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Elie Saab: 'Beirut runs through my brand'

FashionBy Sunday World
Elie Saab: 'Beirut runs through my brand'

Elie Saab is proud that he can represent Lebanon in such a positive light.

The Beirut-born designer moved from his home country to Paris in the early ‘80s to study fashion, before starting his eponymous label.

In the three decades since then Saab has become a celebrity favourite, with a client roster including Taylor Swift, Celine Dion and Beyonce.

When it comes to his biggest muse though, Saab explains his mind is never far from where he was born.

“Beirut is the source of my inspiration and I am proud that I myself am an image of success and progress for my country - that is what motivates me,” he told Vogue’s international editor Suzy Menkes.

As well as being steeped in Lebanese culture, the Elie Saab label has become a family affair. The 52-year-old designer’s oldest son, Elie Jr., is a key part of the business and was happy to talk about the brand’s strategy plans. These include how his dad will head up an Arabic version of the American television show Project Runway.

He also explained how the fashion house is giving back. Elie Saab is linking the Lebanese American University with the London College of Fashion, with Elie Jr. explaining how his father hopes to mix different cultures together.

“Today, cultures are blending together - there are no more borders. That is what the world is going to be like - and that is what we want to express: the two worlds colliding,” he said. “And on top are the Orient and the Occident, so the Elie Saab world is really a clash of three.”

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