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The Dictates of Fashion

If one must suffer for fashion, then designer Rabia Ben Barka has certainly paid her dues. 

Born to a wealthy Libyan family, she lost both fortune and homeland when Muammar el-Qaddafi took over and nationalized her family's textile mills and other assets.  Although she remained in Europe and worked for other designers, she was unable to return home and develop her vision of combining North African and Western styles -- until the dictator's daughter took a fancy to her designs.  From daughter to mother and finally father, Rabia now enjoys an elite clientle as well as the benefits (and burdens) of success:

Though her work was a shock to some Libyan traditionalists, over the years, she said, she has won a following here, dressing foreign diplomats and their spouses, staging fashion shows for visiting delegations and, of course, continuing her work for the first family. 

Now, she said, she grapples with another problem:  bootleggers copying her designs.

Then again, at least "Brother Leader" hasn't nationalized them.