Over the past few years, Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa has been recreated in several different ways: out of coffee cups, burnt toast, computer chips, hamburger grease, LEGO bricks and even out of rice, sea kelp, and tofu.
This time, it was the turn of Ejjeh & Sons, a tailor shop from Lebanon, to rethink the masterpiece and to do so, they used some of their tools of the trade: sewing spools. Mind you, this version was made for marketing purposes. These masters of bespoke tailoring have been around since 1926, but young people don’t seem so fond of custom clothing, so Ejjeh & Sons had to come up with an idea to attract them. I’m not sure about the effect the work of an old master has on Lebanese youngsters, but if the owners of the shop thought it would work, I guess that kids from that country are a tad different from the ones in mine.
The sewing spool Mona Lisa isn’t the only change the owners of the shop did. They renovated the entire shop and the portrait is only one of the elements used for the rebranding of the company. All of this was made with the help of Republique Beirut.
It took 10 people, 3 months of planning, 1,292 spools of threads in 63 colors and 9 hours of effective work to put the portrait together. As some of the shades needed were not available in Lebanon, the company had to have some shipped from China aka Land of All Possibilities).
As someone pointed out in a comment on Design Milk, the Mona Lisa created by Ejjeh & Sons was clearly inspired by Devorah Sperber’s version, which was made out of spools of thread, too, the only difference being that the orientation of the spools was different. Devorah even used more spools (1482) than the Lebanese makers of custom tailored clothing.
The portrait is simply captioned with “The Art of Tailoring, Since 1926.” I appreciate the ones who think of tailoring as a form of art, as that’s really what it is. People don’t have to wear Prada, Chanel or YSL to look good, as there’s taste and style even in the simpler clothes. The clothing made by Ejjeh & Sons must be on the expensive side of things, since it’s bespoke, but it certainly isn’t as expensive as the products made by high-end fashion houses.