Coffee with the lady behind Peplum the Label and @Ruelulu

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Peplum the Label is one of our favorite Lebanese fashion lines, mainly because of its unique fashion sense. We had the privilege of having coffee with Shereen Makarem, the designer who founded Peplum the Label, a growing fashion clothing line with beautiful, colorful, and youthful collections. Shereen also owns the Instagram page @Ruelulu which is her personal platform for fashion, trends and thoughts.

Here’s what Shereen had to say about Peplum the Label and @Ruelulu:

  1. How did Peplum the Label start?

I launched Peplum the Label the summer of 2014. I already had an Instagram page called RueLuLu, through which I would post popular fashion trends. And whenever I saw a trend that was growing in popularity, and had lots of likes on the post, I just had to recreate it in my own unique way. That prompted me to start my own line based on trends people like, and I called it Peplum the Label.

The line started off with peplum skirts and crop tops because that’s what I wore back then before having my baby. I really liked the word peplum in the name of my line, because the word was based on the peplum cut, and it wasn’t commonly used and quite easy to remember. So it worked!

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  1. We noticed Peplum the Label has a unique and youthful style. Tell us more about the style you offer.

We offer modernized classic pieces. And our style is unique in the sense that it doesn’t imitate other brands in the region. For instance, off the shoulder tops were one of the first styles of our brand. Back then we were from the only brands offering these tops. A year later, lots of other brands began adopting this trend.

What also makes our brand unique is that most of the women who wear Peplum the Label look like fun, and whenever they’re out they frequently get asked where they got their clothes from, which is a huge compliment to our brand.

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  1. What inspires you the most when it comes to designing?

There are lots of things that inspire me. First of all the female body: the figure, the curves, the appearance – all help me envision what designs I can create. I believe that all women, no matter their height, weight or figure are able to wear a certain design in their own way and look good. For instance, a high waist skirt can be worn by both a tall woman and short woman- the tall woman can wear flats while the shorter woman can pair it with heels instead.

I also get inspired by fabric. I can look at a certain piece of fabric and envision the article of clothing I can transform it into.

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  1. What is the message you want to deliver through your designs?

I really want women to embrace their body and their curves. I want women to feel they look good in their own skin.

  1. Through your Instagram page @Ruelulu, we noticed that you cover different topics (fashion, travel, beauty and inspirational quotes) How do you find Instagram supports your business?

Instagram definitely supports my business, especially through Ruelulu, which inspired – and continues to inspire Peplum the Label. I seek and share trends, and find the most popular ones to recreate through Peplum the Label.

Ruelulu is my platform where I vent – when there’s something that annoys or inspires me. And I love the part where I can add my quotes, especially when I get reactions from other people, whether it’s agreement or disagreement. I like being able to discuss and clarify my point of view.

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  1. What tips would you give to women using social media for business purposes?

I believe social media should be used more for business and less for personal lives, because there’s a better use for it in business. Sometimes sharing your personal or private lives on social media doesn’t always serve you well.

Social media is an excellent platform for women to benefit from all the information and media out there on the internet, and to use it wisely for the sake of enhancing their businesses and expanding their networks.

  1. As a designer, how do you think social media plays a role in the fashion world and how does it support you?

Social media is playing a major role in the fashion world, especially with Peplum the Label. It’s where designers get inspired, even myself. You can follow the latest trends and see which are the most popular amongst people, which is definitely helpful for fashion designers in this day and age. However, social media does wonders in promoting fashion labels, and we make the best use of it to promote Ruelulu and Peplum the Label.

Not to mention, social media is an important tool to connect with customers and people in our industry. It’s also an alternative method to having a website for e-commerce. I can sell directly through Instagram without having a website. In the Arab World, people generally prefer to purchase directly through Instagram or What’s App, rather than through a website. This also makes social media more appealing to designers.

  1. Do you have any plan to expand Peplum the Label?

Yes we do. We have a new website being developed at the moment.

  1. Do you have any advice you would give to young women to stay true to themselves?

I find that nowadays there are too many women who look alike – wearing the same popular trends, colors, and clothes, and wanting to look like other women. My main piece of advice to women is stand out! If everyone is wearing gold, wear silver. Have your own look or fashion statement and don’t get carried away with popular fashion trends.

  1. Who is your favorite Lebanese designer?

Jean Louis Sabaji, for evening dresses.

  1. As a mother, is there anything you’d like to share with new moms about motherhood?

When I first got pregnant, I felt like every milestone was a miracle, and every step made me emotional, from the heartbeat to the first kick. There is nothing that makes you believe in God more than having a baby.

After having my baby boy, my life changed. I used to shop for myself, now I shop for my son before myself. Even travel destinations now are based on activities we can do with our son. For example, we went to London in the summer just because my son likes spending time in the outdoors and in parks. My life now revolves around my son, and it’s a beautiful life.

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Follow Shereen Makarem’s @PeplumtheLabel and @Ruelulu for Fashion, Shopping and Inspiration!

Sincerely,

Sisi & Rara

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