Young IC Entrepreneurs : Lama El-Khalil - Class of 2009
Lama El-Khalil was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon. The first of four sisters, she is a third generation IC graduate, having attended her entire schooling at IC and graduating in 2009. She pursued her undergraduate degree at the American University of Beirut majoring in Business Administration with an emphasis on marketing.
After graduating, she trained at major luxury companies including Hermès at their watchmaking marketing headquarters in Switzerland where she developed a real appreciation for luxury fashion and brand management. At the age of 22, she co-started a blog and was one half of the duo behind Imperial Twist. The blog would feature content about fashion, lifestyle, cosmetics, and travel; targeting an audience of young modern women with likeminded interests. By 2016, and in less than two years, the blog accumulated over 40,000 followers on Instagram, and more than 100,000 unique views on the website, which allowed for great collaborations to take place with international brands including Fendi, Dior, L’Oreal; as well as creating capsule collections for brands like Nour Hammour and Jessica K. These great successes paved the way to the creation of the second entrepreneurial endeavour: Sweet Grip. In December 2016, Sweet Grip, a brand of women’s accessories with focus on acrylic clutches which are stylish, trendy, and practical, launched its first collection. The brand has since been featured in major publications including Elle Arabia, Layalina, Umagazine, and Nawa3em. And in October 2017, was awarded with Ounousa’s people’s choice award for “Best Upcoming Lebanese Brand”. The clutches have been worn by many around the world, including bloggers, fashion influencers, and celebrities like Lana El-Sahely, Riri Dada, Nathalie Fanj, Carla DiBello, Paola ELSitt, Nour Arida, Rawan Bin Hussain; and most recently by Yousra Mohsen at the Cannes 2019 red carpet.
In addition to being CEO of her company, El-Khalil is a member of the NGO Teach a Child, which focuses on financially helping underprivileged children pursue an education regardless of gender, location, or religion. She is also currently the youngest in her program, and one out of only 40 women, studying at London Business School, towards an Executive MBA and a few weeks away from graduating. When recalling IC, El-Khalil can say with great pride that the school has left her with remarkable memories, lifelong friends, and was the foundation for having the confidence to enter the entrepreneurial world