Lana Sahely’s wardrobe is filled with style and business acumen in equal measure.
Photos by: Hana Le Van
Lana Sahely is a self-described “moody Aries/Pisces full of passion for life.” She is also an Economics and Political Studies graduate from the American University of Beirut (AUB) who has opened her personal closet to the world. Via her hugely popular blog (larmoiredelana.com), her Twitter and Instagram profiles (with almost 10,000 and 182,000 followers respectively), and her YouTube channel, Sahely shows her fans her eclectic fashion sense and lifestyle, providing readers with plentiful tips and ideas along the way.
How and why did you found L’Armoire de Lana? Did you anticipate its popularity?
LDL (L’Armoire de Lana) was born after I had completed two internships in luxury fashion magazines in Beirut. I was still an AUB student in Economics. Launching my blog was the fastest way for me to have my very own “magazine,” work on my writing skills and exercise what I love the most: writing and sharing with others. It was launched in August 2010. I always excelled at school and when I launched my blog, I didn’t know which way it would take me, but it took me on the craziest journeys and I’m very grateful for that. My coverage of Paris Fashion Week in February 2011 and investing into a whole website branding were the first steps to gain credibility, and grow slowly but surely.
How do you select the products on sale through the L’Armoire de Lana shop?
We don’t do anything of the sort. When we launched the LDL Shop in December 2016, it was a way for me to extend the way I work, to push further my relationship with brands and designers that I have always supported / who support me. Basically, we work and curate a special collection with selected brands / substantial people / designers. They create special limited-edition pieces for the LDL Shop at affordable prices. We want cool items by the best out there at understandable prices, always making sure we have the best quality. For the first editions we had special items by brands like Nada Debs, Bassam Fattouh, Sarah’s Bag, Rami Kadi, Hussein Bazaza, Essie International, etc.
You spend a lot of time on the road. What about HOME do you yearn for when you travel?
Routine, and spending time with the ones I love. It’s essential for me to stay sane. Having a routine is extremely important for the body, whether it means exercising, eating at specific times, having a good sleep cycle, or managing time in a more organized way.
Where are you based most of the time and how often do you return to Lebanon, and why?
I am based in Beirut as my office and family are there; however, I travel a lot to Dubai where most brands are based and I spend time in Cameroon where I settled a HOME with my husband. Depending on my schedule and the projects I have in the pipeline, we define these details.
"Who doesn’t love high street brands styled with luxury accessories? Say no to a fully branded look!"
Do you style all of your own outfits?
Yes. Sometimes I team up with cool stylists to create a special mood or for a special project. Otherwise, the people who follow me do so because they like my style and they want my take on fashion. So I do try to be as natural as possible in the way I style myself, because this is who I am. I do work with luxury brands but I love promoting the concept of mix and match, I feel it’s really genuine and it’s what we all do. I mean, who doesn’t love high street brands styled with luxury accessories? Say no to a fully branded look!
You share pictures of yourself in fabulous outfits with flawless make-up, but you also frequently share pictures of yourself mid-workout at the gym. Are you ever shy about being in front of the camera?
I grew up being extremely shy, almost an introvert, and I was very self-conscious as I was chubby, especially when I was a teen. It wasn’t easy to open up, my mother helped a lot by signing me up to drama classes at school for 12 years! The blog was another story; it started as a platform for me to share my stories, but with the birth of tools like Instagram, my focus turned to be on visuals and pictures of myself as well. Throughout the years, the more I shared with people, the more I felt the need to share more. Being natural is part of my character and we have to embrace being bareface and gaining some kilos, etc. etc. and I’m never ashamed to share these moments with my followers.
"We have to embrace being bareface."
Do you have a favorite Lebanese designer or a favorite international designer?
I don’t have one ultimate favorite designer; I love different aspects and so many brands. Plus, I always make sure I’m supporting emerging brands so I feel it’s essential to keep an eye open and spot the latest talents!