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4 July 1964 |
Born to Maronite Catholic 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. 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.
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. 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.
Elie Saab's style is a unique fusion of western and eastern culture. 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.
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. Berry wore a burgundy gown by Saab to the 2002 Academy Awards when she won for Best Actress. Berry later wore another dress by Saab to the 2003 Oscars.
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. The brand has boutiques located in Beirut, Dubai, Doha, Paris, London, Geneva, Hong Kong, Moscow, New York, and Mexico, 100 retail outlets total In 2011, Elie Saab launched his first fragrance "Le Parfum".
- Queen Rania of Jordan
- Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden,
- Aishwarya Rai
- Anna Kendrick
- Christina Aguilera
- Catherine Zeta-Jones
- Angelina Jolie
- Celine Dion
- Elena Anaya
- Elsa Zylberstein
- Taylor Swift
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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.
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- Elie Saab Official Website