Posted on June 10 2019
I am Gigi El Debs and I live and love HK.
How did you discover SEP?
Last summer my sister gave me a green Canvas bag with an embroidered pineapple, as she knows I love everything pineapple. It looked so cool (I must admit she's really the best at finding treasures). She told me it was hand embroidered by Palestinian and Syrian refugees in Jordan. She told me to read the leaflet. I was traveling the next day, it came in handy! I loved it, stuffed it and left the leaflet somewhere to read later. I carried the bag around all summer... then over Christmas I took a second look at SEP online and that was it! I was in awe of the style, the project and the people behind it. I had to be involved!
What does SEP mean to you?
It means the world to me! it means humanity, tradition, compassion, care, solidarity, dignity. The company - Social Enterprise Project - means meaningful action, change and hope.
Why did you choose to represent SEP in HK?
Well HK is a destination for luxury and everything else, there is a cultural diversity so it was obvious that there was a place for SEP. And I wanted to SEP forever and everywhere so I took it with me! The SEPers of HK are amazing, I was so sure and they keep proving me right, the connection with the creations and the concept works so naturally, and is so welcoming. It is really heartwarming and at the same time so powerful to see conscious-shoppers in HK, who feel good with their purchases and rock their SEP outfits!!
What is your favorite SEP creation?
This is a tough question. Each SEP piece has its raison d’être, like the very brand ! The "6 shades on gray" are more precious to me than any Hermès or Leonard or PUCCI scarves. Pure elegance, for day or night, summer winter. The Morikawa Keffieyh come next with the Linda in any colour because they are multipurpose, sarong, scarf, it s a no-brainer: just throw it in your bag! The pouches and clutches OMG... The quality, limited availability and the cause make the pieces true luxury!
Tell us more about you as a person your priorities, your main principles and what worries you the most in today’s world.
I don t really like speaking about myself, that's to say me as a person!! But well after I graduated with a PhD in applied economics and moving to HK with the family, I have had time to think about what I really wanted to do and I wanted it to make sense, to have a purpose: that s where SEP came in, to give some time and share stories with people who face challenging living conditions. My principle is that in this lifetime we all share, we are one and the same and thus have to respect one another and make things right. And what worries me today is that overall it's a real challenge !!
SEP works with Palestinian and Syrian refugee artists as well as some Jordanian embroiderers too. SEP is transcending politics, within a highly politically charged region. What is your answer to those who cannot separate the politics from the real life of human beings?
I don’t think I can lecture anyone on life, choices and beliefs: who am I to say? It is a matter of perspective, so much unproductive tension. We can talk for hours, fight for years, kill and die and and and or we can stand for our own actions, everytime we SEP we give work to the Palestinian, Syrian refugees we erase the burden of their past so they create a new tomorrow, a future. Does anything else has to count?
What are your objectives for SEP in HK?
To be an established lifestyle brand not just as “ethical fashion” as in a different business model with global reach.
Do you have stock in HK? How often do you get new stock in?
I have a wide selection of scarves keffiyehs, cashmere scarves, linen scarves, bags and pouches in small quantities. I have new stock in every 2 months on average but it can be more often when needed.
How do you choose the items you have in HK?
It is all about the feeling when I see the pieces, the colours, the embroidery etc... with SEP products it s all about versatility and uniqueness under all aspects!
How do we know you have a piece unique?
Follow gigi_debs on IG or SEP Jordan, we advertise the piece unique in our stories, but beware: it goes fast!