Julien Bertic brings news from the fashion market in Damascus, Syria

Dear Shaded Viewers,

If Syria is better known as a country that manufactures high street brands such as Zara, it is clear that Damascenes have a real interest in fashion and textile. Walking through the old tiny streets of Damascus, you can find everything you may need to create your own recipe for a fashion collection. It looks like a giant Marche St Pierre.

Before the war in Lebanon most of the clients would drive to Beyrouth from Damask to shop at Aichti, the main retailer, similar to a Printemps or Harvey Nichols. Now the fashion scene is quite different. The Kuwaiti retailer Villa Moda opened in March 06 a wonderful 17th century store in the middle of the souk (under construction to expand as a terrace boutique) and the historical El Melone is about to launch its first boutique in partnership with an Emirati investor. Both bring to the Syrian the desired Brands such as Chloe, Fendi, Comme des Garcons, Bottega Veneta

Diane Pernet

A LEGENDARY FIGURE IN FASHION and a pioneer of blogging, Diane is a respected journalist, critic, curator and talent-hunter based in Paris. During her prolific career, she designed her own successful brand in New York, costume designer, photographer, and filmmaker.