If you have any interest in fashion or like to follow the lives of celebrities, you might have already heard the name Elie Saab as one of the labels often worn on the red carpet or at royal events. But who is Elie Saab and where does he come from? Elie Saab is a Lebanese fashion designer of Catholic Maronite parents. His label, which is often seen as a bridge between the fashion worlds of the Middle East and the West, is perhaps most widely known for its bridal couture and perfume. But today, the designer’s portfolio includes almost everything the heart of a fashion-lover could desire. Read on to find out more about this illustrious designer that every style-connoisseur should know about.
From Lebanon to Europe
Elie Saab was born in 1964 and didn’t leave his parents wondering what he would grow up to be for long. For, even as an 8-year-old, he picked up scissors to cut patterns out of newspapers and even cut up his mother’s wardrobe for fabric, which was then used to make new garments for his sisters to walk the “catwalk” from bedroom to living room. So, as an up-cycler in the 70s, the young Lebanese was already way ahead of everyone else. As Saab’s path as a designer was determined early on, the only question left was where in the world it would lead him. Without waiting for the age of majority, he moved to Paris to study fashion in the classic way. But after dropping out, he then proved that it is possible to deviate from the typical designer’s path and still be successful. He could not have given a better example than by starting his own fashion label in his home country: at the age of just 18, Saab opened a studio back in Beirut and quickly hired 15 employees with whom he built up a business, entirely without an academic career.
“I don’t believe in instant success.”
In an interview with Global Conversation, Elie Saab stresses how important it is, especially for young designers, not to become complacent after the first “shot of success” comes. It’s all about perseverance. Although the up-and-coming talent could hardly have had a better start in Beirut and you might expect he could easily achieve success elsewhere, his popularity in the Middle East did not help him when he tried to establish himself on the Western market. In 1996, Saab tried to expand, starting in Rome, and quickly found that he had to prove himself anew in Europe. This challenge, ultimately mastered, was not only the basis for his personal success on a global scale, but also had door-opening effects for Arab designers to come, for whom he paved the way with his international reputation. This success is not least exemplified by his admission as the first non-Italian designer to the National Chamber of Italian Fashion (Camera Nazionale della Moda) in 1997. Since then, he has also been accepted as a member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture and has continued to wow the world each season with his fashion shows.
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Elie Saab Fashion
“Today, the beauty of a design is its ability to impress all cultures,” explains Saab, a designer who has brought the Middle Eastern and Western fashion industries together like no-one before him. His style is a fusion of both worlds, combining middle eastern opulence with western understatement. The result is not only legendary Haute Couture fashion and wedding dresses that are right next to Tiffany on the wish lists of brides-to-be, but also, since 1998, ready-to-wear fashion and accessories, which also include Elie Saab sunglasses and Elie Saab eyeglasses. While you have to pay at least a four-figure sum for an Elie Saab dress (a gown set with emeralds and diamonds was sold for a proud 2.4 million USD), Eli Saab glasses start at an affordable £165.
Since all the collections are women’s eyewear, they are correspondingly feminine in style. Saab relies on fine chasing, eye-catching stones and curved temples for the frames. The models in delicate colours or with a subtle contrast are particularly popular. For example, the Elie Saab ES 076 7HH glasses have a gentle pink and grey gradient. The design is refined by an elegant pattern that adorns the outside of the temples from the front of the frame to behind the ears.
Classic shapes are also part of the Elie Saab Eyewear portfolio. @eliesaabworld recently presented their Spring Essentials on Instagram, which include round metal glasses, oversize rounded rectangle frames and the most feminine of all styles, cat-eye glasses.
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If you want to see the full range of Elie Saab eyewear frames in all their colourways, just check out our range and get yourself a beautiful high-fashion accessory.