Elie Saab (Arabic: إيلي صعب) (born 4 July 1964) is a Lebanese fashion designer. His main workshop is in Lebanon, with additional workshops in Milan and Paris. He started his business in the early 1980s and specialized in bridal couture (expensive fabrics, lace, gemstones, swarovski crystals, pearls, detailed embroidery, crystals, etc.).
Elie Saab appeared as a judge on Project Runway: Middle East in 2016. As of March 2017, his couture collections are available in Paris, London, and Beirut, while his ready-to-wear clothes were in 160 retailers and his own boutiques.
Elie Saab is the eldest son of a wood merchant who raised five children in Damour, a southern coastal Beirut suburb in Greater Beirut.[ Born to Maronite Catholic parents in Beirut, Saab is self-trained and began sewing as a child. At the age of eight, his attention had turned to fashion. With his sisters serving as models, he would cut patterns out of newspaper and search his mother’s closet for materials.
Early years in fashion
In 1981, Saab moved to Paris to study fashion, and later dropped from school to return to Beirut and open his fashion label. In 1982, when he was 18 years old, he worked with a team of 15 employees. At first his atelier specialized in bridal couture, making wedding dresses and gowns using expensive fabrics, lace, detailed embroidery, pearls, crystals and silk threads. In Beirut his reputation grew from dressing women in his neighborhood, and was soon enhanced by high society women sporting his designs.
In 1998, he started his ready-to-wear line in Milan, as well as an accessories line. Later that year Elie Saab signed a contract with Beauté Prestige International for fragrance and cosmetics, and in the same year, Saab held a fashion show in Monaco with Princess Stéphanie of Monaco in attendance.
Saab became more well-known in the United States after he became the first Lebanese designer to dress an Oscar winner, Halle Berry, in 2002. In May 2003, the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture invited him to become a member, and he showed his first haute couture collection in Paris in July 2003.
In 2003, he teamed up with Pronovias to create a bridal line, Elie by Elie Saab.
The Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture inducted him as a membre correspondent in 2006. His first ready-to-wear collection in Paris was the Spring-Summer 2006 collection
Saab, Tina Knowles, House of Deréon, Giorgio Armani, Versace, and Herve Leger served as the designers for the outfits of the 2007 The Beyoncé Experience tour. In 2010, Saab dressed 102 celebrities for events overall, up from 40 in 2009. The figure for 2011, up until March, was 88. In 2011, Madame Tussauds unveiled a wax statue of Kate Winslet draped in the Elie Saab dress she wore at 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards. In 2011, Elie Saab launched his first fragrance Le Parfum.
Recent dresses and collaborations
In 2012, he worked with the Lebanese American University and London College of Fashion to launch a bachelor’s degree in fashion design. As of 2013, the brand had boutiques located in Beirut, Dubai, Doha, Paris, London, Geneva, Hong Kong, Moscow, New York City, and Mexico, with 100 retail outlets total. Saab’s son, Elie Saab Jr., became brand director in 2013.
Elie Saab appeared as a judge on Project Runway: Middle East in 2016. Between 2015 and 2017, the Elie Saab company opened a second Paris boutique and a new location in London‘s Mayfair and in Manhattan. The Manhattan store that opened in October 2016 was his first in the country. As of March 2017, his couture collections are available in Paris, London, and Beirut, while his ready-to-wear clothes were in 160 retailers and his own boutiques Also that month, the Elie Saab company opened a new Madison Avenue store.
Credit to Wikipedia.org