In the bustling landscape of fashion, Lara Bazzoui emerges as a dynamic force, seamlessly blending her Iraqi-Armenian-Brit heritage into a unique and sustainable brand. Graduating from London College of Fashion in 2023, Bazzoui not only runs her own fashion brand but also contributes to the world of journalism and styling, adding multifaceted layers to her creative endeavours.

Bibi Bazz, Bazzoui's brainchild, was conceived during the solitude of lockdown in 2020. As anxiety surged, creativity became her refuge. "I turned to creativity for solace," Bazzoui says. "That's when I stumbled upon a few pairs of worn-out trainers. The idea of transforming them into long-lasting, durable handbags came to me, and Bibi Bazz was born." What began as a mere concept on Instagram evolved into a full-fledged business, with the brand's name being a fusion of her middle and last names, Bibiana and Bazzoui.

The first Bibi Bazz bag came to fruition when Bazzoui stumbled across her own broken trainers. "After creating my first prototype with a hammer and string, I began to explore and experiment with how I could add wearability and functionality to it," she explains.

The brilliance of Bibi Bazz lies in Bazzoui's innovative approach to sustainability. The concept of repurposing sneakers aligns seamlessly with the brand's ethos, addressing both the issue of shoe waste and the environmental impact of a throwaway culture. Bazzoui passionately shares, "The upcycling concept not only gave old trainers a new purpose but also addressed the environmental impact of throwaway culture."

Navigating through the intricate process of transforming sneakers into fashionable bags, Lara is not just the founder and designer but also the hands behind each creation. "Being involved in every step of the process makes the connection to each piece intense," she reflects. "Currently, I'm not just the founder and designer but also the maker, crafting each piece by hand." From the trimmings to the straps, every aspect of the bag is upcycled, creating a unique challenge and an exhilarating aspect to the creative process.

In a fast-paced fashion industry where standing out is challenging, Lara faces the dual edge of social media—a powerful tool for exposure but also a potential source of judgment. "It's a double-edged sword – a powerful tool but also a potential source of judgment based on follower count and an open space for design theft," she acknowledges. Despite the challenges, Bazzoui sees social media as a platform to showcase the creativity and sustainability embedded in Bibi Bazz.

Each Bibi Bazz bag is a one-of-a-kind creation, making every piece a limited edition. Inspired by 'sneakerhead' culture, Bazzoui curates specialized collections with running themes, ensuring that every bag is a unique expression of creativity and sustainability.

The selection of deadstock sneakers is a dynamic process for Bazzoui. While she may have preferences for certain types, materials, and brands, she embraces the challenge of experimenting with new possibilities. "I'm always excited to challenge myself with new possibilities and currently accept most trainers to ensure I have worked on all kinds and know exactly what I’m doing," she reveals.

With a multicultural background, Bazzoui ensures that Bibi Bazz embraces diversity, drawing inspiration from her own experiences and surroundings. The bags, she believes, represent uniqueness—just like every individual. "I see the bags as a symbol of one's own identity, complex, one-of-a-kind, and truly unique," Bazzoui states, emphasizing the brand's commitment to inclusivity.

For Bazzoui, the commitment to sustainability is deeply rooted in her upbringing. Influenced by her mother and grandmother's distaste for waste and throwaway culture, she has made it her mission to go against the grain of quick, cheap fashion options. "I believe upcycling is one of the most powerful tools you can have," Bazzoui declares, grateful for the early teachings that shaped her mindset.

As Bazzoui envisions the future of Bibi Bazz, she dreams of it becoming synonymous with 'It Bags' of the future. With plans to expand into accessories and clothing, collaborations and innovative ideas are on the horizon. Now that she has wrapped up university and started freelancing, she is set to take Bibi Bazz to new heights. "Bigger and better" she declares. "I'm going to take things to new levels. Watch this space."

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