) and i love everything about it!

What inspires you and your designs?

Everything is inspiring - but i think people inspire me the most.

How are emerging designers being supported in Beirut?

By STARCH! Founded by Rabih Kayrouz, Tala Hajjar and in collaboration with Solidere, STARCH is a non-profit organization that helps launch Lebanese emerging designers. STARCH is an annual program and a rotation of debut collections where four to six young designers are selected each year.

What's been the most challenging aspect of starting your own brand? 

The most challenging aspect has been setting up a functional production line. Starting out making a samples was easy, as things evolved i needed to establish a system to cater to larger demand - that was not easy and neither was structuring the financial aspect of the brand. 

What's the relationship between your furniture design and clothing?

Those are two things i am passionate about, to me they are one and the same - everything comes down to an idea you want to bring to life.

Who are the fashion designers you admire at the moment?

I admire the genius of Raf Simons, Nicolas Ghesquiere, Phoebe Philo at the moment - and my favourite local the brilliant Sandra Mansour.

Five items you can't live without

Garbo my mad Pug, not quite an item but definitely with the mention, loose white cotton t-shirts - my uniform, I’m always buying plain sheet notebooks which go with me everywhere to jot down to do lists and, ideas, sketches, ... inspiration is everywhere and i’m always worried i might forget an idea so everything goes into those copybooks, an iPhone with my entire music library and my camera!


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