Jean Louis Sabaji always knew he'd be a fashion designer. It is, after all, a family legacy. Following his graduation from the Lebanese American University in 2008, Sabaji headed to Milan's Domus Academy where he worked with some of the most renowned Italian designers in the business.

After dressing Dancing with the Stars starlet Daniella Rahme, sat down with the talented 28-year-old to find out more about his design sensibilities and inspiration. How did your family's design background help you start your career?
Sabaji: I was born in a design environment and raised in my father’s atelier. It was my passion before I even knew anything about it. I used to love watching my father design and create and I used to dream about how one day it would be my own designs strutting down the catwalk. What inspires you?
Sabaji: What inspires me the most is nature and everything that comes with it, from animals to flowers, even natural disasters. I always like to have a theme behind each collection. My dresses are dramatic and conceptual. I need strong inspiration to fall back on and I believe that Mother Nature is a gift that brings such beautiful elements to this world and never disappoints. How do you build the concepts for your collections?
Sabaji: I have a small creative team who help me with research. We start by brainstorming and making over 30 mood boards on trends, textiles, colors and themes. After that we start making rough sketches to understand more where we are heading. Finally, after a lot of research and a clear understanding of what the market might need this season, a concept is born and a story is ready to be told. Who's the fashion icon that you look forward to wearing one of your creations?
Sabaji: Every woman is a fashion icon when she wants to be so I look forward to any woman wearing one of my designs. Do you think Lebanon's status as a fashion capital of the Middle East is making it easier for designers to start out their career?
Sabaji: It sure helps, but it only draws attention and curiosity to see what kind of designs the “new and upcoming Lebanese designer” has, and here is where the designer either shows an outstanding product or disappoints and simply doesn't make it. In one word, how would you describe the current fashion scene in Lebanon?
Sabaji: Diverse. If you weren't a fashion designer, what would you be?
Sabaji: I can’t even think about it.

To find out more about Jean Louis Sabaji and his latest designs, head to Facebook.

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