Elie Saab

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Elie Saab
Born (1964-07-04) 4 July 1964 (age 52)
Beirut, Lebanon
Residence Geneva, Swiss
Nationality Lebanese
Occupation Fashion designer
Spouse(s) Claudine Saab
Children 3 sons
Labels Elie Saab

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.

Early life[edit]

Elie Saab is the eldest son of a wood merchant who raised five children in Damour, a southern coastal Beirut suburb, part of Greater Beirut.

Born to Maronite Catholic[1] parents in Beirut, Saab is self-trained and began sewing as a child. At the age of eight his attention was already turned to fashion. He used to cut patterns out of newspaper and searched his mother's closet for any lace he could find. He used his sister as his model, raiding his mother's closet for anything he could drape upon her.[2] However, his family was pleasantly surprised when he turned out a blue and white striped gown for his sister. He felt inspired by the elegance and beauty in a woman.


Early years in fashion[edit]

An Elie Saab gown in a Beirut, Lebanon shop window, 2005.

In 1981 Saab moved to Paris to study fashion, and later returned to Beirut to open his fashion label.

in 1982, when he was 18 years old, with a team of 15 employees. At first, his atelier was specialized in bridal couture making wedding dresses and gowns using rich fabrics, lace, detailed embroidery, pearls, crystals and silk threads.[3] In Beirut, his reputation grew from dressing the women in his neighbourhood, and was soon enhanced by high society women who began sporting his designs.[4]

Elie Saab's style is a unique fusion of western and eastern culture.[5] He uses noble materials such as taffeta, organza, noble and satin paired with more fluid and light fabrics.

In 1997 Saab was the first non-Italian designer to become a member of the Italian Camera Nazionale della Moda, and in 1997, showed his first collection outside Lebanon in Rome. In 1998, he started ready-to-wear in Milan, and in the same year, he held a fashion show in Monaco, which was attended by Princess Stéphanie of Monaco.

In 1999, Queen Rania of Jordan wore Elie Saab for her enthronement. One of his dresses thickly embroidered with emeralds and diamonds was reportedly sold for $2.4 million.[6]

Exposure internationally[edit]

He became more well-known in the United States after he became the first Lebanese designer to dress an Oscar winner, Halle Berry, in 2002.[7] Berry wore a burgundy gown by Saab to the 2002 Academy Awards when she won for Best Actress.[8] Berry later wore another dress by Saab to the 2003 Oscars.[9]

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. His first ready-to-wear collection in Paris was the Spring-Summer 2006 collection.

In 2010, Saab dressed 102 celebrities for events, up from 40 in 2009. The figure for 2011 up until March was 88.[10] The brand has boutiques located in Beirut, Dubai, Doha, Paris, London, Geneva, Hong Kong, Moscow, New York, and Mexico, 100 retail outlets total[11] In 2011, Elie Saab launched his first fragrance "Le Parfum".

Notable clients[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Saab met his future wife Claudine when her mother bought one of his designs. They married three years later. They are the parents of three sons who live in Geneva. Saab has three houses in Lebanon: an old house in Gemmayze region of Beirut, a house in Rabieh and a chalet in Faqra. He also has properties in France and Switzerland.


  1. ^ Ulrik Putz, Libanons Designer Elie Saab: Mission Mode Archived October 14, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., Spiegel. (German). 2007. Retrieved February 24, 2013.
  2. ^ MacFarquhar, N (27 April 2002). "An unlikely couturier from an unlikely 'Paris'.". The New York Times. Retrieved February 24, 2013. 
  3. ^ Elie Saab Archived April 22, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved February 24, 2013.
  4. ^ "Elie Saab". Vogue. Retrieved February 24, 2013. 
  5. ^ "French Chamber Gala Dineer 2012" (PDF). FCCIHK. Retrieved February 24, 2013. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Saab Story". Vanity Fair. October 8, 2011. 
  7. ^ Halle Berry - Memorable Oscar Dresses Archived August 1, 2016, at the Wayback Machine., About.com. Retrieved on March 23, 2009.
  8. ^ - It's the dress for success - Elie Saab goes from obscurity to fashion's front row[permanent dead link] Alev Aktar, New York Daily News March 28, 2002
  9. ^ Lee, Esther (February 11, 2011). "The Beautiful World of Elie Saab". The 949 Style Guide. Archived from the original on May 13, 2012. 
  10. ^ How elie saab has made the red carpet his catwalk[permanent dead link]. (January 21, 2012). The National. Retrieved February 24, 2013.[dead link]
  11. ^ "Elie Saab". Retrieved February 24, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b c "Fashion TV - Top Designer - Elie Saab". Fashion TV. Archived from the original on January 31, 2009. Retrieved March 23, 2009. 
  13. ^ (June 21, 2010), A Royal Affair: Princess Victoria's Wedding Style Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. People. Retrieved January 2, 2012.
  14. ^ a b c "Couture dresses at Cannes 2011". Haute Couture News. Retrieved June 5, 2011. 
  15. ^ Critchell, Samantha. "Bullock wears `Oscar' gown, other stars take risks". Associated Press. Archived from the original on March 11, 2010. Retrieved March 8, 2010. 
  16. ^ Christina Aguilera in an Elie Saab dress at American Music Awards Archived December 11, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., Glamour Magazine. Retrieved March 23, 2009.
  17. ^ Angelina Jolie In Elie Saab Black Dress Oscars 2009[permanent dead link], Stylefrizz.com. Retrieved on March 23, 2009.
  18. ^ Couture dresses at Oscar 2011 Archived May 29, 2016, at the Wayback Machine., Haute Couture News Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  19. ^ "Grammys 2015: Taylor Swift in Elie Saab". Tom + Lorenzo. Retrieved 22 March 2016. 

External links[edit]