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Elie Saab drops out of Couture Week

By Kristopher Fraser


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Paris Couture Week will be missing one of its star designers. Elie Saab has decided to drop out of Paris Couture Week due to Lebanon imposing a strict lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus. In the interest of protecting his 400 person team, the label’s CEO, Elie Saab Jr., has postponed the collection.

“The haute couture collection is ready, but there’s the whole shooting logistic, which is quite complicated. We decided to take a small break and wait for the right time to shoot it and to present it to the public,” he told WWD.

Lebanon has an incredibly strict lockdown in places where residents aren’t even allowed to go grocery shopping. For Beirut-based fashion designers, their lockdown woes were compounded by an explosion that rocked the city on August 4 destroying their factories and showrooms. Fellow Lebanese fashion designer Zuhair Murad said that he would not be presenting a full collection at Paris Couture Week this season, but would show a teaser during the annual fashion fete.

Elie Saab completed repairs on their headquarters earlier this year. While the demand for couture has waned during coronavirus with a dearth of red carpets and formal events, the company’s new business model, which focuses on more directly operated stores and added product categories, like homewares and childrenswear, has helped the company weather the storm.

Paris Couture Week will be all digital this year as France still has lockdown measures in place to curtail the spread of coronavirus. The daily COVID-19 infection rates are at a six-week high, but the rollout of the vaccine has begun in the country that was one of the hardest hit by the global pandemic.

photo: via eliesaab.com

Elie Saab
Paris Couture Week