Zeina Raphael is always going back and forth between Paris and Lebanon, her country of origin. And so it was by following this young woman who is in love with her country and concerned about its influence that this 3rd edition of “PLUME VOYAGE-Lebanon Special ” was born. As founder and director of communications company Almaz, the young woman, gentle and determined, is as involved with young fashion designers, as she is with illustrators and directors like Nadine Labaki. It is in her bright showroom near the Champs-Elysée, amongst the princess dresses, that we did this interview.
Are you more of a hand-carry, trunk, suitcase or no baggage person?
I always take lots of luggage to avoid paying the excess! I do not travel light. I carry my house. But it depends on the destination. For a long journey, I have a Samsonite suitcase for clothes, a tote for shoes and a wheelie bag for the plane. I always leave room for the purchases I make on the spot and I always take a folding bag. Sometimes I have to buy an extra suitcase when my shopping gets too much
Is your suitcase very organised or a bit of a jumble?
I’m very methodical, even a bit obsessive! I love packing bags, more so before leaving of course! As soon as there is a space, a sock is in its place. Once, a customs officer did not even dare disturb my suitcase because it was so tidy! I use lots of pouches for stockings, underwear, swimsuits and phone batteries. For jewellery, I recycle Louis Vuitton shoeboxes, and put large necklaces in other stowaway boxes
What are the essentials for your suitcase?
On the plan, I need my Erès pashmina, as a Chatoosh. I always have a sweater and a pair of socks that I put underneath the airline ones. As I am a “Mac girl,” my MacBook Pro, my iPhone, and my iPad. But also a Blackberry. The cabin bags always starts off being empty at home and then it gets filled with magazines!
In my suitcase, I always have a pair of sneakers to walk around big cities in like New York and a formal dress, just in case. In Beirut, where I make regular visits to, there are always parties and dinners
What kind of wash-bag do you have and what are its essentials?
I have several wash-bags. One for sunscreens. A makeup bag filled with Biologique Recherche creams. And one for basic medicines. I also bring a special plastic bag with a zip to avoid spillages. And in my cabin wash-bag, I have a fuchsia mask lined with black lace from the brand LaLa Rose, as well as samples of day creams and hand creams
I weigh my bags at home on a bathroom scales to distribute the contents between different cases and not exceed the 23 kilo limit. I also tie colored ribbons and attach padlocks to locate more easily on the baggage carousel. I use the Louis Vuitton guides, I sign up to the Conde Nast Traveller website (www.cntraveller.com) and I follow the advice of Marie Le Fort in her various publications. I always take a folding bag for shopping. I sit on my suitcases to close them on return