The Meadfa Conference
The MEADFA Conference 2018
Elie SaabFashion designer and entrepreneur

Elie Saab is a self-taught fashion talent. His interest in dressmaking started at the age of 9, while designing dresses for his sisters. Soon he was selling his designs to the women in his neighbourhood while still a teenager.

In 1982, when the war was raging in Lebanon, he opened his first Couture atelier in Beirut.  The same year, he presented his first show at the Casino du Liban. Word spread internationally of this talented young designer, and his client base grew to include members of high society locally and regionally to reach red carpet celebrities in 1996.

In 1997, Elie Saab was invited to take part in the prestigious Camera Nazionale della Moda, the only non-Italian designer to be awarded this privilege. He continued to show Couture collections in Rome for three consecutive years.

In 1998 Elie Saab launched his first ready-to-wear collection in Milan. The collection was very well received and was bought by luxury multi-brand stores around the world, notably in Paris, London, Madrid, Moscow, Los Angeles and Hong Kong.

In 2000, he entered the French scene and presented his first haute couture collection in Paris before his membership at the prestigious Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture.  In 2002, Elie Saab became a Membre Invité by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture.  Afterwards in 2006, he became a Membre Correspondant soon after he opened his first couture salon in the city. The designer’s Parisian headquarters were opened at the end of 2012, followed by a second boutique in July 2015.

The Elie Saab global expansion started in 2008 when flagship stores opened all over the world, in locations including Beirut, Paris, London, New York, Dubai and Geneva. The company’s first US flagship opened on Madison Avenue, New York City in March 2017. The brand is also sold in more than 200 points of sale worldwide.

A pioneer in fashion design, Elie Saab paved the way for other designers to enter the fashion industry; he put his country of origin on the international fashion map and is working to make Lebanon the fashion hub in the region.The brand is ranked among the top haute couture houses in the world and employing over 800 globally, with 300 based in Beirut.