Leading Lebanese fashion house Maison Rabih Kayrouz just earned ‘haute couture status’; an esteemed achievement bestowed by the French Couture Federation that now joins the label to its likes of Bouchra Jarrar, Christian Dior, Givenchy, Stéphane Rolland, Chanel and Maison Margiela. Made from scratch for each customer, haute couture clothing typically requires several fittings and usually takes between 100 to 400 hours to make one very expensive dress.
Founded in 2008 by Rabih Kayrouz, the fashion house has garnered attention and acclaim for its innovative edge to conventional design. Kayrouz fled Lebanon during the civil war and spent his formative years in Paris studying at L’École de La Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne with stints after graduating both Chanel and Christian Dior Couture. He then returned to Lebanon and began crafting couture-like wedding dresses for friends and later for Beirut socialites and Middle Eastern royalty. With over two decades of experience, Kayrouz blurs the boundaries between couture and ready-to-wear with an emphasis on attention to detail, craftsmanship and high emotion in resulting pieces. Having shown as a guest at couture shows since 2016, this landmark achievement will see the fashion house present ‘two couture collections of 25 looks handmade within a Paris-based atelier’ during Paris Haute Couture Week which will take place between 21 – 24 January 2019 showcasing just 31 labels. Paris Couture Week will also showcase other Arab fashion labels as Georges Hobeika, Elie Saab and Zuhair Murad and no doubt Kayrouz will inject a Middle Eastern flair to the historic establishment with designs consisting of bold colours and architectural hues.
Aside from his impressive fashion achievements, Kayrouz is also involved in philanthropy and has founded the non-profit organisation STARCH Foundation with Tala Hajjar and in collaboration with Solidere as a platform to support and launch the careers of emerging designers. The foundation runs an annual program and rotates debut collections of four to six emerging designers each year with their collections presented during this period at the STARCH boutique in Downtown Beirut. An exciting future is ahead for this talented Lebanese fashion house that has worked exceedingly hard to create outstanding, exquisite and accessible fashion.