Foreandaft’s founder, Giuliano Sparacino, talks to BelleBeirut about the brands, the concept and the idea behind Beirut’s newest and trendiest total look store for men.
A few years ago, you wouldn’t have expected the streets of Mar Mikhaël to harbor a high quality Italian brands store for men. But this year, things have changed (for the better).
“We chose this location because we wanted to create a niche store,” explains Giuliano Sparacino, Foreandaft‘s founder in an interview with BelleBeirut. “Had we opened the store at a mall, it would have become like any other shop,” he adds.
Foreandaft is without a doubt Beirut’s own Ali Baba cave in terms of menswear. It has become the Lebanese home of 15 Italian brands, some of which are a must have for men who are looking for a refined and different look.
“Foreandaft aims to become a one stop destination for Lebanese men. We’re trying to address all the needs of our potential customers while maintaining a very consistent style: the Milanese style,” adds the ambitious Italian entrepreneur.
This cosy store will get you hooked from the moment you open its glass door. You won’t be able to take your eyes off of the outstanding blazers on the window-mannequins or your hands off the stylish shirts coming straight from Italy. And that lovely smell, the smell of wood and new clothes.
“Most of our customers buy all the clothes they need from our store. They can create their own style by mixing different pieces from the different high quality brands available. There aren’t too many places where you can do that in the Middle-East,” adds Giuliano while pointing out the different brands carefully placed in strategic corners of the store. “Here you find everything you need, in one place.”
Giuliano wanted to launch this type of store because there was a need for it in the region. “We studied a few regional markets, and we felt that Lebanon had to be our launch pad. People here are more mature in terms of fashion,” he says while adding that “in the gulf, people look for the brands before looking for a style.”
“And after all, Beirut is the trendiest city in the Middle-East,” he says.
This respect and admiration Giuliano has for the Lebanese capital is reflected in the quality and types of brands he imported to Foreandaft. “No other store in the Middle-East or Beirut sells the brands that we sell. These are niche brands which are very popular in Italy,” he says.
“Some of these brands are the actual manufacturers of top Italian fashion names. They recently decided to launch their own brands, so basically you are getting the best quality for an amazing price”, explains Mr. Sparacino.
Add to that, Giuliano makes sure his customers are satisfied by spending time with them and explaining exactly what each brand is about and how it would suit them. “This is a small store, so I know all my customers by name, […] most of them spend at least an hour here when they come to buy their clothes.”
And it goes without saying that establishing an Italian clothing store in a developing and trendy district in Beirut is a safe bet. “I think the Lebanese are very fashionable. The way they take care of their looks is fantastic! People in here are less constrained than in Italy, where everybody is a bit standardized. There is a tendency for differentiation here, and Foreandaft was established in Beirut to help with that!.”