Born in 1964 in Damour, Lebanon, Elie Saab is a self-taught fashion talent. His interest in dressmaking started at the age of nine, when he started designing dresses for his sisters. Soon, he was selling his designs to the women in his neighborhood.
In 1982, he opened his first couture atelier in Beirut, managing over a dozen employees, after having mastered the art of dressmaking. That same year, he presented his first show at the Casino du Liban. The young women in the audience were immediately won over, and his reputation for designing extremely feminine and elegant dresses was established. Word spread internationally, and his client base grew to include members of high society.
Elie’s parth to stardom took shape in 1996 when he started dressing celebrities for Red Carpet events. In 1997, he was invited to take part in the prestigious Camera Nazionale della Moda. As the only non-Italian designer to receive that honor, it was a true privilege. A year later, Elie presented his first ready-to-wear collection, at Milan Fashion week, and in 1999, Queen Rania of Jordan chose to wear Elie Saab haute couture for her coronation ceremony.
In March 2002, Elie Saab was again the couturier of choice when Halle Berry wore one of his haute couture designs to receive the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in Monster’s Ball. The same year, Elie opened his first couture salon in Paris’ prestigious eighth arrondissement, responding to a strong demand from his cosmopolitan and international clientele.
In 2005, Elie opened a modern five-story building in Downtown Beirut, showcasing the brand’s different collections. In October of the same year, his presented his ready-to-wear collection in Paris for the first time, simultaneously launching his first accessories collection. In November 2006, Elie was integrated into the Chambre Syndicale’s official haute couture calendar, as Membre Correspondant.
July 2011 saw the launch of the first Elie Saab fragrance, entitled Elie Saab Le Parfum. Photographed by Mert & Marcus, the ad campaign featured Anja Rubik in a specially designed Elie Saab gown. The launch of Rose Couture followed in 2016. The perfume echoed the infinite shades of blush, raising an iconic floral straight to the luminous heart of couture.
In 2012, he partnered with the Lebanese American University of Beirut and London College of Fashion to launch a four years Bachelor’s degree program in fashion design and related studies. In 2018, a national Lebanese postage stamp honoring Elie Saab was unveiled. Featuring his portrait, the stamp is intended to pay tribute to his international accomplishments and his continuous commitment to celebrate Lebanon’s talents worldwide.
In January 2020, the fashion house announced the introduction of its latest addition to the brand’s offering: Elie Saab Junior. The maison has signed two long-term licensing partnerships with Simonetta, one of the leading Italian children’s wear companies, and with Andrea Montelpare, the market leader in the luxury segment of children’s shoes.