A Letter from the Editor: Where Do We Go from Here?

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Azzi & Osta | Pictured Before and After the Explosion

“This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.” — Toni Morrison

What is the role of a fashion magazine during times of crisis? It’s a question I’ve been asking myself a lot this year — first with the onset of the pandemic, then with the Black Lives Matter movement, and now the devastatingly tragic Beirut explosion.

While this year has seen an unusual share of disruptive, life-changing events, none of us could have been prepared for the magnitude of the destruction that followed the path of Tuesday’s catastrophic event, both literally and figuratively.

For those of you in the creative community, I offer our wholehearted and unwavering support.

As a human, I am shocked. I am outraged. My heart aches for the anguish and suffering so many people are needlessly experiencing, from the loss of loved ones to the loss of their livelihoods. This was not an inevitable situation. This was not a natural disaster. This was an incident caused by the massive incompetence and sheer recklessness of a government that was doing the exact opposite of its job — keeping its people safe.

So many people near and dear to me — my closest friends, talented peers, fellow publishers, and incredible designers — have been directly affected by this incident, whether they were personally injured or witnessed the physical crumbling of their homes, offices, studios, or ateliers. Each and every one of them tells me they feel blessed just to be alive, but what happens to their life’s work?

Historically, Beirut has been the creative epicenter of the Middle East, and continues to be. So many of the designers Savoir Flair has championed since its inception hail from Lebanon, and too many to count own businesses that have been directly impacted by the explosion.

As a publisher, I am torn. Torn between the world that tells me a fashion magazine has no place in politics and the inner voice that tells me we have to do better as a community. I think of the creatives and the designers, many of whom started small, independent businesses, just like my own, who lost everything in an instant and have to start again from square one. They have to rebuild their companies, literally brick by brick. We have a responsibility to help them, now more than ever.

Now and forever, we stand with you. And together, we will rebuild.

In that spirit, we are launching a program, effective immediately until the end of 2020, giving away all of Savoir Flair’s unsold advertising space to Lebanese designers who have been affected by this tragic event. This will give the designers a chance to raise awareness about their brands, and a chance for our platform to highlight and raise the profiles of these incredibly talented creatives.

For those families who have been affected more painfully, irreversibly, and permanently by this event, I send you my deepest and sincerest condolences. It feels like my heart is going to combust with rage and sadness for what you are experiencing.

For those of you in the creative community, I offer our wholehearted and unwavering support. If you are interested in applying, please email advertise@savoirflair.com, where my colleagues will send you more information about the program. We will even design your advertising assets for completely free of charge.

In times of dread, artists must never choose to remain silent. I am reminded of the words of the incomparable feminist author Toni Morrison, who said, “This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.”

Now and forever, we stand with you. And together, we will rebuild.

17 OPEN GALLERY
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